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Orthopaedic health, conformation and longevity in riding horses

a genetic and phenotypic study

Jönsson, Lina (2013). Orthopaedic health, conformation and longevity in riding horses. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2013:59
ISBN 978-91-576-7856-0
eISBN 978-91-576-7856-7
[Doctoral thesis]

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Soundness and longevity of the riding horse play a central role for animal welfare, sport performance and horse owner economy. Routine registration of health traits in horses is rare. Thus, knowledge of genetic variation in health of horses and long term effects on longevity is scarce. The major aims of this thesis were to estimate prevalence and heritability of orthopaedic health findings, and genetic and phenotypic relationships between orthopaedic health, conformation and longevity in the Swedish warmblood horse. The included studies I-IV were based on standardised documentation of health and conformation at the Riding Horse Quality Test (RHQT) of 8238 tested 4-5-year-old horses, participating during 1983-2005. Longevity was measured as number of years in competition (NYC), and lifetime performance results from official competitions (LPERF) during 1983-2012. Results show that conformation significantly influences health status of the horse, and that both health and conformation of the young horse influence future longevity and success in competition, both phenotypically and genetically. Longevity was generally better in horses with good young horse health regarding palpatory orthopaedic health, locomotion, hooves and assessed overall orthopaedic health. Effusions were the most common clinical health finding, whereas severe acute findings were relatively rare. Horses with flexion test reactions had significantly lower chances of competing later in life compared to horses without reactions. Regarding conformation, intermediate sized horses with high scores for type and head-neck-body conformation, light front and correct movements in trot at hand were found most important. Also, the assessed talent of a young horse was influenced by the health and conformation, both for dressage and jumping. Good health was genetically correlated with better longevity at a level of 0.3, with similar correlations between high conformation scores and longevity. Heritabilities of palpatory orthopaedic health and hooves were estimated at 0.10-0.14, and between 0.20-0.36 for overall conformation traits, except for limbs at 0.06. Considerable genetic variation of conformation and to some extent of health, and generally favourable associations between health, conformation, longevity and performance, suggest possibilities to improve health traits if considered in breeding.

Authors/Creators:Jönsson, Lina
Title:Orthopaedic health, conformation and longevity in riding horses
Subtitle:a genetic and phenotypic study
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :2013
Number of Pages:78
I.Jönsson, L., Roepstorff, L., Egenvall, A., Näsholm, A., Dalin, G. and Philipsson, J. (2013) Prevalence of clinical findings at examinations of young Swedish warmblood riding horses. Acta Vet Scand. 55:34, doi:10.1186/1751-0147-55-34.
II.Jönsson, L., Näsholm, A., Roepstorff, L., Egenvall, A., Dalin, G. and Philipsson, J. (2013) Genetic analysis of clinical findings at health examinations of young Swedish warmblood riding horses. Acta Vet Scand. 55:22, doi:10.1186/1751-0147-55-22
III.Jönsson, L., Näsholm, A., Roepstorff, L., Egenvall, A., Dalin, G. and Philipsson, J. Conformation traits and their genetic and phenotypic associations with health status in young Swedish warmblood riding horses. Submitted
IV.Jönsson, L., Egenvall, A., Roepstorff, L., Näsholm, A., Dalin, G. and Philipsson, J. Health status and conformation of young Swedish warmblood riding horses – associations to longevity and lifetime competition performance. Submitted
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Institutionen för husdjursgenetik, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
Associated Programs and Other Stakeholders:SLU - Research Areas for the Future > Future Animal Health and Welfare (until Jan 2017)
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-7856-0
ISBN for electronic version:978-91-576-7856-7
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:L Animal production > L10 Animal genetics and breeding
L Animal production > L40 Animal structure
L Animal production > L73 Animal diseases
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 402 Animal and Dairy Science > Animal and Dairy Science.
Agrovoc terms:saddle horses, limbs, body conformation, animal performance, genetic correlation, genetic variation, heritability, animal breeding, orthopaedics, veterinary medicine
Keywords:Ortopedisk hälsa, exteriör, benställningar, hållbarhet, avelsvärdering, samband, hästavel, arvbarhet, orthopaedic health, conformation, limb deviations, longevity, genetic evaluation, correlations, horse breeding, heritability
Permanent URL:
ID Code:10756
Faculty:VH - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science
Department:(VH) > Dept. of Animal Breeding and Genetics
External funders:Stiftelsen Hästforskning
Deposited By: Lina Jönsson
Deposited On:26 Aug 2013 13:45
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 11:02

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