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Ca' di Gianni Europe Breeding Station
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March 2nd, 2010

By Monica Calanni Rindina
Photos by Gigi Grasso
Article courtesy of Tutto Arabi



Scientific research and development of reproductive technologies are producing fundamental changes also in horse breeding of excellence.

Increasingly sophisticated techniques of artificial insemination and embryo transfer today allow breeders to do things that were unimaginable just a few years ago. Today you can program selection using sires rationally and with increased effectiveness.

Some Italian universities have always been at the forefront of innovative techniques in the study of animal reproduction, and there are a few important veterinary clinics in Italy.

PBA breeders have been using these techniques quite frequently and ANICA, which holds the register of Italian PBAs, has accurately regulated reproduction through embryo transfer, modeling its rules on the WAHO regulation.

But this experience has demonstrated the importance of ensuring, for the purebred Arabians undergoing assisted reproduction, both scientific expertise and environmental conditions that suit the nature and meet the needs of these horses.

Arising from this consideration was specific project that is taking shape at Ca' di Gianni.

As most people are aware, Ca' di Gianni is one of Europe's busiest centers and has distinguished itself in the preparation of show horses but also in the assistance provided to breeders, who can find here experienced people ready to address the various issues that might arise during the breeding process.

Just a few but qualified stallions operate here - and this is the result of a pragmatic choice. But most of all, here you will find readily available frozen semen from sires, offering good as well as diversified alternatives in terms of blood lines and conformation quality. All this is guaranteed by a track record of passing on important genetic material. To make just a few names: True Colours. Shadow El Sher, Orashan. Kenz Noor. Massai Ibn Marenga. Nimroz, Monogramm jm, Simeon Sharaf, Trestin. But you will also be assisted with any need or query you might have in the choice of breeders from around the world.

Today Ca' di Gianni offers a service that represents an important step forward in breeding, and not just for PBAs.

Along with the well-tested artificial insemination techniques, a new semen collection and freezing service will be activated, especially embryo transfer.

What is new is the fact that this service is reserved exclusively to the PBA and will be carried out in its premises.

Essentially, Ca' di Gianni will become a hub for SBS, a network consisting of specialized veterinarians and physiologists. Its research centers and clinics located in North America, Europe and Australia have been working for years at the highest levels on researching and applying horse artificial reproduction methods. The network's European Manager is Dr. Barbacini, who is widely-known thanks to his experience in Italy, particularly with sports and racing horses.

Thanks to an agreement with Dr. SANDRO BARBACINI, Ca' di Gianni will set up a fully equipped laboratory and will guarantee the presence of a specialized veterinarian seven days a week carola Pareto, under the supervision of Dr. Barbacini himself. Thanks to this, it will be possible to provide services such as fresh semen freezing, import and export of fresh and frozen semen, embryo storage and embryo insemination at the highest quality level.

The Center's managers, Paolo Capecci and Giampaolo Gubbiotti underline the commitment undertaken by the Center.

Today - they told us - what breeders are interested in is not having a more or less famous stallion close to home, though this may be a viable commercial operation for the center housing the stallion. They would rather be able to make the best use of what is on offer around the world. And today, thanks to the latest technologies we can do that with considerable peace of mind.

But the basic reason that led to this organizational effort is to ensure that horses are accommodated in an environment that suits the purebred Arabian and that the staff available is fully familiar with behavioral and psychological characteristics of these animals, which not only have specific temperament traits but above need training and a cure that can not suffer traumatic disruptions during the difficult period of insemination.

The new techniques - they tell us - are an opportunity for all and can be valuable aids for breeding. But there is also the risk that they might turn our horses into "breeding machines" and breeding into a mere mathematical-genetic calculation. Fortunately, nature and passion will always be the key factors. It is always up to breeders, their intuition, sensitivity and culture to perpetuate and enhance the legacy that the nature and history have given us in the blood of our horses.

And it is with this in mind that the project was created: to put technical competence and methodology at the highest levels to the service of the breeder's sensitivity and culture, factors that have always been fundamental in the world of the purebred Arabian.

Frozen Semen Stallions

Royal Colours


True Colours

Shadow El Sher


Kenz Noor

Massai ibn Marenga


Monogramm JM



Arabian Training Center Ca' di Gianni


Paolo Capecci: mobile +39 335 6499739


Giampaolo Gubbiotti:

mobile +39 335 8301574 - +39 320 3261598