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News and Insight On Winbak Farm

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Dr. John Hurtgen Passes

Wednesday, February 17, 2010  By: Standardbred Canada

 Dr. John Hurtgen, a renowned specialist in embryo transfer work, died late last night at his farm in New Freedom, Pennsylvania while delivering a foal. Dr. Hurtgen fell ill and called for a colleague working nearby, but died. He was 63.

A native of Wisconsin, Dr. Hurtgen was educated in Minnesota before joining the University of Pennsylvania's famed New Bolton Center. In 1984, he left New Bolton to work at Dr. William Solomon's Pin Oak Lane Farm in New Freedom. He later left Pin Oak and established his own Nandi Farm in New Freedom, where he became expert at successfully performing embryo transfers.

"He didn't really have much experience with standardbreds until he came here," said Dr. Solomon. "He became intrigued with embryo transfers and developed those skills and created a niche for himself. The (ET) technology is pretty simple, but there are little subtleties, and he had a command of all of those.

"John was a very bright, hard-working guy," Dr. Solomon added. "He also trained 25 or 30 horses at his farm."

Nandi Farm was the home to five standardbred stallions: Tom Ridge, Quik Pulse Mindale, Nuclear Breeze, Garth Vader and Lear Jetta. In addition, more than 100 mares resided at the farm, including some used exclusively as recipient mares for ETs.

Dr. Hurtgen is survived by his wife Linda, who worked with him on the farm; and two daughters. A son, Peter, died as a teenager in an automobile accident.

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