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Issue 1 • 2017

CONTENTS Issue #1. 2017

On the cover: Gracing the inaugural issue is a photo of Donna Gee HCF (AF Don Giovani x Fauzia [x *Lyphard]) by AHA members Paul and Nikole Reece of Victoria Cross Farm

WHOA 4 Fave Products: Jeffrey Wilms AHA shines a light on the tack room, barn aisle, and life of our most experienced trainers who tell us what they use/ appreciate/find indispensable in their daily lives with horses.

CHA: The Perfect Match Within the Horse Industry For any trainer who wants to gauge themselves against a standard, this program is for you.

By Sarah Evers Conrad


HERITAGE Profile: Gladys Brown Edwards Gladys Brown Ewards has documented more Arabian history through her sculpting, drawing, research and painting than perhaps any other.

By Patti Schofler

IN EVERY ISSUE 12 Corporate Partners 14 President’s Letter 16 EVP Letter 24 Jibbah Jabber 26 In Memoriam 28 Praiseworthy/Achievement Awards 70 AHYA 72 AHA Listings 77 Advertisers Index 79 FOCUS Life 4

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32 36 40 44 46 50 54 58 60 64 66

IMPACT USEF Equestrians of Honor Honored by AHA’s parent organization, these honorees exemplify the best of the Arabian show world.

By Susan Bavaria Arabians in the Spotlight at U.S. Dressage Finals Arabians and Half-Arabians shared the spotlight with other breeds at this prestigious invitational competition.

By Patti Schofler 2016 Distance Horse of the Year Fire Mt Zoom+/ bested several long distance milers to receive this annual award.

By Merri Melde


GET INVOLVED 2016 Annual Convention: Where Passion & Pragmatism Converge This year’s highlights included new officers and a fine example of persuasive strategy by the Hoof Study Ad Hoc Committee.

By Susan Bavaria

The Power Potential of A.C.T.S. APAHA has developed a formula for giving new people the exhilaration of horse showing and ownership.

By Jessica Cole

THE NOW Success Rates Vary Among Breeding Options Varying options, success rates, practicability and expense guide your choice to inseminate a mare.

By Joan Norton VMD DACVIM

Q & A with Vicki Lowell: USEF Joy Campaign USEF reaches for all riders, all disciplines and all competitors in an effort to promote equestrian sports.

By Julian McPeak

2016 USDF All-Breed Awards Riders on Arabians at all levels help project the utility and value of the breed.

Arabian Horse Association

CORPORATE PARTNERS AHA Corporate Partners support expanded opportunities for all who participate in Arabian horse activities. AHA would like to thank our 2016 Corporate Partners. By purchasing products and services provided by these companies you are supporting the horse you love—the Arabian!

Corporate Sponsors

Affinity Partners

WWW.ARABIANHORSES.ORG/AFFINITYPARTNERS For more information, please contact: Arabian Horse Association • 10805 East Bethany Drive Aurora, CO 80014 • 303.696.4500 • 303.696.4599 fax •


Wanted: Generations Y & Z Involving young adults crucial to our breed’s future

DEAR MEMBERS: This letter is all about love, love of the Arabian Horse and the passion that we have for our horses. First, I would like to welcome you to the new Arabian Horse Life magazine! By now you are knuckles deep (literally) in the first issue. This magazine is now included in the cost of your AHA membership and we are happy to introduce to you the new look and feel, along with the new name! Arabian Horse Life is a magazine about Arabian horses and the people who love them — you! This new magazine features editorial, infographics and content centered around the horses, products and people that you love. The vision of the new magazine is to involve, include and inform membership about the latest news from our industry; what is going on in the equestrian world as a whole; training tips and product reviews from professionals and amateurs alike; highlights of and recognition for those who have made a significant impact on our breed; historical articles about Arabian horse heritage and much more. We hope that the new magazine is not only an enjoyable read but brings you joy as well! One thing that has been on my mind for a long time is that we, as an association, need to do better at encouraging the love of the Arabian to the next generation. I believe we are missing some opportunities and are not serving our current and prospective younger adult members, owners, breeders and leaders. I sincerely believe that they want to get involved but there is a communication gap. Therefore, I have created a “Task Force” to help reach out to the 1840 age group. I have asked Hilary Hoffman to chair this committee and Regan Foster to be the Vice Chair. Both of these young ladies are past Presidents of the AHYA. This task force will have specific goals and directives including identifying the following: how do we better communicate with the 18-40 age group, what do they want to do with their horses, how do we get/keep them as members, how do we keep them riding, and how do we help them to 6

