Advancing Equine Reproduction: India’s First Foal with Combined Frozen Semen and Embryo Transfer Technologies
In a remarkable achievement, scientists at the Equine Production Campus, Regional Station, ICAR-National Research Centre on Equines in Bikaner, Rajasthan, have successfully produced a horse foal using a combination of two cutting-edge technologies: frozen semen technology and embryo transfer technology, marking a significant milestone in the country’s equine breeding practices.
The process involved utilizing frozen semen from a stallion for artificial insemination, with the recovered embryo from the inseminated mare obtained on the 7.5th day after ovulation. Subsequently, the retrieved embryo was transferred to a synchronized surrogate mare. In the early hours of October , 2023, at 3:40 AM (IST), the mare gave birth to a healthy female foal, weighing 35 kg at birth. This foal, brought into the world through the application of these advanced reproductive technologies, has been aptly named ‘Raj-Himani.’
This innovative technology holds significant promise for expediting the multiplication of elite germplasm and revitalizing endangered horse breeds or preserving valuable/desired horse genetic material. The combination of semen cryopreservation and embryo transfer technology in foal production will be of immense benefit to farmers, equestrian enthusiasts engaged in racing, sports, and other commercial equine activities, enabling them to replicate their prized elite horses or animals with reproductive issues.
Dr. TK Bhattacharya, Director of ICAR-NRC on Equines, emphasized that India’s equine population is declining at an alarming rate, and infertility and non-reproductive mares contribute to this trend. This groundbreaking technology also holds promise for animals that do not respond to conventional infertility treatment regimens.
Dr. SC Mehta, Head of the Regional Station, Equine Production Campus at ICAR-NRC on Equines in Bikaner, highlighted the transformative potential of this technology in the conservation and proliferation of superior indigenous horse breeds in India.
The development of this embryo transfer foal using cryopreserved semen was spearheaded by Dr. TR Talluri, Senior Scientist, and his dedicated team at ICAR-NRC on Equines, including Dr. Yash Pal, Dr. SC Mehta, Dr. RA Legha, Dr. RK Dedar, Dr. Sajjan Kumar, Dr. Jitender Singh, Shri Paswan, and others.