Beloved Horse Lives with Some Surrogate Help
Kyrie was a national champion. She was a beautiful Arabian, lovingly raised by Lisa Gaudio on the farm where she lives with her husband Jimmy in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. They shared an intimate bond and the foal grew into a stunning and talented mare.
Lisa and Kyrie were separated for several years, but it was always Lisa’s intention to one day find the horse and bring her home. Four years ago, she did just that but was heartbroken to find that Kyrie was suffering from a worsening, and ultimately fatal, medical condition.
While Kyrie would eventually have to be put down, Lisa wanted to find a way to keep the horse’s legacy alive. The result is a miraculous testament to the advances in veterinary reproductive technologies.
Following Kyrie’s death, her ovaries were removed and sent to the New Bolten reproduction center. Doctors were then able to carefully remove sixteen viable eggs. Those eggs were then immediately flown to a lab in Texas.
Kyrie’s eggs were then injected with the frozen sperm of a champion stallion. Not all of the eggs developed, but of the initial sixteen, four matured into living embryos.
As a final step, the embryos were embedded into the wombs of three different mares. They became the surrogate mothers of foals that would carry Kylie’s genetic heritage, and that of the donor stallion.
But this isn’t so much a story about science as it is a testament to one woman’s mission to commemorate the spirit of her beloved horse. On January 16th, 2017, Epona was born. Big Man in Town came into the world on January 22nd, and was joined by Elle Vitorina on February 1st. Three mares birthing the three foals Kylie would have carried had she not died before her time.
Truly the perfect trifecta.
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