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become our leaders. If you fall within that age group and you would like to get involved, please contact me. I believe that once this group gets going, it is up to us to help mentor them and then to step aside and let them lead! At our March board meeting, the AHA Regional Directors will gather for the 2nd annual Regional Director Summit (caucus). This caucus is designed to encourage more communication among the Regions about the work they are doing at the Regional and local levels. You have a dynamic group of directors, and working together, they can continue to move the Association forward. Another group that is passionate about their horses and their division is the Breeding/In-Hand exhibitors. In early January, I invited a group of interested individuals to Denver to meet and discuss how the U.S. Nationals Breeding/In Hand division could be improved. From that meeting, three people stepped up, Andy Sellman, Carol Steppe, and Isaac Taylor (also Region 7 Director) and subsequently met with the U.S. National Show Commission at their January show meeting. It was a very productive meeting, and I look forward to a great and exciting 2017 US National Championship Show. Finally, I would like to give a shout out to the Market Development and Promotion Committee (MDP). They have been working tirelessly to develop the Arabian Horses for Humanity project. Many of you saw “Goldy” at U.S. Nationals and the AHA Convention and have been in touch with the MDP to get your own Arabian horse. They are creating what should be an exceptional campaign that will link our beloved Arabians up with local charities. That will give us both promotion on a big scale and help worthy causes at the same time. So maybe this letter was more about communication, or maybe passion, but ultimately, I believe that it all leads back to love … love of the Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horse. Sincerely,

Nancy Harvey AHA President,


Change The only way we grow is to change

While we navigate through these new processes, we know there will be growing pains, so please feel free to contact the office if you encounter any issues.


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DEAR MEMBERS: Everywhere I turn there is change in the air. A new AHA magazine, new ideas for our breeding/in-hand classes at U.S. Nationals, and a new president of AHA with new emphasis on member retention, especially those between 18 and 40 years old. Having just returned from the USEF annual meeting, there is change resulting from their new Strategic Plan, with new focus on affiliate relations, streamlining processes, stricter and more standardized hearing penalties and the Joy Campaign (promoting the joy of competing in horse sports, among other things). They are also about to begin construction on a new headquarters building in the Kentucky Horse Park. AHA’s new magazine, Arabian Horse Life, is going to be going to all members as a member benefit and will be less focused on competition and more all-encompassing, stressing your ‘life’ with our Arabian horses. There is also huge dialogue presently going on as to how we show our breeding/ in-hand horses. This is primarily centered on judging via the scorecard versus comparative judging as we did in years past. There seems to be developing a consensus that we want to give the old way a try with possibly utilizing a discipline judge to control only how the horses are shown in the ring. As of this writing, the U.S. National Show Commission and our Education/Evaluation Commission are evaluating parameters and a timeline by which any change considerations could be enacted. Many changes are being worked on but it could be that a final decision on comparative judging may reside with the delegates in November. In meeting with our sister organizations, I have learned everyone has member turnover. Ours is about one-third of our membership per Issue 1. 2017

year. Unfortunately, we attract new or returning members of just less than the onethird we lose. Our new president, Nancy Harvey, as she states in her letter (see page 6), is creating a new task force to focus on retention and recruitment of 18 to 40 year olds, primarily women. I personally believe having an auto-renew membership option would be a great benefit. As part of our Future State Program, this is being worked on for down the road. Lastly, AHA has implemented a new accounting program, MultiView. As part of this roll-out, many of our Business Rules have been modernized and re-evaluated post roll-out. I think our members will find doing business with AHA changing for the better, and our staff is also on this learning curve. The end result is hopefully going to allow members to do more business online, which creates efficiency for everyone. While we navigate through these new processes, we know there will be growing pains, so please feel free to contact the office if you encounter any issues. It should also be noted that AHA has contracted with the Canadian Arabian Horse Registry to process their registry services work. That is being implemented as I write this letter to our members. I would like to wish each of our members a wonderful 2017 whether you are a breeder, exhibitor, or just someone who enjoys our Arabian, Half-Arabian or Anglo-Arabian horses! Sincerely,

