The themed evening of the ‘Bond van Merriehouders’(Society of Mare Keepers, ed.) and YoungKFPS on Wednesday March 21st was well-attended.
End 2019 the KFPS is planning to publish a total index which will include kinship along with sport aptitude and exterior. ‘It is a tool to help prevent the use of breeding values leading to an increase of inbreeding’, KFPS Director Ids Hellinga explained during the themed evening of the Society of Mare Keepers and YoungKFPS on Wednesday the 21st of March.
Using breeding values and preventing inbreeding
The use of breeding values is gaining popularity in breeding. It is the most accurate estimate of a horse´s genetic aptitude, Hellinga explains. ‘Selection on breeding values stimulates the evolutionary process in breeding.’ However, breeding values also include an increased risk of inbreeding, Hellinga pointed out during his lecture. ‘Fact is that it is based on a selection of certain characteristics and that means the same bloodlines will come out on top.’ The prevention of inbreeding is best served by using low-kinship stallions, is the advice. This is already common practice, as Hellinga observed. ‘With the total index we merely support what is already happening.’
Different classification top lists
In the total index, exterior and sport will be weighed in with factor 5, kinship counts once. This influences the ranking of both mares and stallions. ‘We will get to see horses which normally wouldn´t be found in the top lists on the basis of breeding values alone. The top horses will represent the best balance between breeding values and kinship. The number of sires in this list will be larger, kinship lower, whereas on average the breeding value drops by only 0,6. ‘That is quite acceptable, breeders hardly lose out on evolution.’
A detailed report of this themed evening can be found in the May issue of Phryso.