Julie Skaife at SBS-MD recently responded to FAQ presented by the American Connemara Magazine in the article, The Frozen Option
The Connemara pony, the native pony of Ireland, is renowned for its gentle temperament, versatility and athleticism. There are 16 different countries, outside of Ireland, that have formed their own Breeders’ Societies and maintain their own stud books. The International Committee of Connemara Pony Societies (ICCPS) was founded to develop, promote and preserve the Connemara pony as a distinctive breed, internationally. Unfortunately, inbreeding coefficients are on the rise in Ireland and other countries, like New Zealand, that are geographically isolated. The ICCPS is planning to coordinate an international breed improvement program in order to diversify the gene pool and ensure the traditional breed type is preserved. Many breed registries, like the ICCPS, are looking to frozen semen as a means of expanding the gene pool internationally. Frozen semen is an economical alternative to exporting stallions and offers the advantage of combining semen from several stallions into one export shipment. A proactive group of Connemara pony breeders in New Zealand even formed their own company to expand the breeding options available by frozen semen.
Connemara Pony photo from Wikipedia.