Speed Gene Discovered in Thoroughbred Horses

Credit: iStockphoto/Derek DammannGreenTracker| The discovery of a ‘speed gene’ in thoroughbred horses will change the game and decision-making processes in the global bloodstock industry.

The Science Foundation of Ireland funded research by Dr Emmeline Hill, a leading horse genomics researcher at University College Dublin’s (UCD) School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine. The research is already spun off into Equinome, a new biotech company founded to commercialise the research.

According to Dr Emmeline Hill, “Breeding techniques for thoroughbred horses have remained relatively unchanged for centuries. Breeders currently rely on combining successful bloodlines together, hoping that the resulting foal will contain that winning combination of genes. Until now, whether those winning genes have or have not been inherited could only be surmised by observing the racing and breeding success of a horse over an extended period of years after its birth.” She concluded, “Using the Equinome Speed Gene test, a world first in equine genetics, it will now be possible to definitively know a horse’s genetic type within weeks of a sample being taken, thus reducing much of the uncertainty that has been typically involved in selection, training and breeding decisions.” via Science Daily