Letter: AI the perfect solution.
WELL done to Brough Scott for his lucid outline of the case for artificial insemination (October 10). In my opinion, his mention of the vested interest of boarding studs in resisting its introduction hits the nail on the head.
However, time is running out for many boarding studs anyway. For the last six years I, like many other breeders, have rarely boarded my mares, preferring to 'walk in', i.e. to transport them to the covering stallion and bring them back home immediately.
During this time there has been an improvement in conception rates and healthier foals (foals often pick up infections from other foals at boarding studs at a time when their immune system is weak).
From a horse-welfare point of view, the drawback of this system is that it often involves subjecting a young, possibly weak foal to an eight-or nine-hour round trip by horsebox as it accompanies its dam. With AI, this could be avoided.
I already use AI for my two competition mares and am at a loss to explain to non-thoroughbred breeders why I have to make such a contribution to the world's carbon emissions in order to breed racehorses.
Pam Cockerill Providence Stud, York