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Artificial Insemination at Donnington Grove

Artificial insemination is a popular procedure for breeding sports horses. Donnington Grove Veterinary Group is a BEVA approved centre for artificial insemination. The procedure involves collecting semen from a stallion (often at a specialised facility) which is then used to breed a mare at the correct stage in her oestrus cycle. With the appropriate veterinary input, it is a very successful technique.


Artificial insemination can be performed using fresh, chilled, or frozen semen, as discussed below.


Chilled Semen

Semen is collected from the stallion and mixed with an extender to increase the lifespan of the sperm cells. Insemination occurs either the same or following day. We aim for the mare to ovulate within a day of insemination.


  • Often better quality and fertility than frozen

  • Improved longevity versus frozen means less intensive ultrasound scanning


  • Delays to semen delivery may occur if the stallion is not available (for example if they are injured or competing) or if there are courier delays. There is also the risk of the mare ovulating prior to semen delivery.

Frozen semen

Semen is collected from the stallion and mixed with an extender to increase the lifespan of the sperm cells and then frozen for later use.


  • Frozen semen will last indefinitely if stored correctly

  • Semen can be ordered in advance, making it available for use at anytime

  • Can be shipped worldwide


  • Once thawed, the semen will have a lifespan of approximately 6 hours, so insemination must be performed close to ovulation. It is therefore more invasive for the mare and more expensive due to the increased requirement for ultrasound scans.

  • There must be appropriate storage of frozen semen (though this is widely available)


If you are interested in artificial insemination as an option for breeding your mare, please contact our equine office on 01635 39039 who will put you in touch with one of our highly experienced stud vets.


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