Tamworth Equine Veterinary Center is one of two Select Breeder Services laboratories in Australia, in the southern hemisphere. Being at the center of the Quarter Horse and Stock Horse breeding industries, we are well positioned to meet the needs of stallion owners wishing to utilize artificial insemination techniques. The veterinary center is situated on a 30 acre alluvial river flats property and we receive mares throughout the breeding season for artificial breeding procedures. Additionally we have access to a 400 acre grazing property in which to turn out broodmares and embryo recipient stock.
The veterinary center recently undertook a complete refurbishment of the stallion facilities, this being part of our program to increase the level of export capability to meet the European Union export requirements. Whilst the global economic downturn was felt by way of a contraction in demand for stallion semen freezing we have experienced a rebound in interest and the numbers of stallions being processed has recently increased. At Tamworth Equine Veterinary Center we have, in recent months, frozen semen from Arabian stallions for export back to the Gulf States.
We are currently conducting trials with varying gradient filters to determine the best extender combinations and centrifugation techniques to improve sperm quality in ejaculates from stallions that are known to be difficult to freeze. Our preliminary results have been very encouraging with some stallions showing a dramatic improvement in the quality of their frozen semen. A further area of interest to us is the ability to gender select sperm and we are planning some clinical trials using magnetic coated micro beads to determine a rapid selection process that would not impair motility and could be integrated into a semen freezing process.
One of the great benefits of being part of the Select Breeder’s Services network is the opportunity for international collaboration between affiliated laboratories, and as we write we are coordinating with an affiliate laboratory in the United States for the shipment of a significant amount of Quarter Horse frozen semen to be stored and distributed in Australia on behalf of one of their clients. Through this connection we were able to introduce the American client to the Australian industry and hosted an inspection of our facilities and service capabilities during his visit for the Australian National Cutting Horse Futurity which is held every year in Tamworth. A major benefit for stallion owners using the services of the Select Breeders network is the knowledge that the procedures are consistent throughout the network and quality assurance plays an important part in maintaining the high standards for which Select Breeders Services is recognized as possessing.