New breeding values: innovative and reliable
Soon, KWPN will publish the new breeding values. For the jumper and dressage horses in our database, the breeding values for sports and conformation will now partly be based on genetic information. These new genomic breeding values represent an innovative step towards even more reliable and detailed information for breeders. There will be no additional cost to KWPN-members.
Starting March 18, the new (genomic) breeding values will be available for all KWPN-members. From this year forward, not only the genetic disposition for OC, but also the breeding values for sports and conformation for all jumper and dressage horses, are partly based on genetic information.
Reliable indication of genetic disposition
When making selections, the genetic disposition of a horse is the most important factor for any breeder. The performance of a horse in sports and at inspections, is partly dependant on other factors such as rider and circumstances. So how do you separate the genetic disposition of a horse from the chances it has received in life? By looking at its DNA, a lot of information about a horse’s talents can be revealed, without circumstances such as riders, injuries and bad luck, muddying the waters. Genomic breeding values provide useful information about the natural ability of a horse and can thus contribute to better breeding decisions and faster progress.
Innovations in breeding
For years, genomic breeding values have proven themselves in the breeding programs of other animals, such as dairy cattle. But this technique is relatively new to horse breeding. KWPN aims to provide her breeders with the best information possible. For this reason the studbook has spent years building a huge database of information. In 2016 the genomic breeding value for OC was introduced, which is up to three times more reliable for breeding purposes than a X-ray (PROK) of the horse itself. And because we have already assembled a large amount of data, it is now possible to use this information to calculate genomic breeding values for other traits as well. We can do this at no additional cost to studbook and breeders. German studbooks are also working on this technique. KWPN is the first warmblood studbook in the world that’s making genomic breeding values available for sports, our most important breeding goal trait.
More information = more reliability
Genomic breeding values provide information on a horse’s disposition to pass certain traits on to its progeny. A genomic breeding value is calculated based on the information from 70.000 markers in a horse’s DNA. This information is combined with existing information that has been gathered from sports results, young-horse-competitions, performance tests and inspections. This enhances the reliability of the breeding values, as more information is always better. Another bonus is that this technique gives us the opportunity to reliably predict breeding values for very young horses.
New breeding values available in March
More information on our new breeding values will come to you soon. The (genomic) breeding values for all KWPN horses will be made available from March 18 onwards.