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n the now

You’ve Come a Long Way

baby W

hen Lisa Gaudio had to sell her beloved two-year-old Kyrie Elleison, she tearfully promised the Half-Arabian filly that someday, somehow, they’d be together again. It took 15 years, but Gaudio kept her vow. Their reunion, though, was bittersweet. Kyrie was still the same special horse that Gaudio had instantly fallen in love with, but she was now battling laminitis. Gaudio knew, even with the best of care, her time with Kyrie would be limited. Gaudio hoped for a Kyrie baby to

Above— Lisa Gaudio and husband Jimmy Kazanjian hold three foals out of Kyrie Elleison produced via a procedure called intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

By Linda Carroll 34

arabian horse

life

Issue 2. 2018

raise, but there didn’t seem to be any way to produce a foal from the mare without causing her more pain and discomfort. “We talked about breeding her and flushing an embryo, but it just seemed so mean to put her through that,” Gaudio remembers. She figured she might have to give up that dream. But, the vets at New Bolton Center told Gaudio there might be another option. When the mare passed away, they could surgically remove her ovaries and attempt to harvest her eggs. If successful, they could then use the oocytes to create embryos. It wouldn’t be simple, or cheap, but Gaudio figured it was worth a shot. “Other than love, there was no reason to do it,” she says. “There would be no monetary gain because I wouldn’t sell the babies.” Over the past decade or so, equine reproduction specialists have made huge advances that have allowed stallions and mares who formerly would not have been able to reproduce to have healthy offspring. At the same time, foaling specialists have made huge advances in saving foals that once would have been lost. The biggest changes have probably involved horse in vitro fertilization (IVF). While in vitro fertilization has been used in humans for decades, it took a long time for its details to be worked out in horses. That’s because the process is much more complicated in equines. Oocytes can be extracted from a living mare or from the ovaries of a dead one, but you can’t just put them together with sperm and let nature take its course. It’s not that simple, says Dr. Ghislaine Dujovne, an assistant professor and chief of the equine reproduction service at the University of California, Davis. Human sperm, for the most part, can be put in the vicinity of an oocyte, and they will wiggle over to it, latch on, bore a hole through its outer wall

Arabian Horse Life Magazine mini-issue 2 2018  

The Arabian Horse Association's (AHA) member magazine, Arabian Horse Life (AHL) is due to hit mailboxes the last week of March. Now going to...

Arabian Horse Life Magazine mini-issue 2 2018  

The Arabian Horse Association's (AHA) member magazine, Arabian Horse Life (AHL) is due to hit mailboxes the last week of March. Now going to...