Glenn T. Petty Executive Vice President


The FAQs of Degenerative Joint Disease and Adequan® i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) Answered By Dr. Marian Little, DVM, Technical Services Veterinarian, Luitpold Pharmaceuticals In a recent interview, Dr. Marian Little, DVM, answers frequently asked questions regarding lameness and how Adequan® i.m. may be appropriate for your equine athlete diagnosed with Degenerative Joint Disease (DJD). Adequan® i.m. is the only FDA-approved equine PSGAG for the intramuscular treatment of non-infectious DJD of the carpal and hock joints. Adequan® i.m. is proven to diminish the destructive processes of DJD, reverse the processes which result in the loss of cartilage components, and improve joint function and associated lameness. Q: Is there a specific equine conformation type that may be more likely to develop non-infectious degenerative joint disease (DJD)? (For example, a horse that toes out, or a horse with straight hocks, etc.) A: Conformation can greatly influence the degree of wear and tear that a joint undergoes. Conformational abnormalities alter the forces applied to a joint and can potentially lead to joint instability, injury and DJD. The mature equine athlete that is performing well has likely adapted to whatever conformation issues exist. However, if you are considering purchasing a young, unproven horse, avoiding horses with significant conformational flaws will increase the likelihood of the chosen horse staying sound. In young foals and growing horses, conformational abnormalities should be addressed as early as possible through proper nutrition, balanced farriery, adequate training and muscle development, and in some cases, surgical intervention. Q: With respect to different disciplines, would a hunter-jumper or eventer be more susceptible to DJD than a cutting or reining horse? A: Any horse can develop DJD regardless of age, breed or discipline. However, the horse’s discipline may predispose the horse to developing DJD in particular joints. For example, cutting or reining horses put significant stress on their hocks and stifles, and these can be locations where DJD occurs more frequently; whereas hunters will frequently experience more front-limb lameness, such as in the coffin or fetlock joints. It is important to understand that DJD can occur within any joint that consistently experiences wear and tear, known as “use trauma,” and can occur in any performance horse, regardless of discipline Q: What is the best Adequan® i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) dosing regimen for a horse that is diagnosed with DJD? A: When experiencing a lameness problem, it is important to first obtain an accurate diagnosis from your veterinarian in order to determine the appropriate course of treatment. Initiating a medical treatment without a firm diagnosis can lead to a poor outcome and unnecessary expense. Adequan® i.m. is Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for the intramuscular treatment of non-infectious degenerative and/or traumatic joint dysfunction and associated lameness of the carpal and hock joints.1 If a horse has been diagnosed with DJD, your veterinarian may prescribe Adequan® i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan). The labeled dose of Adequan® i.m. is 500 mg every 4 days for 28 days intramuscularly (for a total of 7 injections).1 The series should be repeated as needed upon recurrence of the clinical signs of DJD in your horse. There is no FDA approval for, and no published data to support, maintenance dosing regimens for Adequan® i.m.

Q: In your opinion, what is the importance of using FDA-approved products in your horse versus other options? A: I cannot over-emphasize the importance of using FDA-approved products. FDA-approved products have been rigorously tested for safety and efficacy through required clinical studies. It should always be preferable to use FDAapproved products over other products circulating in the equine marketplace, such as compounded medications and medical devices, which are not required to demonstrate safety or efficacy, are not necessarily routinely monitored, and are not regulated with the same level of scrutiny. Q: Adequan® i.m. is an intramuscular injection – how does it work its way to my horse’s joints? A: Adequan® i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan) is well-supported by published safety and efficacy studies that led to initial FDA approval and has since served the equine industry for more than 27 years. After intramuscular injection, Adequan® i.m. has been shown to diffuse into the bloodstream, which transports the drug into joint synovial fluid, where it is absorbed by articular cartilage at therapeutic levels that inhibit cartilage degrading enzymes.2 Adequan® i.m. diminishes the destructive processes of DJD, reverses the processes which result in loss of cartilage components and improves joint function and associated lameness. Adequan® i.m. is the only FDA-approved equine PSGAG recommended for the intramuscular treatment of non-infectious degenerative and/or traumatic joint dysfunction and associated lameness of the carpal and hock joints in horses.1 Consult your veterinarian if you notice any changes in your horse that may signal the onset of DJD and discuss whether Adequan® i.m. is right for your horse. For more information on Adequan® i.m., please visit Adequan® i.m.: For the intramuscular treatment of non-infectious degenerative and/or traumatic joint dysfunction and associated lameness of the carpal and hock joints in horses. There are no known contraindications to the use of intramuscular Adequan® i.m. brand Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan in horses. Studies have not been conducted to establish safety in breeding horses. WARNING: Do not use in horses intended for human consumption. Not for use in humans. Keep this and all medications out of the reach of children. CAUTION: Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian. Dr. Marian G. Little earned her DVM from The University of Tennessee in 2000. She completed an internship in Equine Medicine and Surgery at Mississippi State University. Following her internship, Dr. Little engaged in 100% equine ambulatory practice in Tennessee and Virginia. Her clinical interests include lameness, laminitis, endocrinology, and geriatrics. In 2005, she joined veterinary industry where she has supported launch of several market-leading equine pharmaceuticals and vaccines. In 2015, Dr. Little joined the Animal Health Division of Luitpold Pharmaceuticals as Technical Services Veterinarian, Medical Affairs. Dr. Little has repeatedly served as a program speaker at national and regional veterinary conferences throughout the US. Dr. Little is a current Member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association. She resides in Paris, Kentucky. References 1. Adequan® i.m. [package insert]. Shirley, NY: Luitpold Animal Health; 2008. 2. Burba DJ, Collier MA, Default LE, Hanson-Painton O, Thompson HC, Holder CL: In vivo kinetic study on uptake and distribution of intramuscular tritium-labeled polysulfated glycosaminoglycan in equine body fluid compartments and articular cartilage in an osteochondral defect model. The Journal of Equine Veterinary Science 1993; 696-703. This is a paid advertisement by Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc., maker of Adequan® i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan). Dr. Marian Little, DVM, is the Technical Services Veterinarian and employee of Luitpold Pharmaceuticals Animal Health Division. Adequan® and the Horse Head design are registered trademarks of Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. © Luitpold Animal Health, division of Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 2016 PP-AI-US-0002



