Twin-credible! Mother uses IVF to breed twin foals

Twin-credible! Mother uses IVF to breed twin foals… for her horse-mad IVF twin daughters

  • Mother Katherine James turns to IVF to breed twin horses for her twin daughters
  • Her eight-year-old daughters Daisy and Isabelle are accomplished horse riders
  • Ms James bred fouls she hopes her daughters will ride when they are teenagers

When Katherine James gave birth to healthy twin girls, she thanked fertility doctors for a double dose of happiness. 

Now she has turned to the same IVF process to provide her talented daughters with twin horses that she hopes will carry them to sporting success.

Keen showjumper Ms James, 47, has used the technique to breed a pair of foals from her former champion mount that she hopes her daughters will ride when they are teenagers. 

Matching jumpers: Twin showjumpers Daisy, left, and Isabelle, eight, with their foals, Vinvictory and Vinabelle, and their surrogate mothers

‘They’re twin foals for my twin girls,’ she said.

Her eight-year-old daughters Daisy and Isabelle are accomplished riders who have already been selected to represent Wales. Showjumping insiders have tipped them as ‘ones to watch’.

But their sporting potential left Katherine wondering how she could afford two identical top quality competition horses – at a cost of £100,000 each – when the girls outgrow their current ponies.

The solution was to use frozen sperm from her former horse, Veni Vidi Vici, that was artificially inseminated into Daisy and Isabelle’s mare Back In The Black to create two embryos. Those were then removed and put into separate surrogate mares.

Vinvictory and Vinabelle were born earlier this year and, according to Ms James, are similar to their future riders – both fiercely competitive and with a love for tearing around the paddock at their home near Cardiff.

It is hoped the two healthy foals will grow into quality 4ft 10in ponies – the ideal height for jumping – for the non-identical twin girls to use in their teens.

Daisy and Isabelle, known as Issy, were born using IVF after Ms James and her husband Steve Wright, 56, struggled with fertility problems for three years.

‘We really did for the foals what we did for having my own girls,’ she said. 

‘I bred them having in mind that they would be ready for the girls when they are aged 14 or 16. To buy them, you are talking £100,000 each, which we couldn’t afford, so we had to have the foresight to produce our own The girls are so competitive and for their age they are really good. They are horse-obsessed. They aren’t going to give up in a few years, so I thought I would create my own horses for when they grow up.’

Issy, who dreams of becoming a vet, said: ‘I’m most looking forward to jumping over big fences with my foal and, with Daisy, helping raise them really well.’

The solution was to use frozen sperm from her former horse, Veni Vidi Vici, that was artificially inseminated into Daisy and Isabelle’s mare Back In The Black to create two embryos [File photo]

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