Thoroughbred Genetics: How Close is Too Close?
Thoroughbred breeding involves producing winning racehorses and, often more importantly, producing racehorses that will consistently and predictably produce quality offspring. To breed racehorses for these sometimes conflicting goals, it is important to balance the benefits of outcrossing with those of inbreeding or linebreeding. Outcrossing means that the stallion and mare being bred are not related to each other. Outcrossing increases heterozygosity, or the presence of different alleles in a given gene, and generally increases overall vigour, soundness, longevity and fertility. The heterozygosity obtained through outcrossing is one of the reasons why 'mutts' are usually beset by fewer health problems than purebred dogs. Homozygosity or the presence of genes identical-by-descent is realized by inbreeding and has the effect of increasing the predictability of the performance potential of an animal's progeny. Inbreeding is carried out when the stallion and mare being mated have one or more common ancestors within the useful five-generation…
Subscribers: enter the email and password connected to your subscription.
First time logging in?
Subscribe now and enjoy full access to Horse-Canada.com
Your All-Access Digital Subscription includes unlimited access to all Horse-Canada.com articles as well as a digital subscription to each issue of Horse Sport, Horse Canada, and Canadian Thoroughbred.
Get full access to Horse-Canada.com including all articles from Horse Sport, Horse Canada, Canadian Thoroughbred, and The Canadian Horse Annual.
Read the digital editions of Horse Sport, Horse Canada, Canadian Thoroughbred, and The Canadian Horse Annual.
copyright © horse-canada.com 2014