Our Embryo Transfer Program
With embryo transfer, I continue to compete on my barrel mares while they produce great prospects
I started using embryo transfer in 2006 with my mare Do It For Beau, “Moonie.” I could no longer get her dam Jodalito Cielo in foal and I really wanted to continue on with those genetics rather than buy another broodmare. As a veterinarian I had always wanted to try the procedure and since I was still running Moonie ET was the obvious answer.
It requires synchronizing the cycles of 2-3 recipient mares to the donor mare so that hopefully one of the recipient mares will end up matching the donor mares cycle. I work with Frank Dillon (Dillon Cow Horses) in Lewiston, Idaho—he has a large herd of good recipient mares. We flush the donor mare 7–8 days after she ovulates, search in a petri dish for the embryo (hopefully find one) and then put it into the recipient mare that most matches the donor mares ovulation. The recipient mare can be ultrasounded 6-8 days later to see if the embryo is still present. At 22–23 days a heartbeat can be visualized and I like to ultrasound them again at 60–70 days to do a fetal sexing for fun.
My first attempt with E.T. and Moonie she had a double ovulation and we flushed 2 embryos from the same flush, put them in different recipient mares and they both survived: KG Justiceweexpected and KG Cashin In On Beau (see prospects page). Seeing an 8-day embryo (about the size of the end of an ink pen) to being able to ride that horse is amazing to me. Needless to say I was hooked on the procedure! See the prospects page for other E.T. successes.
With embryo transfer I can still compete on my good barrel mares and yet meet my goals of breeding and improving their bloodlines by crossing with great stallions. Contact me if you are interested in getting an embryo from any of our mares or need help getting an embryo from one of your barrel racing mares.
—Kathy Grimes, DVM