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Title: Genetic evaluation of sport horses
Author: Burgess, C. G. S.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2008
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The aim of this project was to derive models for predicting breeding values for British bred sport horses. The research consisted predominantly of the estimation of genetic and phenotypic parameters from two datasets; results from the Young Horse Evaluation Series (YHE), which assesses 4 year old potential sport horses, and competition data on UK eventing horses. Eleven traits were measured in the YHE, including a veterinary score, conformation, paces and jumping ability. Due to a small dataset none of the heritabilities predicted were significantly different from zero. A much larger and more comprehensive dataset was available for UK eventing horses. Penalty points from each of the three phases – dressage, showjumping and cross country – and overall competition were converted to normal scores for analysis. Results showed heritabilities significantly different from zero for all phases (0.02 – 0.23).  It should be possible to predict a horse’s performance at advanced level by its performance at novice or pre novice level. The proportions of variance attributed to the rider, permanent environmental effect and genetics of the horse were estimated separately. For most grades and phases the most important component was the permanent environmental effects, with the rider and genetics becoming more important as the grades become more challenging. This analysis allowed us to successfully predict estimated breeding values, horse values and rider values. Using these values, the intensity of selection on sires, horses and riders progressing from the pre novice to advanced grades in each of the phases of eventing competition was investigated.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available