Making it Work for Mare Owners: Hilltop Farm Re-Imagines Cooled Semen Contract Options
- November 19, 2020
- By Staff Writers
COLORA, Md.--With a wide variety of breeders each seeking different bloodlines, breeding goals, and budgets, the need for evolving contract options to better accommodate mare owners is apparent.
In recent years, Hilltop Farm has transitioned from the previously standard 2-year live foal guarantee contract, to 1-year and per dose contracts for both cooled semen and frozen semen breeders.
While change can be challenging, this change was made with the benefit of both mare owners and stallion owners at the forefront.
The 1-Year contracts are pregnancy guarantee contracts and complete when the mare is confirmed 60-days in foal.
Mares that fail to conceive or reach the 60-day pregnancy check receive a discount equal to 50 percent of the breeding fee paid that can be applied to a new 1-year contract in the following breeding season.
The discount can be applied to any new 1-year contract, meaning breeders have the flexibility to change stallions and mares as we understand breeding plans change from year to year, as does our stallion line-up.
This option remains our recommended route for mares with unknown fertility or mares known to be a bit harder to settle in foal.
While it is a bit more expensive than the per dose breeding option, it provides breeders with the security of multiple breeding attempts within the season and the discount option on a future breeding.
The per dose breeding option isn’t a new concept, though is a fairly recent development for cooled semen breedings.
Much like frozen semen by the dose, cooled semen per dose breedings allow breeders to receive one dose of cooled semen with no guarantee.
One area that it does vary from per dose frozen semen is that this contract is intended for the insemination of one mare, designated at time of booking the contract.
While it does provide less security than the 1-year contract, priced at approximately 50 percent of the 1-year contract rate, this option can be a huge cost saving for breeders providing the mare settles in foal.
Should the mare fail to conceive, the breeder would start over with a new contract in order to request semen for an additional cycle.
This option is great for breeders with mares known to conceive easily, breeders only planning on trying one cycle, and end of season breedings that wouldn’t have time to fit additional cooled semen breedings into the stallion’s cooled semen availability window.
Given the lack of guarantee with this breeding, at Hilltop Farm we’ve limited this option to stallions with known conception rates and semen quality that allows for overnight shipping as we do want to ensure the best success for mare owners.
We’ve found breeders to embrace both contract options very well over the past few seasons.
The contracts offer pros and cons and each mare owner’s situation is unique.
We recognize that what may be a pro for one mare owner, may also be a con for another.
For this reason, we do our best to familiarize ourself with each client to help best highlight the advantage of each contract to their specific situation.
As always, we encourage breeders to call or email with any questions they may have on the stallions and their availability prior to booking.
Call 410-658-1836 (direct) or 410-658-9898 (main), or Fax: 410-658-9228