Breeding Values: Genomic breeding value for osteochondrosis
Since 2016, so-called ‘genomic breeding values’ are also calculated. This calculation involves using DNA to estimate the genetic quality of the horse and then comparing it to the population average. For breeding purposes, the results of the DNA test are up to three times more reliable than the PROK examination for OC. The reason for this is that a DNA test says more about a horse's inheritance than whether or not a horse actually has OC itself.
A genomic breeding value for OC between 96 and 104 means average. Horses with this score are not demonstrably better or worse than the population. Horses above 104 are clearly better and can be expected to pass on less OC. Below 96, the opposite is true; the chance of OC is simply larger. A stallion with an extremely good sport breeding value, but a low genomic breeding value for OC, may still fit a mare with a higher genomic breeding value for OC.
How do we take inbreeding and kinship into account in breeding?
Inbreeding and kinship have been a topic of discussion for many years in harness horse breeding, but they are certainly also a point of interest in dressage horse breeding. The harness horse population is currently at great risk of too much inbreeding, so something definitely needs to be done about it. Because the highly related horses perform well, they are popular among breeders, resulting in many offspring of these stallions. In recent years, kinship has certainly received attention in stallion selection. For both the breeder and the studbook, it is a challenge to give well-performing low related stallions a chance in breeding. To make it easier to consider the bloodlines and inbreeding of potential partners, the inbreeding tool was developed. This tool can be found in ‘MY KWPN’. For each mare, you can see the inbreeding percentage and kinship of the future foal in combination with a stallion from the chosen breeding direction. As a breeder, you can benefit from this.