Embryo Transfer Enrollment
There are many situations where embryo transfer is the way to go. If you have a mare that you want to show, but also want a foal out of, or if you have a mare that you think may be damaged carrying a foal, you might want to consider embryo transfer.
Advances in science and technology are continually changing the horse world. Not too long ago, removing an embryo from a horse and having a surrogate carry that foal to term was the stuff of sci-fi novels. Now, it is common practice. To keep up with the times and still uphold the integrity of the American Quarter Horse breed, AQHA has instated a set of rules for mares and foals involved in embryo tra nsfer.
For your mare to have an embryo foal, she must have an embryo transfer enrollment on file with AQHA. An Embryo Transfer Enrollment form must be completed along with a $200 enrollment fee before an embryo is flushed from your mare. The form can be completed online, or may be downloaded and sent to AQHA. The mare needs to be enrolled each breeding season in which embryos are going to be transferred, and only one transfer enrollment is required no matter how many embryos are flushed from the mare that year.
AQHA does require the form be submitted on time. If the enrollment form is received after the embryo is flushed, but before the foal is on the ground, the fee goes up to $300. If the enrollment form is received after the foal is born, the fee is $400. See the highlights of AQHA Rule REG112 below.
- Multiple embryos can be flushed from one mare and all resulting foals are eligible for registration so long as the mare is listed on the stallion breeding report for each one and all necessary breeding documents are received.
- An embryo enrollment is not transferrable or refundable. (If no embryos are flushed, the enrollment cannot be transferred to the next year. Also, once an enrollment is complete, changes cannot be made. Example: If the wrong breeding year was written on the form by mistake and the enrollment is complete, a new enrollment must be submitted and another enrollment fee is required.)
- Embryos may be flushed and frozen for future use. To preserve an owner’s right to use the frozen embryo in the future, it is recommended embryo permits be purchased. If a mare owner stores a frozen embryo and then later sells the mare, or if the stallion whose semen was used to fertilize the embryo is sold, the prior owner no longer has the rights to use the stored embryo without having an embryo permit. Refer to REG112.5.2 for more information.
- Foals resulting from embryo transfer must be parentage verified before they can be registered.
Another interesting fact is that the identity or breed of the recipient or surrogate mare does not need to be reported to AQHA.
As you can see, there are a few twists involved when working with embryos, but all the basic guidelines are there. Check out the AQHA Handbook of Rules and Regulations for more information.