This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) and other media factors during oocyte maturation, and the presence of different compositions of amino acids in embryo culture medium, on the development of equine embryos. Oocytes recovered from slaughterhouse-derived ovaries were matured in vitro for 24 h and those with a polar body were subjected to intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) or nuclear transfer with adult fibroblasts (NT). For ICSI embryos, there were no significant differences in rates of morphological cleavage, cleavage with normal nuclei or average nucleus number at 96 h post-ICSI between the absence and presence of IGF-I in maturation medium, or between embryos cultured in G1.2 or a modified CZB medium (CZB-C). Embryos produced by interspecies NT (equine donor cells into bovine cytoplasts) also showed no difference in cleavage rate or average nucleus number whether cultured in G1.2 or in CZB-C. The rates of cleavage, cleavage with normal nuclei and average nucleus number of equine NT embryos were not significantly different among oocytes matured in M199 with FSH in the presence or absence of IGF-I, or in EMMI medium, which contains IGF-I, epidermal growth factor, steroid hormones, FSH and LH. There were no differences in development of equine NT embryos cultured in any of three amino acid treatments (with or without non-essential amino acids, or containing taurine, hypotaurine and cysteine only). The cleavage rate and average nucleus number of parthenogenetically activated oocytes (treated similarly to NT oocytes but not enucleated or subjected to donor cell injection) were significantly (p < 0.05) higher than those for NT embryos. These results indicate that the presence of IGF-I or of EMMI medium during in vitro maturation of equine oocytes does not have a beneficial effect on their developmental competence as assessed at 96 h. Presence or absence of non-essential amino acids in embryo culture medium does not affect development of NT embryos within the first 96 h of culture. Factors associated with enucleation or nuclear transfer decrease the developmental competence of equine NT embryos. CZB-C medium may be used for culture of equine embryos with results similar to those obtained with G1.2 medium, thus providing a base medium that may be modified for further study of culture requirements of equine embryos.