A Breeders Perspective
Photo: C. Morris
Encantado and Sakeena Sky Zayin
Both conceived by Artificial insemination - Willesley Equine
Clinic - and
both foaled at Conkwell Stud - August 2003"
has been a growing wave of studs who have started to
from their stallion as this opens up the
market for breeders to promote their sires. The idea is
also favourable with people who have particularly valuable
who don’t want to deal with lots of strange mares through
the breeding season, or risk their stallions being kicked
or injured by nervous maidens. It also means that stallions
who are still competing – for example in the endurance
field can still cover mares.
Arabian race horses and the majority of the top class stallions
from the two top studs – namely Shadwell
and Umm Qarn Farms – are only available by artificial
insemination. These studs send frozen semen to America, UAE
and parts of Europe which is one of the main advantages of
AI. In 2002 I sent three mares to Conkwell Stud to be covered
using artificial insemination, it was the first time that I
had embarked on the process and like most I was worried about
the cost implications.
(SES Pashas Mirat X Sky Scilla (Saab)) my race winner had
given birth to her first foal in 2002 but sadly
it didn’t survive. I decided to try again and chose the
Argentenian sire Karmah (Dual Group 2 winner in UK and Champion
Arabian in Argentina). Karmah (owned by Gerrado Serra) who
was still in training in 2002 with Bill Smith so the only way
to cover was by AI. Sweet Simplicity got in foal first time
and Willesley Equine Clinic offered me an all in one package
for frozen semen for £346 including VAT. This combined
with the stud fee of £300 makes an approximate cost of £650
for the foal. The advantage of the all in one package is that
you know the full cost from the outset and makes budgeting
easier, the vets can then come out as many times as needed
to scan, re-scan and check on the mare to make sure that they
inseminate at the optimum time of fertilisation. It actually
saves money in the long term as it eliminates the call out
charges for every visit and scan.
Columbine (Sheruggi X Autumn Copper Beech (Zehros)) was already
broodmare, I chose Shadwell Studs new
Straight Russian dual Classic winner Vasilisk (Strij X Vospitannica
(Temir)). The semen was chilled and therefore the all in one
package was slightly cheaper at £235 and Autumn Columbine
scanned in foal at the first attempt.
so good but Aliesha (Fuego (Ghadames) X Talima (Falce))
at the age of
twelve and a maiden was to prove more difficult.
She first went to stud in 2001 to visit Chatanz but despite
Lesley and Ray Dunn’s sterling efforts and Chatanz’s
best attempts Aliesha wasn’t interested, she also turned
down Chatanz’s son El Chenz (X Elita (Galeon) and finally
the gorgeous Warrens Hill Destiny (Vert Olive X Dorikos (Klarnet)).
I wrote 2001 off and we started again in 2002 and Liz tried
to attempt Aliesha with Pogojii but again he failed to persuade
Karmah to use on her via AI and the first round of treatment
cost £346 (inc. VAT) and Aliesha wasn’t
in foal. They tested her ovaries and ran a fertility test and
there was nothing biologically wrong with her she just wasn’t
conceiving. The second round of treatment was at a reduced
cost of £146 (inc. VAT), once again she failed to conceive
and I was beginning to resign myself to the fact that Aliesha
wouldn’t get in foal. It was September and Liz asked
me if I wanted to try again or call it a day. I decided to
give it one last go as I was desperate to have a foal from
Aliesha. The third set of treatment cost £88 (inc. VAT)
and miraculously Aliesha was scanned in foal at 16 days. I
left her at the stud for a couple more weeks as I like my mares
to be scanned in foal at 32 days before I take them home and
Aliesha was again scanned in foal at 32 days but the foal wouldn’t
be due till end of July, very late but at least she was in
Autumn Columbine foaled at home in 2003 and had a beautiful
bay colt by Vasilisk called Zayin Vakaash. A tall, correct
colt with substance and fantastic movement I was very pleased
with him. He was gelded last year as a yearling and has since
been sold to a racing home. I am so pleased with him that I
am thinking about having Autumn Columbine covered by Vasilisk
again in 2005 (using AI) with fingers crossed for a filly!
