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Now Offering ICSI


We are thrilled to introduce our ICSI services. At Bandalero Ranch, we handle mare management and OPU procedures. Oocytes are then transported to Genetech to monitor oocyte maturation and inject a single sperm into the egg. Embryos are cultured and assessed in the laboratory. Embryos can then be shipped for immediate transfer into a Bandalero Ranch recipient mare or embryos can be frozen for cryopreservation storage.


What is Intracytoplasmic Sperm
Injection (ICSI)?

This innovative technology comprises several sequential steps, commencing with the retrieval of oocytes directly from the ovaries through a procedure known as Ovum Pick-Up (OPU). These oocytes undergo maturation and fertilization within a laboratory setting, leading to the cultivation of resulting embryos until they are ready for transfer to a mare or for cryopreservation. Notably, during fertilization, each oocyte is individually fertilized through the injection of a single sperm cell, a remarkable technique that characterizes the entire process. The entire process, from OPU to transfer or freezing, typically spans up to two weeks.



Frequently Ask Questions

  • What does OPU stand for?

    Ovum Pick-Up (OPU), also known as follicular aspiration, is the procedure for retrieving oocytes (eggs) from the follicles present on the mare's ovaries.

  • What is ICSI and how does it differ from traditional breeding methods in mares?

    ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) is an assisted reproductive technique used in equine breeding where a single sperm cell is injected directly into the cytoplasm of an oocyte (egg). This method differs from traditional breeding methods as it bypasses the need for natural mating or artificial insemination, allowing for precise control over fertilization.

  • What are the success rates of ICSI in equine reproduction?

    Success rates of ICSI in equine reproduction can vary depending on various factors such as the health of the mare, quality of the oocytes, and expertise of the reproductive team. However, studies have shown that ICSI can achieve similar or even higher pregnancy rates compared to natural breeding methods in certain cases.

  • Are there any specific criteria for selecting mares suitable for ICSI?

    Selecting suitable mares for ICSI involves criteria such as overall health, reproductive history, and age. Mares with good reproductive health, viable oocytes, and suitable estrous cycles are typically considered ideal candidates for ICSI.

  • Can ICSI be used in mares with fertility issues or older mares?

    ICSI can be a valuable option for mares with fertility issues or older mares that may have difficulty conceiving through natural breeding methods. However, thorough evaluation and consultation with a reproductive specialist are necessary to determine the suitability of ICSI for each individual case.

  • What are benefits for Mares: Extending Reproductive Life?

    Initially, ICSI was seen as a boon for older stallions with fertility issues. However, it also extends the breeding life of the broodmare. The mare’s role is crucial, as the viable oocyte must come from her. The injection process requires only a single sperm from the stallion. The ultrasound-guided option is commonly chosen for the aspiration procedure. Thousands of foals have been produced through ICSI, offering hope for horses whose genetics make them potential champions.

  • How long can embryos be frozen?

    Embryos can be frozen indefinitely using modern techniques through a process called cryopreservation. Please research your breed association's regulations to understand what is permissible, as they may have specific guidelines in place.