We Ask Stallion Owners and Breeding Managers: How has the Coronavirus Impacted Your Breeding Business?
Due to the unprecedented turmoil that the COVID-19 virus has caused across the world, GoHorseShow wanted to talk to breeding managers and stallion owners about how this pandemic is impacting their 2020 breeding season.
Ken Masterson of Masterson Farms posted this update on Facebook a few days ago:
To Our Breeding Customers: The number of airline flights available for counter-to-counter shipments has decreased over the last few days to the point that we do not believe such service can be relied upon. Accordingly, we will no longer offer counter-to-counter shipments but will continue to rely on FedEx Priority Overnight shipments for your semen. Also, we will ship semen for you—depending upon its availability—five rather than three days a week. We will do everything we can to assist you through this challenging time for everyone.
The statement by Masterson is the overwhelming sentiment of stallion owners and breeding managers across the country. The breeding professionals will do everything in their power to make sure you will get what you need when you need it.
This declaration is also backed up by FedEx’s recent press release that states that “Due to the crucial role we play in moving supply chains and delivering critical relief, FedEx is considered an essential business and may continue to operate under the state of emergency and shelter in place orders recently issued in the U.S.”
We talked to other breeding professionals about how their breeding season is going so far during these unchartered times.
Debbi Trubee – Actually, nothing seems to be going on, but people are worried. I’ve had all my FedEx shipments, including many to Canada this past week, get through with no issues. I did stop the same day shipments via the airlines on Monday, and I see now that others are following. Too many canceled flights to not be worried about semen getting stuck somewhere. However, it is pretty much business as usual at the breeding farms. I even had my shipment to Germany make it to the storage facility on time.
Amy Gumz – I think we are all in limbo and not sure how this is going to play out. Flights are canceling daily, so it makes same-day semen shipments, as well as flying embryos into recipient herds, very difficult. So far, next day delivery services are still in operation, even though the usual guarantees are not in place. It’s a challenge, but we will get through it. I think we need to stay calm and wait this out, and I’m confident that we will be back to normal.
Kim Dean – Dallas just went under lockdown, but it includes the people who are living there and businesses but not FedEx, UPS, or airlines at this time. We’re shipping and flying out tomorrow. We’ve been fortunate – no issues with shipping so far. It’s been business as usual up through now, but if FedEx has problems, we’ll have to do what we can to get everyone taken care of. We’ve got plenty of frozen semen on hand to ship out if we need to. We’re hopeful that everyone stays safe and healthy through it all. We’re just grateful for one of the best breeding seasons we’ve had in a while.
Kari Craft – Everything is still good with shipping right now, and we are still able to ship counter-to-counter. Gone Viral has gotten all the mares pregnant that he’s shipped to so far this breeding season. Counter-to-counter options may become more difficult though, depending on the development of COVID-19 and depending on the location of the mare, but as of now, we are still good. Piedmont Equine would love for customers to bring their mares to the clinic for breeding because having the mare on site would allow the clinic to breed the mare at any time. We are offering a $250 discount for mares that are brought to the clinic for breeding during this time.
Kristen Galyean – This, too, shall pass. We all need to be smart and don’t go anywhere that isn’t a necessity to try and protect our families and communities. It’s not a time to panic. Remain calm and trust in the Lord that he will see us all through this.
Cathy Corrigan Frank – I’ve heard some stallion stations are having trouble shipping semen because of airline delays and flight cancelations. I guess I would just remind mare owners that the stallion owners are doing their best, and this craziness will soon pass.
Peggy Knaus – We really only ship semen, so that doesn’t require any coming or going. My son is off school, and I always enjoy that. He’s a great help with heavy lifting. It’s the only effect we have had so far. FedEx released a statement that they will continue normally. So nothing has changed in our world. Babies come in 11 months. All will have blown over by then. All is well here.
Amy Mackie Smith – Besides not being able to show our offspring, our breeding business has not been affected. Iron Enterprise is still operating as normal with Select Breeders in Aubrey, TX. We are working on contingency plans for shipping in the event that flights are grounded. I do predict all breeders are going to take a hit in sales this year. Hard to sell with no shows. In an effort to help, we are allowing breeders to pay their breeding fee over the next eight months due to the impact of the virus, after the initial collection & shipping fee is paid ($550).
Linda Gordon – So far, business as usual. As long as FedEx and American Airlines are flying, we are good to ship.
Has the Coronavirus impacted your breeding season? Are you still breeding your mares? Let us know.