Tuesday, December 15, 2020

If you like it--buy it!

Just this morning, minutes after speaking with a client who planned to purchase Totilas frozen semen next year, I received an email from the Schockemoehle Stud informing me of his passing following colic surgery. 

Once again, I advise breeders that if you really love a stallion but don't currently have a plan to breed to him--consider buying his semen anyway. Stallions become unavailable for a variety of reasons: death, infertility, a performance career, sale to a new owner with no interest in making semen and changing USDA regulations are some of the reasons why a stallion's frozen semen becomes unavailable. 

So if you have a dream of breeding to a stallion "some day," buy it and store it for the future. You never know when your dream will become unattainable because the semen is no longer available. 

Monday, February 24, 2020

Research Tools
It's that time of year again when breeders are madly researching their breeding ideas, so I thought I'd pass along some of my favorite research tools. 

First of all, country-specific google sites can often lead to results not available on Google.com. 
Each country has its own google. For example:

Germany = google.de
Netherlands = google.nl
Denmark = google.dk
France = google.fr
Belgium = google.be
United Kingdom =  google.co.uk
Portugal = google.pt
Spain = google.es
Italy = google.it
And so on . . .

Use the google translation tool to translate the words stallion, mare, foal etc. into whatever language you are researching. Also use the English terms for the most results. 

HorseTelex.com is a useful site, where you can look up a stallion and also see his dam's produce. It's helpful to see the dam's produce in this rather sire-centric business. Here in North America we don't have the extensive background in mare families, that they do in Europe. More great features are the registration numbers, inbreeding coefficients and approvals also provided. 

Hengstregister.de/ is another great website; it lists the test results of every stallion tested in Germany. 

Hippomundo is another pedigree site which includes an up to date performance record of a stallion and the produce of his dam. 

YouTube.com YouTube is a fantastic resource for horse breeders, and one I'm sure most are already using. You can sometimes find videos not otherwise available by searching the country-specific google sites mentioned above. 

ClipMyHorse.tv is a pay site that features all important sport horse events worldwide in real time. Plus, they have an archive of events.

Thoroughbred bloodlines is a good source for researching Thoroughbreds. 

Equineline.com is another Thoroughbred pedigree research site. 

The Superior Equine Sires Conception Database was developed to give breeders access to frozen semen conception results on many stallions, both in Europe and North America. All data is user entered. Users can view reports, create reports and request stallions be added to the list. 

There is also a "Search" feature in the upper right corner of the Superior Equine Sires masthead, where you can search the website for name, breed, color, height etc. Just keep in mind that it will pull up stallions from the archive which are no longer available, so you must check the active roster to be sure a stallion is available. 

TheHorseMagazine.com is an excellent website which contains a wealth of historical articles on famous stallions, riders, competitions and more. 

Please let us know of other good research sites: info@superiorequinesires.com 

Friday, January 17, 2020

Motility versus Fertility

The most usual question for semen shoppers to ask is "what's the motility?" Unbelievebly enough, we often do not receive motility percentages from our suppliers, but must extrapolate from the number of straws per dose. For example, three straws per dose indicates approximately 50% motility and four straws per dose about 40% motility. When selling single straws, we do however, usually get a motility report. 
Breeders often rely on their veterinarian or technician for a motility count, and share information between themselves or via our database. But just take a look at our Conception Database (you must sign up to use it) to see how the reported motility of the same stallion can vary wildly. Our experience has been that even semen from the same collection can vary. It would seem that it's not an actual variation of the semen, but perhaps that it has been compromised by handling and thawing, or by a flawed assessment when looked at on a slide.
The most reliable assessment of semen motility is provided by CASA (computer assisted semen analysis).
And while good motility is never a bad thing and often bodes well, the far more important question is "what's his fertility rate?" We've seen stallions with 5-10% motility settle mares at a high rate and stallions with 75% motility that didn't work at all.
We built our Conception Database so breeders have access to important data to use in making informed breeding choices. So, if you haven't entered your results or you have searched the database, please do! And if you don't see the information you're looking for, call us. We often have information that is not entered in the database. The database information is only entered by breeders.