Mid North Coast Equine Reproduction Centre (MERC) is a purpose designed and built horse breeding facility located at Hampden Hall just 2km from Kempsey NSW. Since its inception in 2002, MERC has been developed into an exceptional equine breeding centre that offers the full range of services to horse breeders.
MERC is 50 acres of carefully designed and managed paddocks purpose built to safely house the large number of horses that spend time at the facility to fulfil their owners breeding programs. There is a large resident embryo recipient herd of horses, agistment paddocks for breeding mares, separate paddocks for mares and foals and stallions stations.
The MERC breeding laboratory is adjacent to a yard facility with breeding crushes, holding pens & over 40 individual day yards. This work area is the centre of daily activities at MERC and is surrounded by larger paddocks in which horses spend the majority of their time. All agisted mares are hand fed daily in the day yards where they can be examined, treated and managed through their breeding cycles.
The Laboratory has all the equipment to assist with the large number of breeding services that are performed daily during breeding season. The centre receives orders, collects, processes and freights chilled semen from several stallions on a daily basis to areas all over the southern hemisphere. Semen freezing is also available at MERC.
Breeding programs are designed to suit mare owners’ specific requests with the centre offering a choice of natural service preparation, chilled or frozen semen insemination. Following joining there is then an option to transfer embryos to recipient mares so as to rebreed or keep a mare performing.
Embryo transfer programs have become extremely popular in recent years. The ability to breed offspring from a mare in a single season while still allowing the mare to continue in her performance area provides mare owners with genetic security. ET at MERC has now developed to become an affordable option for mare owners to consider in their breeding plans and avoids having to wait until retirement to start the next generation.
MERC is personally managed by Andrew Bennett who prides himself on client communication and hands on care for all horses at the centre. With 15 years of experience in artificial breeding Andrew is well respected around the country for his commitment to results for his breeding clients.
MERC Equine Manager is Sheridan Wicks who has been at MERC since 2014. He is responsible for all the horse handling and farm planning. Sheriden Bennett & Patrick Brennan assist Sheridan Wicks with day to day equine managment. An integral team member is long-time MERC assistant Geoff “Speedy” Millard.