Four years of effort – numerous trips to Brazil!
You may think in these days of AI and technology breeding, even cloning of animals, that this would have been easier.
However, in Brazil, each breed has its own rules, regulations and approvals required by the breed association and the Ministry of Agriculture. For the Mangalarga Marchador, the Association did not allow breedings using frozen semen. Their rules had to be changed. Then the Ministry of Agriculture and the ABCCMM needed to work together to set up the guidelines for semen and embryo exportation.
Finally, the rules were changed in 2009. In 2010, the Ministry of Agriculture approved a few equine reproduction centers as export centers for the Mangalarga Marchador. When we met with breeders, the response for exportation was lukewarm. They did not need to collect or freeze semen for their own use – it was an inconvenience. The North American market was tiny, with only 200 horses, perhaps 80 breedable mares. (The Brazilians do not believe in crossing out to other breeds – their passion is the Mangalarga Marchador!)
Then, over the internet, we meet Sophia and Marcelo Oliveira Baptista, from Agro Maripa. We imported one of their mares, Azenha de Maripa in 2004. Mr. Marcelo graciously agrees to be the PIONEER – to collect and ship frozen semen to us.
In 2010, the shipment is ready and sent to the U.S. We were so excited, but that first effort fell short. A paperwork error caused the USDA in Tennessee to deny entry to the U.S. The semen tank had to be returned to Brazil. With time clocks ticking, the liquid nitrogen charge did not last and the shipment was destroyed at the airport.
Miracles do happen! Mr. Marcelo wanted to collect and ship again! At 12 noon on April 12th, we met the FEDEX truck at Scottsdale Equine Reproductive Center! And our new dream became reality!
Three stallions were exported in this historic package: Oma de Maripa, Tiziu de Maripa and Ximoio de Maripa. They are shown in our stallion pages. Great representatives of the Mangalarga Marchador breed and reproducers in Brazil and now here in the U.S!