Ovohorse and Ovoclone: pioneering equine reproduction

Horse and rider during the Andalucia Sunshine Tour winners of the Grand Prix sponsored by Ovohorse and Ovoclone leading companies in equine reproduction

The HSJ’s interview with Rocío García

In the exclusive interview of Horseshowjumping.tv, Rocío García, Sales Manager and embryologist of Ovohorse and Ovoclone, takes us into the world of equine reproduction at the forefront. OVO Group CEO, Enrique Criado has combined his experience in human reproduction with the technologies in equine practice.

We asked Rocío to share with us the backstory behind the founding of Ovohorse and Ovoclone.

The inception of Ovohorse and Ovoclone can be attributed to the visionary leadership of Enrique Criado, the CEO of OVO Group. With over 20 years of experience in human reproduction, Criado completed a Master’s degree in equine reproduction and recognized the need for advancements in the equine breeding sector.”

She continues “He envisioned integrating expertise and technology from human reproduction into equine practices, thus giving rise to Ovohorse. Concurrently, Ovoclone emerged under the guidance of our scientific director, Andrés Gambini, leveraging expertise in animal cloning to preserve genetic lines and advance reproductive possibilities. Ovohorse aims to revolutionize equine breeding practices by incorporating cutting-edge techniques and scientific knowledge, while Ovoclone focuses on preserving genetic material through cloning for future breeding purposes.”

Addressing challenges in the revolutionary OPU-ICSI technique

OPU-ICSI technique

Mrs. García examines the revolutionary OPU-ICSI technique, the industry’s challenges and innovations, and the promising future of equine reproduction

Mare during retrieving immature oocytes process

The OPU-ICSI technique, also known as Ovum Pick-Up (OPU) and Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), involves retrieving immature oocytes from mares and fertilizing them in vitro using a precise sperm injection process. This technique offers a highly effective alternative to traditional insemination methods, providing greater control and precision in the reproductive process. It enables clients to schedule procedures without disrupting the competitive endeavors of their prized horses, thus revolutionizing equine reproduction. OPU-ICSI is particularly significant for enhancing reproductive efficiency and success rates, as it allows for the selection of the highest quality embryos for transfer or cryopreservation.”

In vitro fertilization of an equine oocyte with the ICSI technique

Navigating equine breeding challenges

We asked Rocío what are some of the challenges encountered during the OPU-ICSI process, and how her team address them and she said: “The OPU-ICSI process presents numerous challenges, including temperature control, gamete handling, and culture media optimization. Our team at Ovohorse and Ovoclone is well-equipped to address these challenges through meticulous planning, rigorous quality control measures, and continuous monitoring of critical parameters. We have developed comprehensive protocols and standard operating procedures to ensure the integrity and success of each procedure. Additionally, our team members undergo extensive training and education to stay abreast of the latest advancements in equine reproductive technologies, allowing us to adapt and innovate in response to emerging challenges.”

– In your opinion, what are the primary challenges facing equine breeding techniques, and how does Ovohorse/Ovoclone address them?

One of the significant challenges in equine breeding is the disparity in research funding compared to human reproduction. Despite the substantial economic value of the equine market, research investment in this sector often falls short. At Ovohorse and Ovoclone, we prioritize research and innovation to propel the equine industry forward. By investing in cutting-edge technologies and advancing scientific knowledge, we aim to address these challenges and drive progress in equine reproduction. Additionally, we collaborate with industry partners, academic institutions, and veterinary experts to foster a culture of collaboration and knowledge-sharing, facilitating advancements in equine breeding techniques and practices.”

The crucial role of the recipient mare in equine reproductive success

– Could you elaborate on the role of the recipient mare in equine reproductive success?

The recipient mare plays a crucial role in equine reproductive success. Selection criteria for recipient mares include reproductive health, uterine cleanliness, and previous foaling experience. It’s essential to transfer embryos on the optimal day and perform comprehensive ultrasound monitoring to maximize success rates. At Ovohorse/Ovoclone, we prioritize the selection and management of recipient mares to ensure the best possible outcomes for our clients. Our team works closely with veterinarians and equine specialists to evaluate and prepare recipient mares for embryo transfer procedures, ensuring optimal conditions for successful implantation and gestation.”

Recipient mare

Cryopreservation techniques for equine reproduction

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– What are the techniques involved in gamete cryopreservation, and how do they contribute to equine reproduction?

Gamete cryopreservation involves freezing genetic material for future use. Sperm cryopreservation preserves sperm samples for use in ICSI procedures, while embryo vitrification ensures the viability of embryos post-thaw. Additionally, we cryopreserve cell lines for cloning purposes, preserving genetic diversity and advancing reproductive technologies. These techniques play a crucial role in equine reproduction, offering flexibility and opportunities for genetic preservation and enhancement. At Ovohorse and Ovoclone, we utilize state-of-the-art cryopreservation techniques and equipment to ensure the long-term viability and integrity of stored genetic material, enabling clients to preserve and propagate valuable equine genetics for future breeding endeavors.”

Envisioning the future: advancements in technology and expertise

As we look ahead to the future of equine reproduction, it becomes increasingly evident that advancements in both technology and expertise will play pivotal roles in shaping the landscape of the industry.

With ongoing advancements in technology and expertise, the future of equine reproduction holds tremendous promise. Ovohorse and Ovoclone are committed to driving progress and innovation in the industry, leveraging cutting-edge techniques and scientific knowledge to enhance reproductive outcomes. As technology continues to evolve and expertise expands, we anticipate further advancements in equine breeding practices, ushering in a new era of excellence and opportunity in equine reproduction. Through collaboration, research, and dedication to excellence, we are poised to shape the future of equine” revealed reproduction and contribute to the advancement of the global equine industry.”

Ovohorse and Ovoclone, under the visionary leadership of Enrique Criado, CEO of the OVO Group, fuse human experience and technology in equine practice to promote significant progress in the industry of equine reproduction, as revealed in the interview with Rocío García.

Through research, collaboration, and a dedication to excellence, Ovohorse and Ovoclone strive to advance and innovate as industry leaders. With a constantly evolving technology and a growing knowledge pool, the future of equine reproduction is looking bright, with new opportunities and objectives to achieve.

Photos provided by Ovohorse and Ovoclone

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