The correlation of endogenous progesterone concentration in diestrus on early pregnancy rate in thoroughbred mares

Fiona Kate Hollinshead, Mary Kate Mehegan, Allan Gunn, Terry Nett, Jason Edward Bruemmer, David William Hanlon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this project was to test the hypothesis that progesterone concentration 5 days after ovulation did not differ between pregnant and nonpregnant Thoroughbred mares on stud farms located in the Waikato region of New Zealand. A prospective cohort study was performed involving five stud farms in the Waikato region of New Zealand during the 2018 breeding season. A total of 275 mares were enrolled in the study. Mares were served by 34 individual stallions. Blood samples were taken from each mare 5 days after ovulation (D0) and measured for progesterone concentration. Early pregnancy was confirmed at D14 by transrectal palpation and ultrasonography of the mares reproductive tract. Progesterone concentration at Day 5 post-ovulation was higher in mares determined to pregnant at Day 14 of gestation than in mares determined to be non-pregnant at Day 14 (6.4 ± 3.0 ng/ml vs. 5.5 ± 3.3 ng/ml respectively; P = .02). A negative association between increasing mare age and pregnancy rate was found but mare age had no effect on progesterone concentration at D5. In this study we found that although higher serum progesterone concentration at Day 5 post ovulation was associated with a higher pregnancy rate at Day 14, no predictive or definitive minimum required progesterone concentration could be identified. Additional studies are required to determine if a synthetic progestogens can serve to supplant natural progesterone to increase pregnancy rate in naturally bred mares.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104127
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Equine Veterinary Science
Early online date15 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

Grant Number

  • 3-2018


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