An opportunity to video and photograph two newborn foals, the product of an assisted reproduction technique known as intracytoplasmic sperm injection, and surrogate mothers. The foals are genetically the offspring of Tuesday, a mare who died on May 22, 2008, from injuries she sustained during the Windsor tornado last summer. Tuesday’s eggs were harvested, and last week two surrogate mares gave birth to two male (colt) foals. Tuesday’s owners and the veterinarian who donated the fertilization services, Dr. Pat McCue, director of the university’s Equine Reproduction Laboratory, will talk about the foals and their birth.
10:30 a.m., Tuesday, May 5, at the university’s Equine Reproduction Laboratory, Foothills Campus, 3194 Rampart Road. RSVP required (information below). Event is not open to the public.
On May 22, 2008, tornadoes ripped through Windsor and critically injured the Mears family’s buckskin American Quarter Horse mare, Tuesday. She was gravely injured when the building she was taking shelter behind was blown over on top of her. Tuesday was rushed to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University. Because her prognosis for survival was very grim, Tuesday was humanely euthanized. Dr. Pat McCue, director of the Equine Reproduction Laboratory, wanted to contribute to those impacted by the tornadoes and offered services. Tuesday’s ovaries were removed and transported to CSU’s Equine Reproduction Laboratory where a team of faculty, staff and students collected 20 oocytes, or eggs, from the two ovaries. The oocytes were incubated overnight and the next day, 14 viable oocytes were fertilized by a technique called intracytoplasmic sperm injection, called ICSI, using semen from a neighbor’s cremello-colored American Quarter Horse stallion. Eight embryos developed from the injected oocytes and four were transferred into surrogate mares. Fourteen days after transfer, ultrasounds revealed pregnancies in two of the recipient mares.
One surrogate mare, named Katie, gave birth to the first foal on April 25. Her foal is a buckskin colt who looks remarkably like his biological mother, Tuesday. The second mare to foal, named Friday by McCue in honor of Tuesday, gave birth on April 29 to a cremello-colored colt. Both foals are healthy and enjoying the care of their surrogate mothers.
This clinical case demonstrates how equine reproduction research can be applied to help horse owners in critical situations.
Reporters who wish to attend should RSVP to Dell Rae Moellenberg by 5 p.m. Monday, May 4, at (970) 491-6009 or DellRae.Moellenberg@colostate.edu.