HORSE ANCESTRY

Horse Ancestry - Breed testing for your equineCollege logo

We are now able to offer Horse Breed Analysis performed by the Texas A & M University

£72 per test

Order via PayPal below, and we will email you a form to complete and onto which you must tape 30-50 pulled mane or tail hairs with the follicles attached. Simply post back to us here in Cambridge. The analysis takes approximately 3 weeks, after which your report will be emailed.

Horse ancestry testing at Texas A&M University is based upon comparing the DNA genotype of the subject horse to a reference panel of 50 horse breeds.  An illustration of their relationship can be found here. Using a computer program based upon maximum likelihood analysis, the variants present at each genetic marker system tested for the subject horse are compared to those for each reference breed.  For each breed comparison the probability that the subject horse came from that breed is calculated based upon the product of all the systems genotype probabilities.  We then report the three breeds with the highest probability that the subject horse could have come from the breed in order of their probability of being an ancestral breed.  The results cannot give the proportion (percent) of the breed that the subject horse may have.  That really isn’t possible because horses are so genetically similar.  The test is reasonably good but there is no way to determine how accurate it is.  If a purebred horse is tested it will almost always be assigned to the correct breed.  When a two breed cross is examined, the two parental breeds will almost certainly be given very high probabilities although not necessarily the 1st and 2nd assignments.  The more breeds involved in a cross the lower the probability that a good result will be delivered.  Also, understand that even though three breeds are reported that does not mean the subject horse has all three in its ancestry.  Another point is that breeds within a group of related breeds will be given similar probabilities. Thus, the subject horse may be half Belgian draft and half Suffolk but the test results may show Percheron or even a pony breed. That is because these draft breeds are very similar at the level we can test and the true pony breeds are closely related to the heavy draft breeds.  As well, many breeds have Thoroughbred in their make-up and they will give similar results and will often show similarity to Warmblood breeds.

An example of the Horse Ancestry Report can be found here.