Racehorse Inbreeding Accelerates

From a piece by Justin Petrone in BioArrayNews (my emphases): … a group of researchers from horse-genetics firm Equine Analysis, the University of Kentucky, and the UK’s Royal Veterinary College used the EquineSNP50 to uncover significant inbreeding in thoroughbreds, especially during the past 15 years, a trend that the authors called “worrisome.” The researchers genotyped […]

Making a Killing Out of Horses

The New York Times on drugs, fatalities and casinos in US racing. A hard but necessary read. Melodeeman, a 10-year-old thoroughbred, had earned a rest. He raced gallantly for six owners. He set a track record at Aqueduct for the fastest five and a half furlongs and earned more than $250,000 in his career. He […]

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

Ponies: the fatter they are, the naughtier they be. Thelwell proved correct by science. Cheap gelding clinics are becoming a reality in the US. Here’s one in California. Jane Smiley on National Velvet. A fell pony riding holiday in Lancashire. A swimming race for horses that commemorates a Venezuelan battle of 1819. A wild stallion […]

If Wishes Were Horses: Saving Beauty

Ann Lindo’s Horse Trust, Tettenhall Horse Sanctuary, the Horse Rescue Fund and World Horse Welfare are just some of Britain’s great horse rescues. I have to put in a special shout out for the Horse Rescue Fund. Established in the 1960s by a family who wanted to make a difference, they are part of the […]

Shetlands: The Source of Speed

Further research into the equine speed gene “C” has revealed a surprising conclusion, although I think it’s been misreported by the Irish Telegraph, which boldly claims that Dr Hill’s study showed that the speed gene entered bloodlines when the Darley Arabian, the Godolphin Arabian and the Byerley Turk were bred with native British horses, mainly […]

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

Thank you to Christina for this link about an Olympic three-day-event hopeful who survived a catastrophic barn fire. The NYT features includes a short film and a slideshow. Christina also sent this extraordinary story about a rescued horse. It’s not so much the rescue that stands out, as the practice it sheds light on. Apparently […]

Safe as Horses

From Horse and Hound:   Vet Rosie Owen of Liverpool University studied 652 randomly selected competition and leisure horses. She found that 40% of horses suffered a “traumatic injury” — anything from a graze to a fracture — in the course of a year. Of those, 47% required veterinary treatment. But what will come as […]

Kissing Cousins

I began this post months ago and petered out partway through. I thought there was some problem with inbreeding in thoroughbreds but I didn’t have anything other than my own conjecture to back it up, and frankly my know-how of the workings of equine genetics is pretty inadequate so why would anyone want to read […]

Neglect and the Manhattan Carriage Horse

This week a horse that pulled tourist carriages in New York dropped dead in the middle of Manhattan, provoking cries of cruelty and mistreatment. I’m aware that there’s a long-standing campaign to end the practice of using these horses in the city, and that the only other equines in central New York, at the Claremont […]

Frangible Racehorses, PETA and Keeneland

Fran Jurga has a detailed article on PETA’s latest bid to help animals, and for once it looks like I might agree with them (I’ll spare you the laundry list of their more idiotic and downright offensive campaigns). In the run up to the Keeneland September Select Yearling Sales PETA released a video of two-year-olds […]