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.
The purposes of the present study are to compare the temperament of calves of different breed and sex at weaning, to analyse the effect of temperament on weaning performance, and to
define the correlations between the previous traits. In the experiment carried out in Gelej in 2006 the behaviour of 61 Aubrac and 25 Charolais calves (39
assessed at weaning. The weight (WW) and the age of animals were detected, in addition temperament (TEMP) of them was scored. The weaning age (AU: 190±16.96 days, CH: 176±14.94
days; P<0.001) and the weaning weight adjusted to 205 days of age (CWW) (AU: 192.39±31.32 kg, CH: 213.80±23.99 kg; P<0.01) of the two breeds significantly differed of each other. The
temperament of calves was evaluated by scale test on a 5-point scale during weighing. The data were processed by SPSS 14.0 program package (Mann-Whitney U test, MANOVA, Tukey test,
Spearman rank correlation test). Significant difference was revealed between the two breeds in TEMP (AU: 2 scores and CH: 3 scores; P<0.001), furthermore also difference was proven
between the bull calves of Aubrac and Charolais in the behaviour (AU: 2 scores and CH: 3 scores, P<0.01). Analysing the effect of sex both for 86 calves and each breed, it was showed that the TEMP of the heifer and bull calves was equalled (P>0.10). Both of the WW and CWW were influenced by the behaviour of calves (P<0.05), which meant that the more excitable calves had higher WW and CWW. Positive, weak correlation coefficients were calculated among the TEMP, the WW and the CWW (rrank=0.28 and rrank=0.31; P<0.01). By their results it was concluded that in young age not only the performance but also the behaviour of calves are determined by the calf rearing ability of suckling cow.
Animal breeding increasingly lays claim to the theoretical and practical knowledge of applied ethology. The authors’ aim was to evaluate and compare the temperaments of Charolais (CH, n= 10) and Hungarian Grey (HG, n= 10) steers, and also to determine the correlation between their temperament scores and flight speed scores. Temperament was ev...aluated by the results of the scale test (assessing of behaviour in a 1-5 score system, while the animal is standing on a scale for 30 seconds) and flight speed test (minutes it takes the animal to move a set distance of 1.7 m when leaving the scale), on three occasions (1, 2, 3). Data management was done by SPSS.10 (ANOVA, Mann-Whitney-test, Spearman-correlation). Results of the scale test differed significantly between breeds at the third measurement (CH: 2,9 scores; HG: 1,4 scores; P<0,01) and when evaluating the three measurements together (CH: 2,0 scores; HG: 1,37 scores; P<0,05). Concerning of flight speed score, there were significant differences between breeds of steers at each measurement (1. measurement CH: 2,77 s; HG: 4,09 s; P<0,05; 2. measurement CH: 2,89 s; HG: 5,01 s; P<0,01; 3. measurement CH: 2,46 s; HG: 5,33 s; P<0,01) and overall (CH: 2,71 s; HG: 4,81 s; P<0,001). In the case of both breeds, evaluated by measurements and overall, a negative correlation was calculated between temperament score and flight speed score, but this was significant only in three cases: CH1 (n=10) r= -0,75; P<0,01; CH1+2+3 (n=30) r= -0,44; P<0,05; CH+HG1+2+3 (n=60) r= -0,33; P<0,01). Results indicate that Hungarian Grey steers are calmer than individuals of Charolais. Animals behaving calmer on the scale left the scale, more slowly. The authors propose the use of these temperament tests in Hungarian breeding practice, in order to select too temperament animals.