USTA Board of Directors vote to amend rule on Artificial Insemination in special meeting

Columbus, OH — In a special meeting of its board on Wednesday (Feb. 1), the U.S. Trotting Association’s directors voted to amend the USTA rule on Artificial Insemination.

The existing Rule 26.05 Artificial Insemination was changed to allow frozen semen to be used in the breeding season, or year, immediately following castration or death of the stallion. The rule became effective immediately.

The measure passed with 38 voting in the affirmative and five in opposition. There were three abstentions, including President Russell Williams.  Previously, the measure had been approved by nine districts during the just-concluded USTA district meeting cycle, was rejected by two others, and tabled for further discussion by two more.

“The special meeting of the Board of Directors was called for Feb. 1 in order to amend the rule in time for breeding season,” said USTA Executive Vice President and CEO Mike Tanner in making the announcement following the meeting. “This change aligns a critical U.S. breeding practice with the rules commonly found in many European countries.”

Following is the change in the language of the rule.

26.05 Artificial Insemination — A foal conceived by transported fresh or frozen semen shall be eligible for registration. The fact that the foal is the product of transported fresh or frozen semen shall be annotated on all documents relative to that foal, including but not limited to stallion reports, mating certificates, registration certificates and electronic eligibility certificates.

In the event of the castration or death of a stallion, semen frozen from such stallion may be used in the breeding season immediately following the breeding season, or year, in which such castration or death occurred. Foals by that stallion conceived from this period may be registered. No foal conceived by semen from that stallion after that time period is eligible for registration (remove: no foal conceived by semen from that stallion in a year after said death or castration is eligible for registration.) This rule change shall become effective on Feb. 1, 2023.

In his submission of the rule change proposal, Thomas Grossman from Blue Chip Farms noted that “Sweden, and many other countries in the EU Trotting union allow for the extended use of a stallion’s frozen semen for one breeding season beyond the season/year of death.”

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