Leading the way and keeping everyone traveling the same road was facilitator Zane Akins
of Akins Associates.Mr. Akins is the former CEO of the Holstein Association
Before delving into the matter at hand , Mr. Akins
made it a point to encourage the group to be creative thinkers , have open minds and to look beyond the way things are usually done in order to get a deeper look into each issue.Those points being made , the Forum was underway.
Superovulation , ova recovery , embryo transfer , freezing and storage , in vitro fertilization and other scientific advances that make it possible for a mare to produce more than one foal in a year , were the reason the meeting.A poll of audience members prior to the issues discussion revealed that expectations for the Forum included a better understanding of these developing technologies , how they may affect the Arabian market , the quality of the horse and the future of the breed as well as an exploratio n of how other registries have handled these technologies.Once these issues are explored , the group expected to then get a consensus of opinion , prioritize the issues that were to be defined and , finally , devise goals and parameters of what was discussed.
With this expansive question on the table , Mr. Akins
involved the Forum members in an in-depth conversation of those issues , challenging each person to keep an open mind and expand on their ideas.Issues ranging from genetic breed improvement , mare health , equalization between stallions and mares and many , many others were brought up.
By the conver sations end , over 40 potential issues were suggested.The group agreed that genetically the breed could be improved by allowing mares to produce more foals.If a free market works as it should , proven mares would have greater impact on the breed and she
a nd her
foals should increase in value.More culling would have to take place because of more selected breeding.