HELP -- KY repro vet for problem mare

Ok… I will try to be brief. After some 25 years of breeding (mostly) warmbloods , I decided to hang it up with my “swan song” being a racing TB (I worked on the track for about 10 years long, long ago). I came across a nicely bred mare I could afford, had a deal with a trainer all worked out…signed a contract on a stallion. Shipped the mare a LOOONG way from my place to KY. Parked her at the only farm I could find that had room.

Now this mare had a complete work up at a major vet school before I sent her including uterine biopsy, etc.Her uterine grade was not great, but the vet said maybe a 30-50% chance of a Live Foal if she was handled correctly.

Fast forward to today when she was checked as open. As someone who has been working with frozen and shipped semen, inseminating my own mares, etc. I can see where the vet made several decisions that were not in the best interest of a pregnancy for this mare. The original vet (a therionlogist) agrees.

Farm manager totally blowing it off and saying “can’t change vets in mid-stream”.

Says who???

So I know this is a shot in the dark but any recommendation for vets in the Lexington area? And farms as well, since it seems I will have to move the mare. Sheds close July 3rd, so I have one more cycle left.

And is this normal? I mean communication sucks and I just have to take whatever vet that farm uses? I mean there are a BILLION vets in KY…common sense tells you they can’t all be good.

Thanks in advance. PMs are fine.

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In my experience, Kentucky farms care more about keeping their vets happy than their clients. So you are right that you will have to move your mare to switch vets because even if the farm vet “allowed” the switch, you would have hard time finding a repro vet who will be willing to step on a fellow vet’s toes (so to speak).

This is an off-the-wall idea (and not cheap, unfortunately) but what if you call either Rood & Riddle or Hagyard and explain the situation, tell them you need their best repro guy, and arrange to board the mare at the clinic until she’s (hopefully) checked in foal after the next cycle. I know it sounds extreme but since you’ve only got one more try you might as well give it your best shot.


A couple of casual friends (i.e. they were undergrad farm workers at UK when I was in grad school there) run this farm: They’re great horse people and really know their stuff. I have no idea if they currently have openings, but this late in the season, they might. Worth reaching out to them, at least.

Either of the big clinics (Hagyard/R&R) should have multiple excellent repro vets available to help you. Scheduling can be tight this time of year, though, I know. Good luck!


I’m a nobody, wannabe breeder, but my two experiences:

  1. I used to haul into Rood & Riddle’s repro center with my problem mare, because my home vet was about useless even though repro was one of his “specialties.” Could you arrange that without burning bridges at the farm? I was shocked how hard it is to find boarding for a broodmare in KY when I tried, so I know you might be in a pickle.

  2. Depending on the farm, they might do a late cover for you even after they close for the season. When I was breeding to Crestwood and Pin Oak stallions, they kindly extended the offer without me even asking. Although another farm was firm on their closing date. Anyway, my point is it can’t hurt to check. Not all farms will be willing, especially if the stallion worked hard or is shuttling, but I was surprised some places were so flexible for me.

Good luck. I unfortunately did not have any success getting mares in foal during my most recent foray. I took a break, as my mares retired and life got crazy. I’ll give it another go one of these days.


We use Cory Williams, and he is amazing. I mean, he might be magic, I’m not sure.

I know I’m late posting this, but wanted to give Cory a recommendation here in case you, or anyone else, is looking for someone good for next season. Good luck with your mare!

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Post Script: I did investigate Rood & Riddle – I would have to haul my mare in if I wanted her to be seen by the top “in-house” vets. If they made farm calls, I would get the “B” string…vets that had been out of school maybe 2 years. AND I would have to promise them my 1st born and sell a kidney to match their prices. As it turned out, I did have to change farms and it got very ugly for awhile. Hint; stay away from Phoenix Farms, the farm manager AND their vet. What I did realize is that probably 75%+ of the vets in KY are simply skating on the fact it’s Live Cover and Nature takes care of most of the issues. But when you get to a REALLY tricky mare (like mine), they fall short. Luckily I got a recommendation for a Dr. Hernandez Plata DVM…and he was amazing. I also learned something new about Equine Repro, and it’s been awhile since that happened. The mare had a serious Staph infection, even though she had THREE clean cultures (and cytologies) done by 3 different vets. Turns out these nasty bugs can go “dormant” and not culture out. Different substances (including semen) will bring them out. NOT the same as bugs hiding under a bio film. It took 2 cycles, but Dr. Playta cleaned her up. She went into the breeding shed at Claiborne in the LAST shift, on the LAST day (July 3rd) and was bred. Ovulated 2 days later (thank goodness for fertile stallions)…BINGO!! We have a pregnancy! Thanks for everyone’s suggestions…


@Kyzteke, I’m so glad it worked out for you in the end! Who did you breed your mare to?

Well, my budget dictated one of Kentucky’s “value stallions”, so not my dream cross. Originally I was going with Lea, because I was aiming for a classic distance horse who could win on the turf as well as dirt. But in the end I changed my mind and went with Algorithm (Bernadelli x Cryptoclerance). They gave me a super price on him, and despite his short racing career, if you look at his production record, he tends to produce hard knocking horses who are racing and winning for years. They tend not to be stakes horses but they bring home checks when placed in the right class. And, as it turned out, Coal Front is bred the same way: AP Inde 3S x 3D…so might be interesting…


Algorithms has sired some nice horses, and he comes from a terrific family of runners. Now with Bernardini gone, more people will be looking to breed to his sons. Nice choice and I hope it all goes perfectly for you. :slight_smile:

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Well, I just found out he’s been sold to Uruguay , so that doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. LOL.

Lol I know the feeling. But pretty much everyone gets sold eventually anymore.

Best of luck. Timing may just be on your side.

KY has become a revolving door for stallions, many of whom improve their produce records after they’re gone. Daredevil and Take Charge Indy are 2 recent examples. Just because a horse gets sold doesn’t mean they can’t produce good racehorses.

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Glad it worked out for you!

Re: stallion being sold outside the U.S. Market. This happened to me three years ago when my Declaration of War colt was in utero. Luckily, Dec of War had a lot of very nice winners after being sold (particularly in Europe, but also here in the U.S.) which kept him fairly commercial by the time my colt went to Keeneland November as a weanling. But, I feel you here, it makes it a bit more “exciting” than it needs to be … :slight_smile:

Best of luck with your mare!