By Jeffrey Wilms Rather than write about products based on press releases received, this new section will cover products used by our national level trainers in the Arabian horse community.

Contoured Reinsman Saddle Pad I use the Contoured Reinsman saddle pad with an additional felt liner. Protecting the back and withers is very important. This pad is a great choice for an everyday use pad with the added benefit of a contoured shape so it’s a natural fit against the horse. The felt is easily cleaned and you can have a different felt for each horse if need be.

Loose-Ring Snaffle I like the type that is steel-inlay with copper. Even though it may wear out more quickly, it’s more palatable and the horses are very receptive to it. If not made correctly a bit can grab and pinch a horse’s mouth, so I recommend finding a good manufacturer such as Tom Balding.

Infusium 23 I use this leave-in conditioner for manes and tails. It is a wonderful detangler and leaves hair pliable and supple. It is not greasy and doesn’t attract dust and grime. It makes the hair more manageable and is light, not creamy. The hair will not become brittle.

Hangin Tree Cowdog These dogs bred in Montana can do the work of two or three riders. The dogs can hold a herd or move a herd, and our family has three — Noose, Rooster and Larry — one for each member of the family!

Wilms’s cowdog, Rooster, holds a cow.


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Power Potential



After a Top Ten finish at Youth Nationals in Arabian Geldings In-Hand JTH (LEFT), Amanda Rice took her horse to a reserve on the last day of the show in the JOTH class (RIGHT). Far Right: Hannah Lee and Bay Kalypso, Youth Nationals Top Ten Arabian Hunter Pleasure Choice Rider 14-18. Hannah began riding in WAHA shows that matched the ACTS format with multiple wins on her lesson-horseturned-show-horse.”

By Jessica Cole


f you’d have told me we’d be buying an Arabian, I’d have told you you were crazy!” said Gina Rice in September of 2015, after purchasing Chance to Dakar, (Dakar El Jamaal x Chance To Star) who went Top Ten (6th overall!) in a class of 17 beautiful JTH Geldings at Youth Nationals in July 2016, with her daughter Amanda Rice at the lead. (Amanda was at the fourth Arabian show of her life and had never shown above the 4-H level until Spring of 2016. How did these backyard Quarter Horse folks wind up owning a nationally competitive Arabian and showing at our most prestigious youth show in under a year? The answer lies in the power of ACTS (Arabian Community Tournament Shows) a concept which, when properly promoted, draws in new people, gives them a comfortable venue in which to learn the ropes of showing at a breed show, and makes them feel like valued members of our Arabian community. The APAHA (Arabian Professional and Amateur


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Horseman’s Association) created the concept of ACTS several years ago, patterning the classes after the very successful Academy classes offered at Morgan and Saddlebred Shows. It’s a brilliant idea on many levels:


It’s geared toward lesson people riding lesson horses, and the horses may be of any breed, therefore providing an opportunity to access those riders who may have started out on another breed.


Required attire is simple and inexpensive: riding boots, helmet, plain long sleeved blouse (white is usual), and dark pants or trousers.

3 4

Work tack is allowed.

Quality of the horse is not judged. Only the quality of riding and equitation is to count, thereby creating a more level playing field.

get involved


Cost to participate is quite reasonable. You need not purchase or lease a horse — a lesson horse may be used. You need not invest in expensive show attire and tack. Because the quality of horse is not to count, you need not feel out of place on a very average horse, and you do not have to feel like you don’t belong at the show if you don’t have a five figure show horse. Entry fees are often kept low to encourage participation. In the case of our Wisconsin Arabian Horse Association (WAHA) Shows, over $1000 was raised to help sponsor these classes in under two weeks’ time, primarily through Facebook postings explaining the concept and asking for financial support.


