Results of the Hungarian Sporthorse mare performance tests were evaluated. Data from the period of 1993-2009 were used, covering
scores of 618 3-year-old and 310 4-year-old mares, 109 of them were tested at both ages. Seventeen traits were scored on the tests, which
covered ten conformational, three free jumping performance and four movem
based on BLUP animal model. Test year, age and owner were included in the model as fixed effects. Variance components were estimated
with VCE-6 software package. Heritabilities ranged from 0.32 (frame) to 0.50 (saddle region) for conformation traits, from 0.39 (jumping
style) to 0.49 (jumping ability and jumping skill) for free jumping traits and from 0.20 (walk) to 0.48 (canter) for movement analysis traits.
Breeding value indexes were constructed for each trait group. Conformation index was computed based on the weighted scores of the
breeding values of conformational traits. The conformational score scales were used as weightings. Free jumping and movement indexes
contain the proper breeding values with equal weights. A total index was also constructed using conformation index, two times the free
jumping index and two times the movement index. Each breeding values and breeding value indexes were presented with the mean 100 and
standard deviation of 20 for the easier understanding.
The utilisation of the horse has changed from time to time in response to human needs. For a few decades, it has been serving in several equestrian sports more intensively. It has also been proved that the standards for this kind of performance cannot be established in the way certain characteristics, such as the weight gain or milk production...of other animal breeds can. Breeding horses for sporting comprises highly complex selection criteria.
Some of these (e.g. external features, temperament, manageability and intelligence) do not put the breeder in a difficult position, but finding the traits that establishes the safety of sporting achievements poses a genetic problem.
The performance of a horse for sports is a highly complex feature, which cannot easily be assessed or put down in figures. In addition, man plays a decisive role in shaping all kinds of performance of a horse at any given time by not only creating conditions for a better performance, but also by playing an active role in increasing it.
The performance of the horse is mostly defined by its general aptitude to movement, ie., the regularity, clear rhythm and springiness of basic types of strides, as well as the ability to move in a naturally balanced way. Training and riding principles are based on these traits. These two together will determine about 70% of the value of the horse and its adequacy for high performance equestrian sports. In order to avoid subjectivity in determining the above variables and to increase the degree of objectivity, competent expert teams (trainers, judges, other riders) are employed to form an opinion on an individual animal.
Assessing horse performance outside races does not seem to be efficient, as owing to the dominant effects of the environment, the indicator of inheritability is hardly above 0.1.
Free jumping is an especially appropriate means for assessing a horse’s readiness and ability to move in an environment free of disturbing factors. In free jumping, it is especially important to judge the style of the jump. The first phase of jumping – as a sequence of movements – lasts from the moment the fore-feet touch the ground until the moment the hind-feet push off, while the second phase lasts from this moment until touching the ground. The most important task in the first phase is to make the angle of the dip of the body by the supporting fore-feet that is necessary for the jump. The quality of the jump is determined by the jumping and adequately expanded hind-legs. The intensity of pushing off and jumping done by the hind-legs can be inferred, and differences between individuals can be discerned from the shaping of the curve by the hocks and the paths of the pasterns in relation to the withers.
In Germany, the new integrated breeding value estimation is based on a multiple-trait animal model, considering simultaneously information from performance test of stallion on station, performance test of mares as well as competition results of sport horses. The objective of this study was to estimated the genetic parameters of the traits used...in the integrated breeding evaluation including all German warmblood breeds. The analysed data consisted of 4527, 40670 and six million records for performance tests of stallions, mares and for competition results, respectively. Genetic parameters were estimated with a multivariate BLUP animal model. Heritabilities for traits obtained from stallions tested on station ranged from 0.33 (jumping under rider) to 0.51 (trot) and for the traits from mare performance test from 0.27 (walk) to 0.38 (trot). Genetic correlations between corresponding traits recorded on performance test of stallions and mares ranged from 0.87 (canter) to 0.98 (free jumping). Heritabilities of competition traits from horses (build up for sport) were estimated as 0.12 and 0.11 for dressage and jumping, respectively. The use of all traits for estimation of genetic values of horses is expected to reduce pre-selection and optimal combines all information resources based on the estimated genetic parameters.
The aim of this paper is to analyse phenotypic relationships between self performance test (SPT) parameters of Hungarian Sport Horse mares. Establishing these relationships may contribute to develop a breeding value estimation model. Data were given by the Association of Hungarian Sport Horse Breeders.
The analysis is based on the SPT result