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 […]

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 […]

Salvos Across the Equine Gene Pool: a Reader

This is not so much a post as a string of links to some interesting, thought-provoking essays elsewhere and a question: what is “pure blood” and should it matter? Let me explain. Roughly speaking, until the nineteenth century and even the twentieth century, the vast majority of horses and ponies in the West were not […]

Is it the Cocktail’s Hour Once More?

“The evolution of the sport of steeplechasing during the nineteenth century was from makeshift races over lines of natural country to races on well-drained, regular courses, with artificial and carefully tended, though formidable, birch fences. These courses were enclosed so that gate money could be charged in order to defray the high cost of building […]

New Horse-Racing Initiative Aimed At Training Thoroughbreds From Inner City

The initiative, known as Right Side of the Track, is opening 12 “Colts & Fillies Clubs” in impoverished urban locales across the country, and already has four operational centers in Detroit, Baltimore, Birmingham, and St. Louis. According to organizers, the facilities will provide at-risk yearlings and disadvantaged foals with free access to state-of-the-art running tracks, […]

The Queen is Dead; Long Live the Queen

Zenyatta’s poor jockey, Mike Smith is mortified that she was just pipped in the Classic, but then there was Goldikova, the French filly who last night became one of the greatest milers of all time:

Riding the Wind

Take a ride on the brilliant racemare Zenyatta, who will try to win the twentieth race of a twenty race career tonight at Churchill Downs, Kentucky: the $5,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Classic. God but she’s shiney.

Pick a Pony

When I was little I had a vast stable of imaginary horses to choose from, and burned up happy hours daydreaming about this or that pretend Arabian or Hanoverian and winning races and Olympic gold medals etc etc. Lately I’ve realised that that was a far better use of my thoughts than fretting about US […]