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Are we breeding racehorces to destruction ?

Home Forums Horse Racing Are we breeding racehorces to destruction ?

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  • #20367
    KenhKenh
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    • Total Posts 738

    Thought people may be interested in this on the BBC website

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/wondermonkey … tion.shtml

    #380139
    paulostermeyerpaulostermeyer
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    You beat me to it in posting the link.

    An interesting article which poses many questions and as it admits in the article the ramifications are inconclusive.

    However as it also points out continued inbreeding can cause problems as has been evident with some breeds of dogs.

    #380160
    SteeplechasingSteeplechasing
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    • Total Posts 5767

    Sorry, should have checked here first as I’ve just posted on twitter which some of you might already have done.

    Fascinating stuff nonetheless

    Never argue with a fool. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience, then onlookers might not be able to tell the difference. https://lazybet.com/

    #380172
    andyod
    Member
    • Total Posts 4012

    Reminds me of the shutin who said her cat could not have gotten pregnant because Tom was her brother.

    #380186
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • Total Posts 17722

    I ddi find that most interesting once i’d got beyond that nonsense about inbreeding causing broken legs! Anne Herries =almost a neighbour of mine then, used to get quite cross when so few wanted to send mares to her beloved Celtic Swing, and seh made almost this point – ther’ell be trouble if they keep sending all the mares to so few stallions, espcially Yankee ones race’d on LASIX!

    Cheers
    Constance

    #380197
    moehat
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    • Total Posts 7835

    steeplechasing; did you put a link up a while go about an owner who made a point of only buying horses from pedigrees that didn’t suffer from breathing problems? I kept meaning to re read it but then forgot which thread it was on. Found it very interesting. Thought Celtic Swing didn’t have very good conformation? We were at the National Stud in Ireland shortly after a Celtic Swing foal had been born. Wish I’d made a note of it, so I could’ve followed it’s career.

    #380216
    freeradicalfreeradical
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    • Total Posts 336

    Negative in breeding will start becoming apparent when increasing number of sires become either infertile or mares start increasingly losing their foals due to recessive inherited leading to spontanuous miscarriage. It is probably well documented how frequently pregnancies are lost and these sires that carry these recessive traits will not have long careers.

    If there were to be a percentage increase in non-deleterious recessive traits in the horse population these are likely to lead to reduced fitness. Again something that will be noticable if fewer than expected of the off spring perform. While an increased predisposition for bone breaks could be genetic, you would expect it to be linkable to certain sires or blood lines. To study this it would be important to determine how the bone broke e.g. during a gallop or was there evidence that the horse put its foot in a hole etc. The same would apply to heart conditions and breathing issues. Again making simple group would not be valid as you would need to study the specific condition. If no significant linkage can be made then these would either be possibly due to de novo mutations, rare recessive genes, or multifactorial elements rather than a single gene.

    In breeding will always be a potential problem in a limited gene pool. However, given that the major breeders often take the both the long and short term view, I would expect there to be sufficient ‘outbreeding’ to ensure the race horse continues to thrive. The major danger would be again allowing artificial insemination, which is likely to result in a reduced gene pool.

    #380221
    moehat
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    • Total Posts 7835

    Find genetics fascinating, although must admit to also finding it very difficult to understand. Having a problem with my dog at the moment, and, in the course of trying to get to the bottom of what’s wrong I’ve been told some genes are more ‘dominant’ than other. Which genes

    would be like this in horse breeding?

    #380232
    Miss WoodfordMiss Woodford
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1352

    I challenge the assertion that pedigree is the reason behind breakdowns of recent years.

    There has been just one equine fatality in 136 runnings of the Kentucky Derby. Eight Belles’ sire Unbridled Song does tend to sire precocious, unsound horses (see Midshipman, Old Fashioned, Buddha, Dunkirk, Songandaprayer, Rockport Harbor, Half Ours, Winslow Homer, Silver City, etc.). However, several UBS offspring have run for years because they weren’t pressed hard along the Triple Crown trail. Also, Eight Belles’ half-brother Escape Route (inbred 3×3 to Mr. Prospector and 3×4 to Northern Dancer!) is still running well as a 7yo.