By offering a venue for lesson programs, ACTS also help create a demand and a place for lesson horses. This gives some of our older show horses a nice place to ease into semi-retirement while still having a job and place in life. For some owners, having a good lesson program to semi-retire an older show horse means that they can then afford to go out and shop for a younger horse to take over at the higher levels of competition.

me several years ago. Cathy knew that Gina’s daughter Amanda was involved in 4-H and very interested in improving herself and her horse, but she needed some guidance on how to get there. Amanda’s first lesson took awhile to coordinate, but when she finally came, it was clear that she was a very natural rider with a lot of talent, but no one had ever explained many details to her. She was one of those kids that just soaked everything up and applied it, putting a lot of thought into her riding and asking smart questions. The following spring, the Rice’s sent Amanda’s Quarter Horse mare Missy to me for training. She was 14 years old and not at all well schooled for show, and she had some soundness issues, not the most promising show horse candidate. It’s a hard thing to ask a horse that old and that set in her ways to change. But change is what Missy did. She changed a whole bunch, in fact, going from a stiff-as-a-board, hollow-backed, high-headed, reactive renegade with no left lead canter to a nicely polished, soft-moving, consistent pleasure horse over the course of the summer. The Rices wanted me to help show the mare, but between weekends showing at


Once a rider shows as a “suited rider” in a regular class of any riding division at a rated show, they are excluded from showing in ACTS in the future. This further levels the playing field. On an individual level, the story of the Rice family and their unlikely journey into Nationals competition would never have happened without the ACTS concept. Gina Rice first contacted me in the fall of 2014. I had been recommended by Cathy Weiss, a friend of Gina’s whose sister Bev McLaren had had horses in training with

the Arabian shows and weekends committed to judging, it was hard to find options to take them out. Nevertheless, I liked the girl and liked the parents, and I wanted to keep them as clients. Two weeks before the WAHA August Show, the decision was made to add ACTS classes to the schedule, and this was the perfect opportunity! I think the Rices were pretty surprised to be heading to an Arabian show, and Gina later told me that she fully expected the Arabian breed show to be mostly a bunch of stuck up, snobby people. What they found instead was a group of very nice and Issue 1. 2017

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get involved supportive people with a well-run show and a nice facility that offered a lot more comfort than the average open or 4-H show. WAHA did a lot of promotion for the ACTS classes and they were large and well-filled, with as many as 12 riders in the largest ones. Missy won one ACTS class and also pulled a couple of very respectable third place finishes in those large classes. At the show, the Rices met my friend Dave Bilgrien, who was sending a beautiful halter gelding home with me from the show for some under saddle work and potential marketing. They loved the beautiful big white horse, Chance to Dakar, on first sight, but I told them they needed to let me work the horse for a couple of weeks to make sure he was a good fit for Amanda before purchasing. Chance to Dakar went back to work under saddle almost like he’d never missed a day in his two year hiatus as a Halter horse. He has a hot streak, mostly out of trying too hard to please, but that was nothing Amanda couldn’t deal with after all her years in the trenches figuring out on her own how to ride and school horses. The deal was made, and Amanda Rice owned her first Arabian! 2016 started out with a few frustrations as Amanda had switched not only breed but also style of riding. Chance To Dakar is a Hunter, not a Western horse, and Amanda had to learn to ride in the hunt saddle, learn to post, learn diagonals, and adjust to Chance’s gigantic trot. They got their act together by their second show and began to consistently be in the ribbons in large classes, qualifying for Nationals. Going into Youth Nationals, I told Amanda we could enter her in the Select Rider Hunter Class too since we were going to show in Halter, but that the competition would be incredible, and she would probably have to settle for a good ride and no ribbon — she’s only been at this for a few months after all. So the good ride happened, but was not good enough to make the cut. However, there are no regrets about that. It’s a true thrill and honor just to ride through the gate at Nationals, and nobody knows that better than the girl who, a year ago, had never made it past the county fair! 16

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...the power of ACTS (Arabian Community Tournament Shows) a concept which, when properly promoted, draws in new people, gives them a comfortable venue in which to learn the ropes of showing at a breed show, and makes them feel like valued members of our Arabian community.

POSTSCRIPT: The next morning the Rices took me out for a celebration breakfast, and Gina announced that they plan to send a sponsorship check to WAHA to help continue the ACTS Class offerings!

