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Research article2009Peer reviewed

Genetic correlations between similar traits in the Danish and Swedish Warmblood sport horse populations

Jorjani, Hossein; Thorén-Hellsten, Emma; Philipsson, Jan


Genetic correlations between phenotypically similar or related traits tested at young horse performance tests for Danish Warmblood (DWB) and Swedish Warmblood (SWB) horses were calculated using Multi-trait Across Country Evaluation (MACE). Data comprised stallions with an estimated breeding value (EBV) from the national genetic evaluations (NGE) based on at least 10 progeny tested in performance tests, and the ancestors of those stallions in two generations. The DWB data included 349 stallions and the SWB data 426 stallions. Of these, 28 had EBVs in both DWB and SWB. Additionally 151 pedigree animals were common between DWB and SWB. The dependent variables used were NGE results of stallions born 1980 and later, which reduced the number of common stallions with EBVs to 23. The genetic correlations were very high for jumping traits (0.99) and dressage related traits (0.89-0.97). For conformation traits correlations varied between 0.10 and 0.98. Because of the high genetic correlations and frequent use of same or closely related foreign stallions, breeders of both DWB and SWB would benefit from using the NGEs for performance traits across countries, although the genetic correlations do not consider differences in genetic merit levels between the populations. It would be feasible to perform a joint genetic evaluation using MACE, which would improve the reliability of estimated breeding values, and enable ranking of all stallions according to the national scale of each country. (C) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Horses; Estimation; Breeding value; Genetic correlations; Multiple-trait across country evaluations; Reliability

Published in

Livestock Science
2009, Volume: 124, number: 1-3, pages: 15-20