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Separating the “Boys” from the Boys

The decision to castrate (or geld) a stallion, called an orchidectomy, is one that most horse owners, trainers and managers have had to make. While performance and manageability may be improved with castration, many feel the pressure of limiting future progeny to be a crippling choice if the horse has proven to be suitable as a breeding prospect. Former tenured faculty member at the University of Guelph, Dr. Antonio Cruz, a board-certified equine surgeon and sport medicine specialist, states emphatically that not all stallions should be considered candidates for the breeding shed. “All horses that are not suitable as stallions, because of their genetic lineage and aptitude should be castrated,” he said. “This facilitates their management in a herd situation; it is safer and prevents unwanted pregnancies.” When to Castrate While Dr. Cruz recommends that horses be castrated at around one year of age, he noted that they may be…

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