But then a different story played out. Amanda and I had worked hard to dial Chance back up for his top halter game, and she showed him like a little pro, despite having almost zero experience doing this sort of thing. Dave Bilgrien had done his usual beautiful job of training Chance to show at Halter, and the horse schools easily and loves his job, which makes him a great horse for Amanda to learn with. With 17 horses entered, the class was much larger than we had expected when we made the entries and was rather amazing for depth of quality. Amanda had a high number, and at the end of the class, they were down to two beautiful horses left standing on the rail, Chance and a gorgeous chestnut, and only one top ten slot left. I had my little disappointment speech already playing in my head about how well she had showed her horse, how the class was of amazing quality, and how there was no shame in walking out of company like that with no ribbon. I was ready to say how I thought Chance deserved to be in there and how he’d gotten numerous compliments from people in the crowd, but sometimes the judges just didn’t see it that way. But I didn’t need my speech after all!! Top Ten never felt so good!!! Even better, it turned out that Chance was sixth on the cards in that big class of wonderful geldings, which included at least two former National Champions! And Amanda was so happy that she literally spent the next half hour dancing in the barn aisle! And she’s already thinking about attending Nationals as an adult next year, and fantasizing about getting another Arabian or Half-Arabian so she can do more divisions. She and her family have been completely inspired by our breed, and her mother Gina now tells me that the Arabian shows are by far the most interesting and exciting thing they have done with their horse hobby since the outset. This is the potential power of ACTS. If every club could offer those classes, promote them to outside breeds and lesson programs, and draw in just one new Amanda Rice every year, imagine how our Arabian community could grow!

Peter Conway

By Joan Norton VMD DACVIM

Half-Arabian mare Belafire (Baske Afire x Highpoint's Lap Dancer) and and her imminent colt "Jazzy"

Success Rates Vary

Among Breeding Options There are many options when it comes to breeding your mare and many factors that play a role in what you decide. You must consider things like mare and stallion health, costs and even convenience. There have been many advances in breeding technologies and understanding each one is important in deciding which is best for your mare.


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Natural Cover Natural breeding, referred to as ‘live cover,’ is as basic as it gets, but even this natural procedure has been enhanced by science. While you can leave it completely up to nature and place the mare and stallion in a field together, this does not allow for much control of the situation or flexibility for the mare and the stallion’s schedules. It can also be dangerous for both animals due to uncontrolled and potentially aggressive behavior on the part of either animal. While horses in the wild can have up to a 95 percent foaling rate, these risks are often not worth the chance of injury with high value horses.

the now Most live covers take place in a breeding shed where the mare and stallion are managed carefully by a team of professional handlers and veterinarians. The obvious main limitation of this style of breeding is that the mare and stallion must be in the same location at least once, but more likely throughout the breeding season. Mares are monitored closely for the days and weeks leading up to breeding to ensure she is at the right place in her cycle. Steps are taken to limit bacterial infection at the time of breeding but even in this controlled environment the risk cannot be eliminated. In these situations stallions must be managed carefully to prevent them from overuse injury or decrease in semen quality. This means limited numbers of breedings per day which may prevent the mare from being bred at the most opportune time in her cycle. For a stallion with a full book, you may have to wait until later in the season to breed. On average, live cover breeding carries a foaling rate of 77 percent.

Artificial Insemination With the wide selection of stallions around the country to choose from, live cover may not be available to achieve your ideal genetic pairing. Additionally, mares that are prone to infection or inflammation of the uterus after breeding may not be suited for live cover so choosing an artificial method of breeding is best. Artificial insemination (AI) is a procedure in which a veterinarian places the stallion’s semen directly into the uterus of the mare. Again the mare’s cycle is monitored closely to time the insemination properly. AI with fresh semen is possible if the mare and stallion are in the same location. This semen undergoes minimal processing and has the highest fertility rate but it cannot be transported or stored. For long distance breedings, chilled semen can be used. The semen is collected from the stallion and processed using nutrient rich ‘semen extender’ to ensure the viability of the sperm over time. The samples are shipped overnight packed on ice in Styrofoam or a specialized ‘Equitainer.’ The chilling process will affect even the highest quality semen, and this requires more intensive management

While In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is one of the most common artificial fertility techniques used in humans, this method, where sperm fertilizes an egg in a laboratory setting, has been a failure in horses. The sperm is unable to penetrate the egg’s surface outside of the body.

