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Featured News: Preparing for Breed Inspection Day

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June 27, 2018

Preparing for Breed Inspection Day 1 As we enter the final foaling months of 2018, it is the perfect time to turn our attention towards preparation for Inspection Season. For Sporthorse breeders across the United States, mare, foal and stallion inspections serve as pivotal moments for the horses within their breeding programs. Here are a few thoughts on properly planning out your Inspection Day.

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Featured Blog: Heat Stress and Equine Reproduction

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September 09, 2014

Istock_sweaty harness horse cropped During those dog days of late summer and the end of the breeding season, most of us who work in equine reproduction are ready for a break. You are left with those difficult mares that didn’t settle earlier in the season and stallions that may be growing tired of breeding. Mares may not cycle as predictably or conceive as readily and stallions may be tougher to collect or exhibit a decrease in semen quality. One of the factors that can contribute to these problems is heat stress. As ambient temperatures rise, stallions and mares may experience disruptions to normal reproductive function as a result. This article will briefly describe some of the effects of heat stress on mare and stallion reproductive function.

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Featured Question

What is involved in freezing semen?

To process semen for freezing, the raw semen is diluted with a standard skim-milk glucose based extender and centrifuged to concentrate the sperm cells and remove seminal plasma. Seminal plasma contains factors that can be both protective and harmful to sperm. Primarily it is advantageous to remove seminal plasma when freezing semen. In the past clinicians would remove all of the seminal plasma, however, current research suggests it is beneficial to retain some, because seminal plasma is known to moderate the inflammatory response of the uterus when presented with sperm cells. Following centrifugation the sperm are diluted into the freezing extender which has a complex formulation including sugars, salts, egg yolk, skim milk and a cryoprotectant, predominantly glycerol. The semen is loaded into straws and frozen in liquid nitrogen vapor. This can be accomplished by one of two methods; either by floating a rack of straws over liquid nitrogen in a Styrofoam box or by a specially designed programmable cell freezing machine. All SBS Affiliated Laboratories utilize programmable cell freezers. A programmable freezer offers the significant advantage of being able to reliably control the rate of cooling to an accuracy of 0.1 °C/min. This enables us to design defined and precise freezing protocols that are consistent and repeatable with every freeze. Freezing over vapor offers limited ability to adjust the rate of cooling and does not have the consistent repeatability. Once frozen the straws are transferred to storage in tanks of liquid nitrogen at -196°C.

See also:

Basic Principles and Techniques for Freezing Semen

Harvesting and Freezing Equine Epididymal Sperm

Quality Control is at the Core of the SBS Difference

What is a Test Freeze?


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