Breeding Values: So, are breeding values reliable?
The true genetic ability cannot yet be measured precisely. Fortunately, we can estimate it, but it is important to assign a reliability to it. The reliability increases when more data becomes available. The more data available, the higher the reliability percentage. The progeny ultimately provides the greatest increase in reliability. Only then can we say with some certainty whether a stallion is breeding well or not.
The reliability of a stallion's conformation breeding value increases when the first foals are scored linearly. Is this reliable information? Functional conformation is important for every discipline, as these traits are related to the way a horse moves or jumps. Scoring a group of foals provides a first indication of the conformation, where one would otherwise have to wait until the first foal is three years old. This way, young stallions can be judged earlier for their conformational qualities for breeding.
More on breeding values next week!