of the mare. Semen retains viability for 24 -30 hours and the mare must be inseminated within 24-48 hours of ovulation requiring at minimum daily ultrasound examinations by your veterinarian to track follicle size. Success rates with chilled semen range from 60-70 percent, depending on how well the sperm handle the process. Semen can also be frozen using liquid nitrogen. This allows for shipments around the world and for semen and genetics to be stored for years, even after the stallion has passed away. Mares receiving frozen semen must be managed much more closely. Highest conception rates occur when the mare is inseminated within 6-12 hours of ovulation. This usually requires the mare to be checked via ultrasound every 6-8 hours surrounding ovulation, which is best accomplished if the mare is boarded at a veterinary reproduction clinic. Due to the cost of managing the mare as well as the toll the freezing process takes on the sperm, AI with frozen semen tends to be the most expensive yet least effective form of AI with pregnancy rates of only 30-60 percent. The previously mentioned techniques all have one commonality, the mare carries the foal to term. There are many reasons why this may be undesirable or even impossible for your mare. Some mares have abnormal pathology of the uterus that makes it impossible for them to carry a live foal to term. Other medical conditions such as orthopedic disease (severe chronic arthritis, pelvic fracture, laminitis) may make it unsafe for the mare to carry and birth a foal. In the case of high performance athletes, techniques like embryo or oocyte transfer can allow her to have a foal without taking time out of a competition schedule. Additionally you can obtain many embryos or oocytes per season, reserving more genetic material in valuable mares.

Embryo Transfer

Horse embryo

In the case of embryo transfer (ET), the donor mare is inseminated with any of the above techniques. At 5-6 days post-conception the embryo enters the uterus. On day 7 the uterus is flushed with sterile solution. As the fluid is collected via gravity it passes through a filter that catches the embryo. The embryo is then implanted in a recipient mare. Recipient Issue 1. 2017

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the now

mares are typically part of a herd that is managed by the veterinary reproduction specialty clinic that has handled the ET procedure. These mares are known to be fertile and free of reproductive disease. Their cycles are followed closely and can be medically synched with the donor mare so that when an embryo is obtained the recipient is in the right phase of her cycle to accept the embryo. Embryos can be implanted into the body of the uterus via trans-cervical injection, a similar technique to AI, or they can be surgically implanted directly into the horn of the uterus. The surgery is performed with the mare sedated and standing with an approach through the flank. This procedure, while more invasive, does lead to slightly higher conception rates. As part of the contract, you agree to lease the recipient mare from the clinic and accept all responsibility (and cost) of maintaining her through pregnancy and until the foal is weaned. Recipient mares may be managed at home or kept at the reproduction clinic throughout gestation, depending on the contract. As there are many variables at play in embryo transfer and the donor mare is often subfertile to start, this technique has a lower success rate of 25-50 percent and can cost thousands of dollars per embryo.

Oocyte Transfer Oocyte transfer (OT) is another technique of implanting the genetic material of a mare into a recipient who will carry the foal to term. If a mare has issues with failure to ovulate or severe oviductal, uterine or cervical pathology prevents her from even producing a healthy fertilized embryo to donate or previous attempts at ET have failed, OT may be considered. Oocytes may also be collected from ovaries of mares who have died or been euthanized for medical reasons. In OT, an unfertilized egg is taken from a mare’s ovary within hours of ovulation. The most common technique used to harvest an oocyte is ultrasound-guided follicular aspiration through the vagina. The mare is sedated and a special ultrasound probe and guide is inserted into the vagina. A long needle is passed down the guide, through the vaginal wall and into the ovary. The follicular fluid and oocyte are aspirated directly from the follicle and collected into a sterile container. The collected oocyte must be immediately surgically transferred to the oviduct of the recipient mare in a procedure similar to ET. The recipient mare is then artificially inseminated using cooled or frozen semen transvaginally. OT is a newer technique that requires specialized equipment and training. These cases are 20

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best handled by a veterinary reproductive specialist. In their hands, oocyte recover rates range from 70-80 percent with pregnancy rates of 40-50 percent.

Advanced- IVF/ICSI/GIFT While In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is one of the most common artificial fertility techniques used in humans, this method, where sperm fertilizes an egg in a laboratory setting, has been a failure in horses. The sperm is unable to penetrate the egg’s surface outside of the body. For this reason, intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is utilized where the sperm is injected into the egg under microscopic guidance. This technique is useful for stallions with very low sperm counts or poor semen quality. Once the embryo is created in the lab it can be surgically implanted into a recipient mare’s uterus. Pregnancy rates range from 20-40 percent and can be highly dependent on clinician experience and expertise. Another technique reserved for subfertile stallions is gamete intrafallopian tube transfer (GIFT). In this procedure an oocyte is retrieved from a donor mare as in OT; however with GIFT both the oocyte and sperm are surgically placed in the oviduct of the recipient mare. This technique carries similar success rates to OT (40-50 percent).

