Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Breed registry


Selective breeding for speed in the racehorse has resulted in an unusually high frequency of the C-variant (g.66493737C/T) at the myostatin gene (MSTN) in cohorts of the Thoroughbred horse population that are best suited to sprint racing. Here we show using a combination of molecular- and pedigree-based approaches in 593 horses from 22 Eurasian and North-American horse populations, museum specimens from 12 historically important Thoroughbred stallions (b.1764-1930), 330 elite-performing modern Thoroughbreds and 42 samples from three other equid species that the T-allele was ancestral and there was a single introduction of the C-allele at the foundation stages of the Thoroughbred from a British-native mare. Furthermore, we show that although the C-allele was rare among the celebrated racehorses of the 18th and 19th centuries, it has proliferated recently in the population via the stallion Nearctic (b.1954), the sire of the most influential stallion of modern time, Northern Dancer (b.1961).

Concepts: Breed registry, Purebred, Thoroughbred horse race, American Quarter Horse, Arabian horse, Thoroughbred, Horse racing, Horse


Significant proportions of horses leave the Australian Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing industries, which has ramifications for both the economic sustainability and the public perception of racing. The aim of this study was to quantify potential horse wastage, describe the destinations of exiting horses and identify risk factors for horses going to these destinations.

Concepts: Purebred, Patti Smith, Breed registry, Arabian horse, Horse racing, Sustainability, Horse gait, Standardbred horse


The study included 249 horses belonging to three horse breeds. Konik horses, comprising the first group, are an example of breed similar to the extinct Tarpan. In our study, these horses were taken to be a primitive anatomical model of the horse body. The other groups comprised the Polish Half-bred horse and the Thoroughbred horse. The biometric characteristics of the horses were compared based on 24 indices. The aim of the paper was to find a reduced set of indices that can be used to determine group membership of the horses. To do this, we used statistical methods to find the most important indices which best discriminate breeds from each other. Chi-Squared statistics, Linear Discriminant Analysis, Logistic Regression and one-way ANOVA showed that the discrimination between groups of horses is connected with the following five indices: scapula, smaller trunk (distance between the tubercle of humerus and the coxal tuber), greater trunk (distance between the tubercle of humerus and the ischial tuberosity), metacarpus circumference and hind autopodium-smaller trunk. Thoroughbred and Half-bred horses are clearly different in exterior conformation from Konik horses. The differences between Thoroughbred and Half-bred horses are more subtle. The conformation of Thoroughbreds is jointly determined by relatively small differences in a range of features.

Concepts: Horse racing, Gray, Crossbreed, Thoroughbred, Horse, Breed registry, Arabian horse, Purebred


Pedigree or purebred dogs are often stated to have high prevalence of disorders which are commonly assumed to be a consequence of inbreeding and selection for exaggerated features. However, few studies empirically report and rank the prevalence of disorders across breeds although such data are of critical importance in the prioritisation of multiple health concerns, and to provide a baseline against which to explore changes over time. This paper reports an owner survey that gathered disorder information on Kennel Club registered pedigree dogs, regardless of whether these disorders received veterinary care. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of disorders among pedigree dogs overall and, where possible, determine any variation among breeds.

Concepts: Breed registry, Breeding, Purebred, Pedigree Dogs Exposed, Dog, Landrace, Selective breeding, Dog breed


Training of young Thoroughbred horses must balance development of cardiopulmonary function and aerobic capacity with loading of the musculoskeletal system that can potentially cause structural damage and/or lameness. High-speed equine treadmills are sometimes used to supplement exercise on a track in the training of young Thoroughbreds because the horse can run at high speeds but without the added weight of a rider. We tested the hypothesis that intermittent high-intensity exercise on a treadmill of young Thoroughbred horses entering training can enhance development of aerobic capacity (VO2max) and running performance more than conventional training under saddle, and do so without causing lameness.

Concepts: Horse racing, Foundation bloodstock, Exercise physiology, Breed registry, Palomino, Purebred, Arabian horse, Horse


The Thoroughbred horse has played an important role in both sporting and economic aspects of society since the establishment of the breed in the 1700s. The extensive pedigree and phenotypic information available for the Thoroughbred horse population provides a unique opportunity to examine the effects of 300 years of selective breeding on genetic load. By analysing the relationship between inbreeding and racing performance of 135,572 individuals, we found that selective breeding has not efficiently alleviated the Australian Thoroughbred population of its genetic load. However, we found evidence for purging in the population that might have improved racing performance over time. Over 80% of inbreeding in the contemporary population is accounted for by a small number of ancestors from the foundation of the breed. Inbreeding to these ancestors has variable effects on fitness, demonstrating that an understanding of the distribution of genetic load is important in improving the phenotypic value of a population in the future. Our findings hold value not only for Thoroughbred and other domestic breeds, but also for small and endangered populations where such comprehensive information is not available.

Concepts: Population genetics, Arabian horse, Breed, Crossbreed, Breeding, Breed registry, Selective breeding, Purebred


This study was intended to identify genes positively selected in Thoroughbred horses (THBs) that potentially contribute to their running performances.

Concepts: Horse racing, Foundation bloodstock, Breed registry, Purebred, Arabian horse


The performance of horses undergoing regular intense exercise is adversely affected by oxidative stress. Thus, it is important to increase antioxidant production in horses in order to reduce oxidative stress. Ozonated autohemotherapy (OAHT) reportedly promotes antioxidant production. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of OAHT on antioxidant capacity. Ten Thoroughbred horses were used in this study. After the OAHT, we collected serum samples and measured biological antioxidant potential (BAP). We found that BAP began to increase after the OAHT and was significantly higher in the OAHT group than at 3 (P<0.01) and 7 days (P<0.05) after OAHT than in the control group at 3 and 7 days after starting collection of blood samples. Therefore, it was shown that OAHT improved the antioxidant capacity of the horses.

Concepts: Foundation bloodstock, Vitamin C, Breed registry, Purebred, Arabian horse, Oxidative phosphorylation, Oxidative stress, Antioxidant


Exercise induced cardiac fatigue (EICF) and cardiac dysrhythmias are well described conditions identified in high-level human athletes that increase in frequency with intensity and duration of exercise. Identification of these conditions requires an understanding of normal pre- and post-race cardiac assessment values. The objectives of this study were to (1) characterize selected indices of cardiac function, electrophysiologic parameters, and biochemical markers of heart dysfunction prior to and immediately after high level racing in Thoroughbred horses receiving furosemide; and (2) create pre- and post-race reference values in order to make recommendations on possible screening practices for this population in the future.

Concepts: Horse racing, Foundation bloodstock, Breed registry, Purebred, Arabian horse, Sociology


Whilst cobalt is an essential micronutrient for vitamin B12 synthesis in the horse, at supra-physiological concentrations it has been shown to enhance performance in humans and rats and there is evidence that its administration in high doses to horses poses a welfare threat. Animal sport regulators currently control cobalt abuse via international race day thresholds, but since cobalt may be present in physiological concentrations this work was initiated to explore means of potentially adding to application of those thresholds.

Concepts: Folic acid, Breed registry, Dietary supplement, Purebred, Cobalt, Arabian horse, Horse, Vitamin B12