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One step closer to Designer Horses

Horse Foal Colt Animal Equine  - cinepaz01 / Pixabay

One of the first posts I ever wrote on EquiPepper was looking at the idea of designer horses and how we really weren’t far away from being able to design and grow our perfect horse. This year, embryo transfer seems to have become more popular, taking a giant step towards designer horses.

Top Class Embryos

Up until now, what you are able to breed has been largely restricted by the quality of your mare. There are some fantastic sports horse stallions out there who have reasonable stud fees, making them affordable for the amateur breeder. But if your mare is missing some key traits you want, a good stallion might not be enough to get these in a foal.

But with embryo transfer becoming more popular, it is also starting to become more affordable. You no longer have to own a top class mare to breed a foal from her. Ellite Embryos are offering a new service where you choose an embryo from one of their 6 top class mares, one of these mares has siblings which have sold for more than £1.5m in auctions. You can then choose semen from over 500 top stallions across Europe.

There have also been embyro auctions, these are typically average mares inseminated with top class embryos and semen. While they are still expensive, the average price for the Mount St John sale being £18,927, this still makes it more affordable for those looking for a top level horse.

Increasing Genetic Knowledge

So not only could you have a foal from two top horses which in theory should be perfect for what you want, if you include some other information, you could almost guarantee gender and colour too.

Sexed semen has been available for a while now with quite a high success rate. For a price, you could run your chosen semen through a machine to get the gender of your choice.

We also have a much better understanding of coat genetics. We can test parents for their coat genetics and find out all the possible options from a mare and a stallion. Depending on what mare and stallion you choose, you could be guaranteed the colour of your choice.

So while we are still a little way away from being able to completely build our perfect horse from scratch, in just 5 years we seem so much further along to be able to create the perfect horse. Where will be in another 5 years?

Last Updated on 26/07/2023

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