    With Barbaro, however, there is nothing in his breeding to suggest a likely breakdown. In fact, his sire Dynaformer is the go-to sire for soundness and stamina. He is the leading jumps sire in the United States. His best offspring include Perfect Drift (retired sound at age 9 with over $4 million in earnings), Americain (Melbourne Cup winner), Riskaverse (retired sound at age 6), Film Maker (retired sound at age 6), McDynamo (3-time champion steeplechaser, retired sound at age 10, currently a foxhunter), and several G1-winning hurdlers. Barbaro’s dam, La Ville Rouge, raced 25 times, and none of Barbaro’s siblings/half-siblings have shown any fragility. Barbaro is 4×5 to Nashua, who himself had stamina to spare and sired tough horses like Shuvee, Wickerr, and Diplomat Way.

    Rewilding’s pedigree isn’t particularly unsound, either. His only inbreeding in 5 generations is 5×5 to Natalma.

    In breeding will always be a potential problem in a limited gene pool. However, given that the major breeders often take the both the long and short term view, I would expect there to be sufficient ‘outbreeding’ to ensure the race horse continues to thrive. The major danger would be again allowing artificial insemination, which is likely to result in a reduced gene pool.

    Standardbreds have allowed AI for a long time, and they’re as sound as ever. Race once a week, sometime in heats, and 300 or 400 lifetime starts isn’t uncommon. You are correct that AI has reduced the gene pool in them and in racing Quarter Horses (it is literally impossible to find a racing-bred QH without Dash For Cash or Beduino blood), but that hasn’t resulted in soundness issues.

    #380234
    EmmyKEmmyK
    Member
    • Total Posts 166

    I think a bigger problem is the shear volume of horses bred? and we have this bizarre thing in the UK where by we don’t really use the best mares we could 99% of the time, and that slowly drives down standards in all ways.

    #380235
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    • Total Posts 17722

    What a pathetic article.

    Without a platform for horses to race we wouldn’t know how good the breed was and if we’re not breeding the best racers we’re not progressing the bloodline.

    Furious at how obsured the article is, how conflicting and degrading it is – insult to anyone who has worked their life in racing.

    Pathetic.

    #380241
    freeradicalfreeradical
    Member
    • Total Posts 336

    Reducing the gene pool need not lead to unsoundness, but it will if it exposes a previously insignificant recessive disorder. It would be a surprise if there were no such recessive genes in the population but it is likely that their incidence is such that currently the vast majority of matings that involve a potentially ‘unfit gene’ would result in a heterzygous state with no or very limited significance.

    The original article was rubbish, isolated breakages or some other feature is not evidence of inbreeding. Also comparing horse breeding with pedigree dog breeding is also ridiculous considering horses are breed for performance and not certain defined features that has nothing to do with fitness.

    #380260
    Venusian
    Participant
    • Total Posts 1665

    …I’ve been told some genes are more ‘dominant’ than other. Which genes

    would be like this in horse breeding?

    Coat colour provides us with good examples. Bay (including brown and black which are variants of same base colour) is dominant, while chestnut is recessive. The gene for grey, which overlays the base bay/chestnut colour, is dominant.

    #380280
    Eclipse First
    Member
    • Total Posts 1571

    For the author to say inbreeding has become more prevalent in the last 40 years is farcical. He obviously has never heard of Marcel Boussac and how his experiments on inbreeding to Tourbillon ruined his studs. Coronation won the 1949 Arc by 6 lengths destroying a top class field by 6 lengths. She was inbred 2×2 to Tourbillon so his experiment could be said to have some success, yet when sent to the paddocks, she was unable to carry a foal to full gestation thus rendering her performances on the racecourse to a full stop.

    #380284
    TuffersTuffers
    Member
    • Total Posts 1402

    steeplechasing; did you put a link up a while go about an owner who made a point of only buying horses from pedigrees that didn’t suffer from breathing problems? I kept meaning to re read it but then forgot which thread it was on. Found it very interesting. Thought Celtic Swing didn’t have very good conformation? We were at the National Stud in Ireland shortly after a Celtic Swing foal had been born. Wish I’d made a note of it, so I could’ve followed it’s career.

    I would be interested in any stats on the soundness of the Byerley Turk line. As I understand it his line is the least represented in current sires (I think the Indian Ridge line was one of the last direct male lines of descent).

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