ROBYN & "threepence" - australia's first embryo transfer foal

See article reproduced from the Daily Sun 13th January 1983.


At 2am on Tuesday morning in Brisbane, an Arabian foal stretched her legs for the first time and history was made.

Her name is Threepence, and she weighs only 30kg, and she suffers from no identity crisis despite being borne by two mothers.

Threepence is the first embryo transfer foal born in Australia.

The filly was foaled at Queensland University's equine research unit at Pinjarra Hills and is a triumph for research team leader Robyn Woodward.

Artificial insemination of mares is not uncommon but to date, embryo transfers have not occurred in Australia.

The process started when a mare was artificially inseminated.

After seven days the embryo was removed and inserted in a mare with similar ovulation times. And 11 months later a filly called Threepence was born.

"She was foaled on my mother's birthday, so I thought I'd name her after three very special mothers."

Robyn, a veterinary surgeon and tutor in the university's department of animal production, says embryo transfers are common in the U.S.

She expects eight more embryo transfer foals this season."


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