Pieter Devos is Belgium’s leading equestrian and is ranked fourth in the world. He is also a horse breeder and is now pioneering a ground-breaking project that involves the online sale of deep-frozen horse embryos. The operation proceeds under the name ‘Mares of Mancha’.
“We offer the genes of the best jumping horses” says Pieter. “We have brought together fourteen prize mares. We prick their ovules and inseminate them with the semen of top class stallions. These are stallions that proved their worth at the highest level in the sport of show jumping.”
The embryos are frozen and can be shipped across the globe.
“This is easier than shipping a foal” says Pieter.
Once shipped to its new destination the embryo can be implanted into a mare by a specialised vet.
Pieter and Klaas are not the first to sell foals or embryos, but they are determined to do it in a transparent way.
“People have auctioned exclusive foals and embryos before us. Prices sky-rocket. There is only a limited number of people who can purchase these expensive embryos: sheiks and investors. We are lowering prices to allow ordinary breeders to gain access to the market. Prices range from 7,750 to 25,000 euros. Foals used to be sold for anything between 40,000 and 100,000 euros. It’s a substantial difference.”
“I joined this project because I believe in it. Horse breeding and show jumping will both benefit. The more top horses there are about, the better. I am a top level equestrian too and I know how difficult it is to get hold of exclusive top level jumping horses. It’s a select group. I believe this project can expand that.”