Media Tipsheet: Colorado State University Offers Experts in Equine Reproduction

Note to Editors: The following is a media tip sheet that includes information about equine reproduction experts at Colorado State University for stories during National Western Stock Show and to serve as a resource for sources for other stories. The contact information is intended to provide resources to reporters and editors and is not intended for the public. To arrange interviews, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at 970-491-6009 or

How does the female body recognize that it is pregnant?

It seems to be a relatively simple question: How does a female of a species recognize early on that she is pregnant? In humans, the embryo produces hormones soon after conception that triggers physiological changes that allow the mother to maintain pregnancy. In ruminants, the embryo secretes large quantities of a protein. But the horse is a mystery. Colorado State University researchers are studying equine physiology to determine how a mare recognizes an embryo in an effort to find new ways to prevent embryonic loss. In mares, a high number of embryos are lost in the first 18 days of pregnancy. Understanding the intricacies of embryo recognition and loss in horses may help scientists and doctors better understand these issues in other species, including humans. To speak with an expert who can discuss this research, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at 970-491-6009 or

How aging affects reproduction and offspring

How much does a mother’s age affect her pregnancy and the health of her offspring? Researchers at Colorado State know that changes in aging female horses, or mares, are comparable to the changes in older women – and the impact of age on lost pregnancies and healthy babies are also strikingly similar. In general, women over 30 and mares in their teens see a rapid decline in fertility as the quality of their eggs declines and the follicle undergoes changes. As a result, lost pregnancies are more common and offspring may not be as healthy. For example, children born from older women may be more likely to have chromosomal defects, and the foals of an older mare may not have the athletic potential of offspring from a younger mare. By finding ways to help aging mares have healthy foals, university researchers hope to also uncover secrets that will aid women as well. To speak with an expert who can discuss this research, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at 970-491-6009 or