September 21, 2005
As Aiken’s polo community grows, some of the best technology is joining the community. This year, America’s first Polo Embryo Transfer Center opened in Aiken. And it’s improving the game of many Aiken polo players.
Owen Rinehart is one of America’s best polo players. And he lives and breeds his horses in Aiken.
“My wife breeds the retired mares that I played,” Rinehart said.
But when Owen starts using New Bridge Embryos, he won’t have to wait for retirement. The center opened in Aiken this year. It’s the first polo embryo transfer facility in America.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity for really everyone in the southeast and that’s where the majority of the polo is and so it works really well,” Rinehart said.
The center came to Aiken because it’s becoming an increasingly popular place for polo players to live during the off-season.
“Very valuable mares from the United States are resting here after they finish their polo season,” said Luis Losinno.
Argentinean veterinarians Luis Losinno and Jorge Macdonough run Aiken’s center. They’re from a country experienced with embryo transfer.
“They try to find a way of gaining the experience that we had done in Argentina in the last 20 years and go right to the good results,” Macdonough said.
In polo, the polo horses are just as important as the players and the embryo transfer center ensures these turn out to be the very best.
Polo players bring their most talented mares to create the embryo, but after a week, the foal is transferred to a surrogate mother. And this best polo horses don’t miss any games.
“There’s a certain type that we really like for polo and we can continue that bloodline,” Rinehart said.
Many Aiken polo players are hoping this means improved bloodlines close to home, and ultimately improved games.
The veterinarians at New Bridge Embryos produced 38 pregnancies in its first breeding season. You can see polo horses created by embryo transfer in Argentina play Sunday in Aiken’s Gold Cup Tournament. Click here to learn more about the tournament.