Planning breeding with the best stallions without having to interrupt the mare’s schedule for a year and a half is now a reality, thanks to OPU-ICSI. This revolutionary procedure allows the foal’s birth to be scheduled around competition and training programmes, giving owners unprecedented flexibility.
Tomorrow, 9th January 2024, two magnificent jumper stallions “Conthargos” and “Cornet Obolensky” will be available to carry out this procedure at Ovohorse.
This dark bay Oldenburg stallion, with a height at the withers of 1.72 metres, had a great sporting and breeding career. At the age of four, he won the Deister Championship in Dobrock with an outstanding score of 9.5.
His legacy is astounding, with renowned offspring such as “Conthalou“, the Double Stallion Champion, and “Coeur Rouge”, the Westphalian Stallion Champion. “Conthargos” passed away a year ago, so since then, his genetic material has become even more significant, as it is limited to the straws available. Today, owning a “Conthargos” is an interesting investment on a sporting level and a ‘romantic’ bet for enthusiasts of breeding first-class show jumpers.
Born in 1999, this grey stallion with a height at the withers of 1.72 metres is one of the top figures in show jumping. His career has been marked by great successes, from winning three Nations Cups (2008, 2011 and 2012), another in the CSI5* Zurich Grand Prix, the Samsung Super League Final Event in Barcelona (2007 and 2008), several second places in the CSI5* Doha and Bordeaux, to his participation in the Olympic Games in Beijing, among others.
Cornet Obolensky’s legacy is reflected in his offspring, especially “Comme il Faut”, ranked in the top 10 of the 2013 WBFSH; “Clooney”, “Cornet d’Amour” and “Cornado NRW” also compete at the highest levels. In Spain, he’s one of the breeders’ favourite stallions, as evidenced by the fact that he was the most represented sire at the last edition of Ancades.
WHAT IS THE OPU-ICSI TECHNIQUE?
This technique involves the production of in vitro embryos from elite mares and stallions. Oocytes (eggs) are obtained by transvaginal follicular aspiration (OPU) directly from the mare’s ovaries. These oocytes are carefully matured in the laboratory before being fertilised by Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI).
The resulting embryos are vitrified and stored in liquid nitrogen, allowing owners and veterinarians to select the best recipient mare, and schedule the transfer for the most convenient birth date.
At Ovohorse we use this technique on both mares and stallions with reproductive issues to guarantee good results. From older mares with reproductive problems to stallions with low sperm motility, OPU-ICSI offers solutions for all these cases.
The ability to plan the birth of foals using assisted reproduction techniques with surrogate mares to carry the pregnancy to term makes it easier to organise competition stables, where interrupting a full season, plus the mare’s lactation period, will affect event schedules and limit the mare’s performance. Thanks to these breeding techniques, the mare can have offspring while continuing her competitive career.