Page 43 - August 2019
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                                 2019 FILLY BY SPECIAL EFFORT
Last year, Joe Dee Brooks and Scott Bryant purchased the sale topping embryo at the Ruidoso Select Foal-In-Utero Sale for $65,000. The filly was born around six months ago.
This special filly is sired by Quarter Horse racing’s only Triple Crown winner – Special Effort. The 1981 World Champion is the sire of one World Champion and six Champions and the broodmare sire of nine Champions. Special Effort died in 2006. The filly is out of Grade 1 winner Five Bar Molly, making her a half-sister to millionaire/Champion Five Bar Cartel as well as to three other black-type runners.
Brooks and Bryant also have another filly purchased via embryo transfer – this one by Champion/World Champion sire Mr Jess Perry and out of Grade 1 winner Hidden Dragon, making the filly a half-sister to stakes winners Heza Wild Dragon and Zulu Dragon.
“We’re not experts. We love racing
more than breeding,” Brooks said. “I may keep a few mares, but I’m not big in the breeding business like some people are. These successful breeders have been doing
it a long time. People like me can get some excellent bloodlines and build a good family by purchasing these embryos. We can do it without starting at square one and without waiting so long, because others have been so good to have shared their successful families.
“Who wouldn’t want a weanling by the only Triple Crown winner Special Effort? And, you don’t have to wait such a long time – you can have it now.
“I have to thank Lowell Neumeyer at the Ruidoso Sale for foreseeing this embryo sale and for bringing it all together. I also thank
2019 filly by Special Effort and out of Five Bar Molly by Dash Ta Fame.
Shaun Hubbard and Tom Goncharof at Crystal Spring Farm (where the Special Effort filly was born and is being taken care of ) for making sure these foals are healthy. There’s a lot of risk involved, and they have done the hard and important part of getting a baby on the ground.
“It’s easy for me to buy an embryo this way, and it’s also a good way to get a diverse group of horses – especially those with great and original bloodlines of successful sires that aren’t with us anymore – such as Special Effort. I have been very pleased with this whole process and will probably do it again.
“It’s too early to say what we will do with her. We’re going to take it one day at a time. But, she’s a very feisty and loveable filly. Right now, she’s healthy. It’s very exciting. We’re just having fun and I like it.”
  Swilley didn’t want to take any chances – with only so many straws from a long-dead sire, his chances to breed a horse were limited.
Monitoring the entire process, and doing so from a distance, is where it became so nerve- wracking for Swilley.
“So the hardest part of it for me was catching the mares, catching her when she was close to going into cycling, having someone
to transport her everywhere,” he said. “She
was brought up to Mississippi State a couple
of weeks before that [the insemination] just because I didn’t want to miss anything. She didn’t have any activity whatsoever. That was a 4 1/2-hour drive each way to bring her home and bring her back in a few weeks. I stayed on the phone with everybody.”
Keeping track from a distance was only part of what worried Swilley.
“Horses have all type of complications. It’s amazing any of them actually reproduce and live . . . that was nerve-wracking for me,” he added. “Hopefully, something doesn’t happen to the foal. Even when she went to Oklahoma, their theriogenologists, we had a conversation about, if something happens, are you willing
to have a C-section done, which on a horse can run more than $7,000. Thank God we didn’t have to do that.”
While Swilley said he had never heard of anyone breeding a horse with frozen semen from a Paint horse like this, King noted that procedures of this type had become more frequent in the past 10 to 15 years, for a variety of reasons.
“Not all of the stallions are deceased, although it does provide insurance in the event of untimely death of a stallion,” King said. “Frozen semen is also utilized to increase the number of mares that a stallion can book for a breeding season and allows stallions to attend competition during the breeding season. Frozen semen is also shipped internationally.”
As stressful as the whole process was, Swilley is planning to do it again. After all, he still has a few straws left from Easy Jet Too. The next procedure likely will entail what’s known as
an intracytoplasmic sperm injection, or ISCI for short: which uses a single sperm to fertilize an egg, meaning a smaller portion of a frozen sample needs to be thawed.
Swilley got to see his foal, who had yet to be named officially at press time, a few weeks after she was foaled. Aside from a little frustration over the lack of Paint marks on her body, he noted that seeing her up close and personal felt more surreal than anything.
“It wasn’t something that was expected and it wasn’t something that was easy. It wasn’t something that was cheap, that was for sure. It was so fascinating to see, literally, a bucket of frozen things and then a year later there’s an actual baby from that.”
   SPEEDHORSE, August 2019 41
  2019 Paint filly by Easy Jet Too and out of Give It My Best Shot TB by Afleet Alex.
photo courtesy Cody Swilley
photo courtesy Tom Goncharof

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