by Josh Babcock
To ensure safe delivery of a valued foal and preserve a livelihood passed down to them, Josh and Tanya Allen have always turned to Washington State University’s Equine Service.
“We want to pass on a legacy that our parents passed on to us—that is, love for the industry, family, and bringing up horses the right way,” said Josh Allen, co-owner of JTA Circle Performance Horses LLC.
JTA Performance Horses LLC specializes in developing cattle and ranch horses, as well as horsemanship training for owners.
“If you want to have the best horse, you want the best care. We go to WSU’s veterinary college because that’s where we know we will get it; that’s why we do everything through WSU.”
—Josh Allen, co-owner of JTA Circle Performance Horses LLC
Josh owns the Quincy basin business with his wife Tanya Allen. The two have mares that produced five foals in the past three years through artificial insemination by Washington State University’s equine reproduction specialist, called a theriogenologist.
With pregnancy confirmed in two more mares recently, the Allens are expecting two more foals next year to add to the list.
“If you want to have the best horse, you want the best care,” Josh said. “We go to WSU’s veterinary college because that’s where we know we will get it; that’s why we do everything through WSU.”
Rosie, a foal originally conceived at WSU’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital by WSU’s lead theriogenologist, Dr. Ahmed Tibary, was born this spring. She’s the most recent addition to the Allen operation.
WSU veterinarians managed reproductive cycles before breeding Rosie’s mother, CeeCee. The mare was also monitored for several weeks during pregnancy to ensure there were no complications.
“To be successful in getting a mare pregnant and carrying a healthy pregnancy, you have to monitor how that mare’s health is and what her uterus looks like (with ultrasound) during the entire breeding process,” Tibary said. “This is critical to the health and welfare of the foal and the mare.”
Next, Josh said he plans to bring his stallion—5-year-old King Starlight Dunit—to WSU for semen collection and to give the students a learning opportunity.
“Dr. Tibary has such a good relationship building up stallions and making sure they are viable to breed,” Allen said. “He continues to reach out and ask doctors throughout the nation for new practices and new ideas. He is constantly evolving, and I respect that.”
Tibary said artificial insemination has many advantages, including limiting the chance of venereal disease and physical injury to the stallion or the mare. Owners can also ship frozen semen from stallions throughout the world and save semen when stallions begin to lose fertility.
Tibary said breeding and pregnancy should not be left to chance.
Pregnancy can exacerbate some health problems and although rare, some pregnancies can be complicated. It is important to consult with a veterinarian prior to breeding a mare and follow the recommendations for care and monitoring of the pregnant mare.
“A mare that has a complication cannot wait; it is a true emergency” Tibary said. “A cow can be in labor for four hours; a mare, if she is in trouble in the first 30 minutes, within about an hour the chances to save the foal are greatly reduced.”