In 2020, Select Breeders Services (SBS) and the Dutch Warmblood Studbook in North America (KWPN-NA) collaborated on a project to produce a video series, “Frozen Semen for Mare Owners”. The KWPN-NA recognized many of their breeders use frozen semen in their breeding programs while other members are considering the use of frozen semen but may not know the right questions to ask or what they should expect. Natalie DiBerardinis, Managing Director of Hilltop Farm, Inc. and member of the KWPN-NA Stallion Committee said, “A lot of the frozen semen information is written towards the stallion owner perspective, so we want to take the approach of what mare owners need to know.”
One of the Core Values and Beliefs of the SBS Mission is that “we have a responsibility to educate our customers so that they may make informed decisions about the services we provide”. So, when asked to assist with this video series, we quickly agreed to help.
Natalie said the following when asked what she felt breeders would find most beneficial about this video series.
“I believe seeing all the steps that go into a full analysis of frozen semen and an understanding that it is not just about the motility numbers will be very helpful. The clips comparing a number of different samples in Video 2 are really interesting to watch. We hope that with a better understanding of semen quality and what stats one should expect, mare owners will feel more in control when making choices for their breeding plans.”
The topics for the four-part video series includes:
- Part 1 – How Frozen Semen is Analyzed
- Part 2 – Post-Thaw Analysis with the CASA System
- Part 3 – Bacterial Contamination
- Part 4 – What is a Flow Cytometer?
As a follow up to the above videos there will also be a series of six “Quick Tip” videos covering the topics of:
- Importance of Dilution for Evaluation
- Types of Extender
- Does Fertility Equal Motility
- Determining Dose Size
- What Questions Should Mare Owners Ask Semen Distributors
According to Natalie, the KWPN-NA chose SBS as their partner on this endeavor because, “SBS is such a well-established name for frozen semen that you were absolutely the first group we all discussed approaching. Many of our KWPN breeders have utilized stallions that came through SBS (both via cooled and frozen semen, as well as imported semen that has gone through the QC program). When I joined the Stallion Committee, I volunteered to help with this project. Given Hilltop’s long-standing relationship with SBS and my close proximity to you, that of course made the logistics easy as well.”