A sequence of studies is reviewed that reported the domestic horse (Equus caballus) mare as an appropriate and accessible research platform for recording clinical and laboratory data post-immunisation with anti- GnRH and -zona pellucida (ZP) immunocontraceptive vaccines. Experience with a native porcine ZP (pZP) vaccine in African elephant (Loxodonta africana) cows highlighted needs for improving vaccine formulations and more clearly defining associated ovarian effects and safety profiles. Initially, the efficacy, reversibility and safety of the GnRH vaccine Improvac® in mares was demonstrated using reproductive tract ultrasonography and concurrently measuring serum antibody titres and progesterone concentrations. Results informed the study design and minimally invasive monitoring of post-treatment ovarian steroid responses of this vaccine in free-ranging African elephant cows. A subsequent sequence of studies reported reversible contraceptive and immunological efficacy in pony mares immunised with pZP formulated with Freund’s adjuvants. By comparison, mares treated with a recombinant ZP3 and ZP4 (reZP) vaccine showed disappointing responses. Unexpectedly, most pZP-treated mares showed ovarian inactivity. In attempting to understand this response, results showed the involvement of cytotoxic (CD8+) T-cells negatively correlated to serum ovarian steroid and anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) levels. Of concern was the prevalence of injection-site lesions ascribable to Freund’s adjuvants. Following this, mares treated with both pZP and a novel reZP vaccine formulated with non-Freund’s adjuvants showed comparable immunological responses and ovarian inactivity, notably without adverse treatment reactions. In addition, measuring AMH showed promise for monitoring ovarian function in anti-ZP-treated animals.