April 12, 2024, 11:23:08 AM
Username: Password: Duration:

Article on Thoroughbred Inbreeding

Pages: [1]   Go Down
Author Topic: Article on Thoroughbred Inbreeding  (Read 8711 times)
0 Members and 1 Lurker/Spider are viewing this topic.
Full Metal Jacket

Karma: 77
Posts: 4358
Offline Offline

View ProfileIgnore this user
Article on Thoroughbred Inbreeding
« on: May 06, 2008, 07:55:37 AM »

In retrospect, it was eerily prescient.  The Wall Street Journal published an article Saturday, hours before the tragedy at Churchill Downs where Eight Belles, a two-year old filly was euthanized because she broke both front ankles after finishing second in the Kentucky Derby.  That article was about the danger to thoroughbred horses stemming from severe inbreeding over the past 50 years.

The problems stem from the racing success of the stallion Native Dancer, who was an ancestor of every one of the twenty horses running in this year's Derby.  And although this is the first time every horse in the race was related to this great progenitor horse, each of the last thirteen Derbys were won by one of his descendants.  In all, the article estimates that 75% of all U.S. thoroughbreds are related to Native Dancer.

The reason for the success of Native Dancer's line comes from the propensity for these horses to be "precocious" and "speedy," particularly at the age when they are running prestigious races like the Kentucky Derby.  But these positive attributes come with a "tragic flaw": these horses have difficulties with their feet, most recently and tragically (before last Saturday) illustrated by last year's Kentucky Derby winner, Barbaro.  Barbaro won the Derby, but was injured during the running of the Preakness Stakes and ultimately euthanized after a valiant and public struggle to heal well enough to be put out to stud.  Barbaro was Native Dancer's great-great-great grandson.  Short racing careers (although rarely as tragic as Barbaro's) have been a characteristic of the Native Dancer line.

One reason for the excessive inbreeding to the Native Dancer line is that the overall number of stallions producing foals has dropped from 6,263 in 1992 to 3,083 in 2007, and the number of dams mated to each stallion last year was (on average) 60, up from 42 in 1998, according to the Journal.  The reason is economic: using "established" or "proven" stallions increases the likelihood that the mating will produce a winner, and winners are what today's horse set wants.  Part of this is due to the transition of the horse-owning population from essentially rural owners with generations of tradition, to today's amalgam of "billionaire sheiks," entertainment figures and others with less interest in tradition than in profits.  This trend has been exacerbated by the increase in the prices paid for one-year olds, which last year was an average of $101,347....
« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 09:31:50 AM by admin » Logged Return to Top
Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
From: Silicon Valley

Karma: 94
Posts: 7929
Offline Offline

View ProfileIgnore this user
Re: Article on Thoroughbred Inbreeding
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2008, 04:26:53 PM »

Wow.  I had no idea that so manythoroughbred horses were descended from one particular horse.  (didn't know about the cheetah "bottleneck" either)
Logged Return to Top
Flak Jacket

Karma: 107
Posts: 9510
Offline Offline

E chu ta!

View ProfileIgnore this user
Re: Article on Thoroughbred Inbreeding
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2008, 04:32:32 PM »

Logged Return to Top

Woman, open the door, don't let it sting. I wanna breathe that fire again.
Pages: [1]   Return to Top
Jump to:  

Related Posts
And for the corgis, press three...
She normally answers the phone while on the throne?  That's kinda gros
by Uisce Beatha

fortunately, inbreeding and horrid environmental conditions prevent health probs
by Aske

[Politics/Religion] didn't even read the article
Can't get passed how Palin looks like she is walking the runway, and she do
by Darla

Interesting Article beats M
by MP


  Powered by SMF | SMF © 2001-2009, Lewis Media

Dilber MC Theme by HarzeM