Young Breeding Manager Helps Louisiana Farm Grow
Louisiana Center for Equine Reproduction enjoys growth.
June 17, 2014
As the old saying goes, “the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree”.
As is the case with 22-year-old Louisiana Center for Equine Reproduction (LACER) breeding manager, Stephen DeVille. For many of you in the horse industry, the last name “DeVille” is familiar. Stephen’s father Dr. Phillip DeVille has been a reproductive veterinarian in the state of Louisiana since the early 90s. Some of Stephen’s earliest memories are riding around in his father’s truck making farm calls.
“I cut my teeth on a breeding farm,”says Stephen DeVille with a laugh. “I spent a lot of time at Robicheaux Ranch as my father has been their breeding vet ever since I can remember. The Robicheauxs are like family to me. I began working at the ranch in the summers for them in the seventh grade helping with the sales prep program. The Robicheauxs are great people and taught me so much about fitting a yearling.”
Although Stephen always had a passion for the horses and knew he would make his living with them, he decided following in his father’s footsteps to become a veterinarian wasn’t for him. He majored in Equine Science at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and worked for Dr. Larry Findley at Delta Equine for three years as a part time vet tech.
A temporary position opened up at Louisana Center Equine For Reproduction in 2012 for a part-time vet tech, and Stephen began working for Dr. Eddie Cramer and staff. Dr. Cramer was impressed with the young DeVille and offered him a full-time position as breeding manager.
Since 2013, LACER has grown by leaps and bounds under the guidance of Dr. Cramer and the management of his talented staff, including young breeding manager Stephen DeVille.
The Opelousas, Louisiana, breeding facility has gone from standing a modest four stallions to standing an impressive 13 in 2014. Embryo transfers and pregnancy rates have held steady or possibly seen a slight increase in 2014. Vitrification (freezing) of embryos has been on the rise for the past two seasons. DeVille manages the large recipient herd which consists of 500-600 mares.
“Starting the year, we like to have about 250 mares available,” says DeVille. “This requires putting them under lights starting the last week of November and continuing to keep them under lights until the end of March. We perform close to 225-250 embryo transfers a year. Once they are pronounced in foal, we maintain detailed records to insure the best of pre-natal care such as Regumate, Progesterone, vaccinations, deworming, etc. It is a lot of work, it takes a group effort and we have a great staff that allows us to accomplish that.”
Dr. Cramer recognized a talent in the young breeding manager and encouraged him to build the sales prep program to new heights at LACER. With the addition of a swimming hole this spring and current construction on several new stalls, the team will be representing yearlings at the LQHBA Yearling and Mixed Sales, as well as the Heritage Place Yearling Sale.
“Each yearling at LACER is closely assessed to create a tailored nutritional and exercise plan based on their individual needs," says Deville. "The addition of the swimming hole is a huge advantage and we look forward to presenting a nicely fit set of yearlings this summer.”
Stephen DeVille always knew his career path would involve horses, but never imagined the opportunity to manage on a large scale would come his way at such an early age.
“Our goals at LACER are to provide the industry with a full-service facility and a staff of good people they can trust,” says DeVille. “I really enjoy this business and the people in it. You can learn a lot from the hard working individuals who have already ‘made it’ in the industry.”
Louisiana Center For Equine Reproduction was established in 2008 by Crowley, Louisiana, native Dr. Eddie Cramer. The unique full-service facility provides a diverse range of equine reproductive services including semen freezing, breeding soundness examinations, embryo transfer, embryo vitrification (freezing) and an array of surgical infertility treatments for mares.
Visit www.laequine.com for more information on the Opelousas breeding facility as well as a full stallion roster. Like LACER on Facebook: Louisiana Center For Equine Reproduction or follow on Twitter: @LaEquineRepro to keep up with the latest news and events.
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