The effect of dual-hemisphere breeding on stallion fertility. Academic Article uri icon


  • Breeding records were analyzed from 24 Thoroughbred stallions that were subjected to dual-hemisphere breeding (DH), including novice (first-year; NOV; n=11) and experienced (EXP; n=13) stallions. Fertility variables included seasonal pregnancy rate, pregnancy rate per cycle, and first-cycle pregnancy rate. In addition, values for book size, total number of covers, distribution of mare type (maiden, foaling, and barren) within a stallion's book, cycles per mare, and mare age were examined. Some data were also categorized by mare type (maiden-M, foaling-F, and barren-B). Five separate analyses of the data were performed. For Analyses 1-3, the effects of hemisphere (northern hemisphere [NH] vs. southern hemisphere [SH]) and breeding order (refers to the first [O1] or second [O2] season within the first year of dual-hemisphere breeding) were examined for all stallions (combined group [CG]), NOV stallions only, and EXP stallions only, respectively. Fertility values were generally higher in the SH than the NH (P<0.05), whereas book size, total number of covers, and cycles per mare were higher in the NH than the SH (P<0.05). Book size and total covers were negatively correlated to first cycle pregnancy rate (r=-0.57, r=-0.71, respectively; P<0.05) for NOV stallions. Pregnancy rate per cycle was also negatively correlated with total covers (r=-0.58; P<0.05) for NOV stallions. Similar trends were noted for Groups CG and EXP, but the relationship was not as marked as for NOV stallions. The fertility of O1 was generally similar to O2 (P>0.05). For Analysis 4, fertility of DH breeding seasons was compared to single hemisphere (SIN) breeding seasons within the same 16 stallions and was found to be similar between the two groups (P>0.05). For Analysis 5, the effect of the number of consecutive DH breeding seasons on fertility was examined and was found to remain unchanged (P>0.05). In summary, no adverse effects of DH breeding on fertility were detected. Fertility was higher when stallions were bred in the SH, as compared to the NH. Potential reasons for higher fertility achieved in the SH were smaller book sizes and better mare reproductive quality.

published proceedings

  • Theriogenology

author list (cited authors)

  • Walbornn, S. R., Love, C. C., Blanchard, T. L., Brinsko, S. P., & Varner, D. D.

complete list of authors

  • Walbornn, SR||Love, CC||Blanchard, TL||Brinsko, SP||Varner, DD

publication date

  • January 1, 2017 11:11 AM