Embryo Transfer Efficiency of Quarter Horse Athletic Mares

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Abstract

This study was designed to compare embryo recovery rates and pregnancy rates of athletic and breeding Quarter Horse mares in a tropical warm climate. Thirty-nine barrel racing mares in training and 135 breeding mares as control donors were included. During the training period, the ambient temperature ranged from 31°C to 36°C and the average humidity from 70% to 90%. After the detection of a 35-mm follicle by ultrasound, ovulation was induced with 1 mg of deslorelin acetate (i.m), and insemination was performed 24 hours later with cooled and fresh semen from different fertile stallions. Embryos were collected on day 8 postovulation. The body temperature (rectal) was evaluated from eight athletic donor mares randomly selected from the same studied group. A total of 138 and 657 embryo collections were carried out on training and breeding mares, respectively, with a total of 105 (76%) and 466 (71%) embryos collected (P > .05). Similarly, no differences (P > .05) were observed for the pregnancy rates on day 15 (82/105, 78% vs. 370/466, 79%), and day 40 (73/105, 69% vs. 328/466, 70%) between the training and breeding donor mares. Just after training, the body temperature increased to an average of 39.4°C and the respiratory rate from 14.5 to 35.3 breaths per minute. The results of the present study showed that embryo production from appropriately trained donor mares in good condition were similar to non-athletic broodmares.

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