Understanding the embryo transfer process

By: Horse Deals

Understanding the embryo transfer process
Understanding the embryo transfer process

Hailed as the speedy, risk-free method of breeding from a high-quality mare without interrupting her competition career, Emma Tomlinson MRCVS, embryo transfer vet and director of Beaufort Embryo Transfer, describes a typical embryo transfer sequence…

Booking in

It’s important to book in early so that the embryo transfer centre can make plans to accommodate the mare and can start to scan and synchronise the required recipients.

Artificial insemination

The donor mare is scanned and inseminated with the required stallion’s semen around the time of ovulation to achieve pregnancy.


Approximately a week after ovulation, her uterus is flushed with between two and four litres of fluid, which is passed through a filter.


The filter is taken to the laboratory and examined under a microscope for an embryo. The current recovery rate at Beaufort Embryo Transfer is 72%.


The embryo is washed and transferred immediately into the uterus of the suitably synchronised recipient mare using a non-surgical procedure. Current pregnancy rates at the centre are 80%.


We scan the recipient mare at 14, 25 and 60 days to monitor the status of the pregnancy.

Home time

Once the pregnancy is deemed safe at 60 days, the recipient mare goes home with the owner of the embryo. She returns to the centre after the foal has been born and weaned.


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