"Sweet Simplicity (SES Pashas Mirat x Sky Scilla (Saab
X Silvretta Sky)
with her AI filly foal Sakeena Sky
Argentinian Champion racehorse Karmah"
foaled a beautiful chestnut filly by Karmah called Sakeena
Sky Zayin at Conkwell in June 2003, sadly as
I feared after 2002 Simplicity didn’t take to motherhood
at all and Liz Harrington did nothing short of a miraculous
job with Sky from the day she was born. Fortunately, Sky survived
but was having Aintree foal milk as well as her mothers milk
via a bottle from the day she was born until she was six months
old. The costs were exorbitant especially when she was put
on the advice of vets on Equivite body builder pellets at 3
mths old (has extra milk and calcium for struggling foals).
Simplicity wasn’t aggressive with Sky but she couldn’t
stand feeding her, clearly not the mothering type Simplicity
has now been sold as a hack to a friend locally which makes
Sky all the more precious as she is all I have left from
My Spanish mare Aliesha in typical fashion foaled a week late
at Conkwell on 1st August 2003 but was thankfully a wonderful
mother and very proud of her handsome colt by Karmah who I
called Zayin Encantado (Spanish for Charmed or Enchanted).
A well conformed, good moving colt with plenty of speed from
Photo: C. Morris
" Aliesha (Fuego
(Ghadames) x Talima (Falce)
with her first foal begot by AI
a colt Zayin Encantado by Karmah"
was such a good mother that when Simplicity had finally
was enough and wouldn’t even let Sky feed
off her when she was held that she adopted Sky when the filly
was three months old. She seemed to accept her new role as
mother to the poor abandoned filly and even let Sky feed off
her and I am sure there are not many mares who would let another
mare’s three month old foal feed off them but Aliesha
loved being a mum and raised both my Karmah foals for me
Encantado was also gelded in 2004 and has now also been sold
to racing home.
Photo: D. Simmons
" Zayin Encantado the yearling April 2004!"
would never have been able to conceive without AI as she
and if it wasn’t for AI there
would be no Encantado and Sky wouldn’t have had a foster
I sent Aliesha off to stud again this time to be artificially
with Dawwas (winner of the Qatar Derby and Heir
Apparent Sword in UAE) using frozen semen. Peter Ravenhill
from Willesley Equine Clinic seemed to think that as she had
started being brought into season she should take again, we
tried the first cycle and she conceived first time and is due
to foal in April 2005. The cost for AI was £376 (inc.
race brood mare Jumah (Div (Peleng) x Samara Bint Samurai
who won three races and was placed
12 times from 22 starts was covered by Conkwell’s The
Wiking (owned by HH Sheikh Mohammed and winner of the Jewels
of the East Diamond Derby and Drinkers of the Wind Fururity
Stakes) naturally (she had previously had a foal by AI to Bengali
D’Albret). Cost was £98 for pre covering tests
(swab etc), £60 for 16 day scan and £40 for re-scan
at 32 days. Total cost £200 approx.
I will again be using AI as Jumah will be covered by Umm
Qarn Farm’s phenomenal stallion Makzan. For mares
like Aliesha AI is the only way that she could conceive and
for people breeding racing Arabians it is sometimes the only
way to use some of best sires. The difference in costs is actually
probably only about £150 more expensive to use AI than
natural, and with studs like Shadwell and Conkwell the stud
fee’s aren’t due till October the 1st each year,
which gives people more time to save up and helps to spread
the cost throughout the year.
charges 10 % up front and then the balance once the mare
is in foal.
In short I would have no hesitation in recommending
Willesley Equine Clinic for AI as they have got my mares in
foal every time of asking and on the first attempt with all
bar Aliesha (on her attempt with Karmah) on four occasions
(and all four foals were born healthy and strong). Conkwell
is also excellently run by Liz Harrington and the two foals
I bred before using AI were both by Conkwell’s resident
stallion Pogojii, and my mares are always returned in the same
excellent condition they left home in.
conceived by AI - Zayin Vakaash (bay colt by Vasilisk (Strij)
Autumn Columbine(Sheruggi)) and Sakeena Sky Zayin - April 2004"
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