The story of Totilas and Pronexcell
A first acquaintance.
Early 2010, Jorgen van der Holst added a white powder named Pronexcell to the freezing medium that he had prepared for freezing the sperm cells of the famous stallion Totilas. The semen was collected and processed by Jorgen, because Holstud and Totilas were stationed at the same location.
Jorgen: "To my surprise, adding Pronexcell to the freezing extender resulted in more natural motility of the sperm cells. Totilas was the first stallion whereby Pronexcell was used in the semen freezing medium”.
From then on, Jorgen used Pronexcell in his equine semen freezing medium. His use of Pronexcell resulted in the exceptional high fertility of between 85% and 90% of Totilas’s sperm used in 15 countries within and outside Europe and with more than 250 mares.
Pronexcell was at that time a component of a new swine semen extender that was developed by Bart van den Berg in 2005. An investigation incorporating results of over half a million swine inseminations at 35 farms showed that Pronexcell increased fertility significantly. The same was shown for a new rabbit semen extender that he had developed in 2013. To date, nothing is known about the way Pronexcell acts on a molecular level. Bart van den Berg: "The presence of polyunsaturated fatty acids is necessary for good sperm movement. One may improve sperm quality by optimal feed containing these substances, but the addition of these natural compounds to sperm cell preservation media enables the repair of sperm cells that are damaged by the cryopreservation process."
A renewed acquaintance.
The discovery of Jorgen van der Holst initiated the development of the equine semen preservation medium by Bart van den Berg in 2014. In 2015, Pronexcell was one of the ingredients of the new equine semen extender Hippex.
Sperm cell motility analysis of diluted sperm showed that especially on the day after collection and dilution in the preservation medium Hippex, the quality was improved. The sperm cell motility was enhanced, while the preservation capacity was often superior over that of other commercial equine preservation media.
Hippex was introduced and used at the Station of Paul Schockemöhle in Muhlen in 2016. It seemed like a renewed introduction between Totilas’s semen and Pronexcell, since here in Muhlen, the semen of Totilas was collected and processed using Hippex as a preservation medium.
Bart Kools (Station of Paul Schockemöhle): "With the use of Hippex, for 80-90% of our stallions we do not need to centrifuge the semen anymore. This saves us a lot of time and costs. Further, the microscopic view of the sperm cells is much clearer, while the preservation time is longer when compared to other extenders. Finally, the 10-15% higher pregnancy rate that we see when using Hippex instead of other extenders is economically rewarding".
The semen of Totilas was diluted in Hippex until Totilas sadly passed away on December 14, 2020, aged 20, due to complications following colic surgery.
The acquaintance lives on.
In February 2021, Jorgen van der Holst announced that there is still a certain amount of semen available of Totilas for the breeding season 2021. Jorgen: “From the moment of the collection until the present day this Totilas semen has always been under the careful supervision of Holstud. Research has shown that the sperm from 2010 is still of pristine quality.”
Bart van den Berg adds: “It is a pleasure to see that Pronexcell continues to have its value. Further, as I move on with research, it is fortunate to see that HuVeSearch has taken over the production and sales of the Hippex extenders containing Pronexcell.”
Hippex is now used since 2016 at the Paul Schockemöhle Service Station and Stud in Mühlen, Germany.
Bart Kools, who is head of the semen collection and processing laboratory, is enthusiastic about the extender.
Bart Kools: "with the use of Hippex, for 80-90% of our stallions we do not need to centrifuge the semen anymore. This saves us a lot of time and costs. Further, the microscopic view of the sperm cells is much clearer, while the preservation time is longer when compared to other extenders. Finally, the 10-15% higher pregnancy rate that we see when using Hippex instead of other extenders is economically rewarding".
Paul Schockemöhle Pferdehaltung.
Stallion AI Services in Shrewsbury, United Kingdom, is the UK's largest Equine Semen Storage and Distribution Centre.
The centre was founded in 1996 by Tullis Matson, the Managing Director.
Tullis Matson: "we started in 2017 with Hippex and we see Hippex as one of the best extenders on the market for stallions with a wide range of fertility. Personally, I am impressed by the initial quality of the semen after processing and a day later".
Helgstrand Dressage is one of the world's most decorated and successful stable for the training and selling of dressage horses. With top European stallion stations in Germany and Denmark.
Christian Springborg: "we are very satisfied using Hippex, since the extender is easy to prepare, use and store. We use Hippex for a wide range of fertilities. The microscopic view is very bright and clear, which makes it easy to determine the motility. Finally, we found the motility higher over longer periods of time when compared to other semen extenders."
Hippex was introduced in Spain and Mexico by Mauricio Ospina, a distinguished veterinarian specialized in equine and bovine reproduction.
Mi experiencia con la utilización de Hippex durante año y medio con Sementales pura raza española, conocida por su complicada fertilidad.
Con este producto he obtenido magníficos resultados en IA en fresco.
Tiene gran poder de mantener esperma vivo por tiempos más prolongados que otros extender.
Los resultados en envíos de semen fresco, centrifugado previamente son excelentes,además de gran limpieza y visión al microscopio.
En la centrífugacion previa a la congelación también he tenido óptimos resultados.
La utilización de Hippex aumenta las tasas de fertilidad.
I have now for one year and a half experience (since 2017) with the use of Hippex with pure Spanish breed stallions, known for its complicated fertility. With Hippex I have obtained excellent results in AI of freshly diluted semen. It has great capacity to keep equine sperm cells viable for longer times than other extenders. The results of shipped fresh semen (which we had to centrifuge before the use of Hippex) are excellent. The sperm cells when viewed under a microscope are very clear. Also with the use of Hippex as centrifugation extender prior to freezing I've had excellent results. The use of Hippex increased fertility rates.