LOVE is in the air for horses in South Australia with the breeding season underway at the Equine Health and Performance Centre.
The centre underwent a $10 million redevelopment in October last year which included a new reproductive unit.
A lot of people are very interested in continuing to breed their mares
Head of the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences at the University of Adelaide Professor Kym Abbott said the unit has proven to be a success through its offering of embryo transfers, collecting and freezing semen, and artificial insemination facilities.
“We are in the final stages of recruiting a second reproduction specialist to join our staff, so it’s grown very rapidly to being quite a busy reproduction practice,” Prof Abbott said.
Veterinary doctor Michael Cathcart said high success rates have resulted in a keen interest among the horse-breeding community.
“A lot of people are very interested in continuing to breed their mares and the services here will help to improve success rates for clients,” Dr Cathcart said.
The equine hospital is also a busy training practice for final year veterinary students and practice manager Casey Hogan said the reproductive unit rotations have been highly successful.
“We were concerned that because it was new we wouldn’t have enough cases for the students to see, but we were very lucky,” she said.
“They got to back up the learning they’d been doing throughout the year so it was a valuable experience for them.”
Dr Cathcart hopes to see more students rotating through the reproductive unit over future horse breeding seasons.
“The clinical rotation runs up until September, and slightly into October, so they really just catch the start of the breeding season,” he said.
“We would love to be able to expand that to cover the full breeding season.”
The unit first opened in 2012 when the hospital served as an ambulatory service with a zero horse capacity.
The centre now has the capacity to hospitalise up to 10 horses at one time, with six more day stables and three isolation stables.