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Importing semen?

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  • Importing semen?

    I have a breed of pony that is quite rare in North America and it’s clear that if I want to expand the breed, I need to import semen and diversify the bloodlines.

    I have found some lovely stallions in the Netherlands that would be a good match for my mares but I have no experience with this and would like to educate myself before I reach out the stallion owners. I have imported horses before and bred from frozen domestically but never tried to import frozen semen.

    Has anyone done this? How did you go about it? Where did you store it? Where there any challenges?

    Any advice would be much appreciated!

  • #2
    Not an answer to your question but the Dutch stud farms normally knows more than anybody on this topic so reaching out to them already in this phase could be a good idea
    I love horses, eventing and good dining!
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    • #3
      I assume you know this already but I'll put it out there because I think it should be said regardless: not all stallions standing in Europe will offer frozen. Some stallions just don't freeze well. Other times it may come down to the quarantine requirements that clash with a rigorous competition schedule.

      I'm operating on the assumption the stallion owners are marketing frozen (and you just need to figure out how to get it here).

      One really valuable resource would probably be the frozen semen brokers in North America. Based on how long many of them have been in business, they'd have more than enough experience and insight to help guide you if you can get a hold of them and they're willing to speak with you.

      As far as storing semen, what I am familiar with is pretty split between storing it at a vet's (the big repro vets in our area have frozen tanks and you pay them to store frozen for you) or having your own tank you maintain. Depending on how much frozen you anticipate keeping/maintaining, one may be more cost effective than the other. That said, regardless of which method you use follow best practices and document everything! (Number of straws, labelling on straws, dates, etc.) There can and have been slip-ups (wrong straws sent, fewer straws than a dose should be, mis-reading straws, etc) so always do your best to protect yourself against those sorts of things.

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      • #4
        I've recently been through some of this so I can share some things I learned...

        - It's much easier to go through a broker as they can usually import for cheaper prices based on bulk shipments. If I wanted to import from Celle in Germany, semen that costs 350 euros would cost $2000 for me to bring in. Also, you need to have an import license to import anything to the USA. That will cost you on top of it.
        - Superior Equine Sires deals with frozen semen and she's very nice to deal with. I don't know if she would bring in your specific studs but you can always ask and ask her if she has resources to help. She might know of someone else who can help you.
        - You have to make sure the studs have all the required testing to be imported. USA requires 4 specific tests to be done and if the stud has only 3, you can't bring them in. I found this out because a horse I wanted to purchase doesn't have all the testing done and he's passed away. If I was somewhere else, it wouldn't be an issue.
        - There are facilities that store semen. Depending on where you're located, you can do that or go with a vet. You can always invest and purchase the equipment yourself but I don't know what that entails.

        Good luck!

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thanks for the feedback! I didn't think of reaching out to the brokers but that is an excellent idea and will be my next step. I've also reached out to breeders and stallion owners and started the conversation there too. Fingers crossed!

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