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Melanie Smith Purchases Graves' Recipient Mare Farm

Updated: Sep 18, 2023

Melanie Smith, owner of Solo Select Horses—purchased the industry-leading recipient mare farm Graves Ranch, continuing both programs’ leadership role in equine reproduction.

Graves’ Ranch recipient mare herd of 1,300-head is now under the ownership of Melanie Smith of Solo Select Horses, LLC, joining two of the largest breeding operations in the U.S. under Select Reproduction.

With the acquisition, Select Reproduction will have more than 2,000 mares available for lease, complementing Solo Select Horses, Smith’s rapidly growing reproduction business in North Texas as well as Select Genes, Smith’s custom ICSI aspiration business that brings world-class maternal genetics to the public.

“Use of these mares will fall on breeders who choose to do their breeding work or ICSI aspirations at Solo Select,” Smith said.

“We will continue to serve the North Texas ranches that have previously contracted with Graves’. We do not foresee opening reservations for recipient mares up to the general public; instead, we encourage customers to contact Solo Select for their 2024 ICSI aspiration and embryo transfer needs. Embryos produced at Solo Select will have use of the Select Reproduction recipient mares.”

Select Reproduction will release full details on its mare-leasing program for 2024 this fall.

“This recipient mare farm is another tool in our belt to make sure we produce the results people depend on,” Smith said.

“With the number of mares, exceptionally designed facility and the team we have put together, we know we will have a program that can cater to the demand and expectations of our customers. These recipient mares carry the hopes, dreams and future champions of the performance-horse industry. We understand that the success of the foals these mares produce in 2025 starts right now—it starts as we choose, care for and handle these mares. The bottom line is, people expect results in the breeding barn, and we are committed to producing those results for our customers.”

Graves has been in operation for over 20 years, leading the way in efficiency and quality in the recipient-mare population. Glynn Whitman, a long-time cutting horse trainer from Bismarck, North Dakota and EquiStat $496,873 rider, will manage the facility, personally overseeing the daily care of the horses.

“The herd has a bit of everything, but the Graves have spent decades improving the quality of their mares,” Whitman explained. “If you come look at them, they look like a herd of Quarter Horse mares with some color and drafts mixed in. Everything we do is set up to make these mares’ jobs as easy as possible, because they’re a critical element of this process and important to the continued growth of the horse industry.”

Dr. Franklin Collins, DVM, and Breeding Manager Quentin Stover will be critical assets to the success of the operation. The Graves family will remain involved in the program, ensuring the dependability and quality of the Graves’ Ranch recipient mare operation remains top-notch.

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