International Breeders Meeting Held in Florida

In conjunction with the Breeders’ Cup Thoroughbred races at Gulfstream Park, the 1999 International Breeders Meeting took place in Bal Harbour, Fla. Breeders representing 30 countries from around the globe gathered to listen to four morning presentations on topics ranging from an analysis of breeders’ incentive programs to the impact of the stallion shuttle on the breeding industry to global dissemination services.

Following the morning session, the group conducted a round table discussion that addressed many topics of interest. On the agenda were equine diseases, the use of growth hormones, foal production analysis, the repository systems at bloodstock sales, and stallion fertility, among others.

One of the main topics of the morning session dealt with the future of using microchip technology to identify horses.

Hamish Anderson, Director of Weatherbys and the person responsible for the General Stud Book, Eclipse Pedigrees, and the British Stud Book, addressed the gathering on the benefits of the microchip as a means of proper identification. The microchip, he said, is quite useful, not necessarily to identify a horse but to distinguish between two or more horses when they look alike.

The benefits to using the microchip in competition horses are many, he said. Among those reasons are that the microchips themselves are quick and easy to put in (injectable and about the size of a grain of rice), they have a long life span because they are inert, and they can solve an identity crisis with use of proper recordkeeping. Microchips also are very difficult to remove from a horse. They are inserted into the nuchal ligament on the left side of a horse’s neck. (This ligament is not used in the horse meat industry and thus poses no threat to human health.) The microchips do not migrate in the ligament, giving persons trying to identify a horse using an electronic microchip reading device an easy location for scanning.

It is necessary to make sure that the chip is compatible with the reading mechanism.

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