Choosing a Specialist There are many factors that contribute to a successful breeding. Choosing the right mare, the right stallion and the right technique are very important, and having the right veterinarian is paramount. They can help with your decision by performing a breeding soundness exam on your mare to identify any issues that may interfere with breeding and they can evaluate semen reports provided by stallion managers to pick the right match for your mare. The success of many of the advanced reproductive techniques is dependent on user training and experience. The more often a veterinarian performs the technique, the higher their success rates. Vets also need to be properly trained in each procedure. Board certified veterinary specialists undergo 2-3 years of additional formal training to become diplomats of the American College of Theriogenologist (denoted by DACT after their name) though there are many general practitioners who have received additional reproductive continuing education. It is important at the beginning of breeding season to discuss with your veterinarian their areas of expertise and training as well as their experience and comfort level with each of the proposed techniques.




F CUS Life

In each issue of Arabian Horse Life, we will feature member submitted photos to celebrate the love and dedication our members have for their purebred and part-bred Arabians! To submit your hi-res photo, visit:

Submitted by Jennifer Morris of her daughter visiting the horses before Prom!

Submitted by Kellie Chambers of her daughter and their beloved Arabian gelding. Submitted by Carol Parker of her stallion El Shihab++ and Alisha Ledford, a QH owner who fell in love with an Arabian stallion and went Top Ten at Youth!

! E L I M S n re o you’

e! s Lif ocu F ’s AHA

Submitted by Jill Ammann 29 year old lesson horse, Grey Royal and a 4 year old student.

Submitted by Tania Dunlap Arabians and babies, is there anything cuter?

Submitted by Barbara Kellerman 22

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Issue 1. 2017

They seem to be saying, “Carrot Cake, Mom? Hooray!”

eet ika Overstr n a D y r ta e AHYA Secr ington Kent, Wash

Dates and Dea March 10-12 –


AHY A Board

May – Arabian June 1 – AHY

Horse Month

A Convention

Deadline June 15 – AH



Y A Officer Can didate Applications D ue


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Issue 1. 2017



Name Team


Rank al Region on i p Cham



al Region on i p Cham al Region on i p Cham

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e n Ridg Golde s Gazer




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t, Saartlet rdie, B y c ss, La Delaney La hall s hy Mo , Timot h Sheldon , Kyla Mar vannaaret Culver tson, Marg Gilber cy a m e, Gem a Lord, Lu i Garsk Scott dgens, Oliv hwartz o c S H a h r a La Hann , s n e Mert aitlyn uyl, K nson K r e Vand Parki Maddy ux, Olwyn o p Cham


Region Team Name

Overall Champion


WHD Shazaam

Regional Champion


N Joy One

Regional Champion


5 Bits

Regional Champion Regional Champion


Donnies Little Demons


MAHA Masters

Regional Champion


Bay View Equestrian

Regional Champion


Arabian Starz

Regional Champion


Aurora Blues

Team Members die, Lucy Bartlett, Timothy Moss, Delaney Lar rshall, Savannah Sheldon, Kyla Ma Dakota Weinberger Reynolds, Ashley Tennessee Sanders, Hannah e Winans, Hollinger, Libby Hollinger, Kat Lily Gramling bes, Franci Welter, Jesslyne Kaufling, Grace For ghan Morgan Vaughan, Marina Vau

ole Mrozinski, AmEllie Tvedt, Lexi LeFever, Nic , Emmy Fargo ein Gel ber Mrozinski, Mkinley omery, Kaleb Claire Nickelson, Libby Montg a Thornhill, Erwin, Brett Rigdon, Rebecc Lacie Schwanter s, Paige Johnson, Haley Jenkin is, Dav ssia Aly , dom Pur Alexandria rill Dor ria Ma n, Sophia Tredor, Rachel Cate, Jeanette Germa ly Stevens Abby Mills, Cash Roberts, Hol

Kyla Nadeau, Saylin Sharpe, Kaitlin Payne, , Alana McLaughlin Kasydi Mack, Grace Kruger

Arabian Horse Life Magazine Mini-Issue: Issue 1, 2017  

The Arabian Horse Association's (AHA) new member magazine, Arabian Horse Life (AHL) is due to hit mailboxes the middle of February. Now goi...

Arabian Horse Life Magazine Mini-Issue: Issue 1, 2017  

The Arabian Horse Association's (AHA) new member magazine, Arabian Horse Life (AHL) is due to hit mailboxes the middle of February. Now goi...