Description of the Friesian Horse population of South Africa and Namibia

Author: S.M. Pretorius, E. van Marle-Köster and B.E. Mostert
Year: 2004
Issue: 3
Volume: 34
Page: 149 - 157

Data obtained from the Friesian Horse Studbook of Southern Africa and Friesian Horse Breeders’ Society of South Africa were analyzed to describe and evaluate the population regarding inbreeding and morphological body measurements. Eight different body measurements (height at withers, height of back, height of croup, body length, length of cannon forelimb and hind limb, circumference of cannon bone fore- and hind limb) recorded on 232 horses were included for analyses. The pedigrees of 696 horses were used for estimation of inbreeding coefficients. A total of 25% of the horses included in the data was inbred, with inbreeding coefficients ranging from 0.07% to 27.8%. A positive trend in the average inbreeding per year was observed, but the rate of inbreeding was relatively low. Recording of pedigree information will be essential for long-term evaluation of inbreeding in the Friesian Horse and the recording of objective body measurements is recommended for inclusion in selection programs.

Keywords: Body measurements, heritability, inbreeding, linear scoring
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