@2017 by Performance Genetics LLC

The Sires of Sires Myth

Over on TrueNicks, I created a bit of a stir last week with the suggestion that the term "Sire of Sires", doesn't truly exist. You can read the post here by Alan Porter, but my thoughts are below in the comment field. After making the initial comment, I was asked to clarify my position, and I thought it worthwhile to make some further comment here to better explain my thoughts. Firstly, it needs to be made clear that there are differences in the term "sireline" and "sire of sires". Obvious to some, but not to all. In regards to "sirelines", Alan in his post was referring to the historical classification of sirelines. In that respect the genetic data is quite clear. Over 95% of sirelines shar

The science of soundness in Thoroughbreds

For as long as I can remember – and admittedly it is not as long as some – there has been a continual question over the soundness of the Thoroughbred racehorse. While, in recent history, the death of Eight Belles at the Kentucky Derby caused the North American industry to, at least for a moment, to confront the issue, it is one that in reality has been present, if not always front and center, for a far longer period of time. In recent years there has been a significant push from both scientific circles and racing regulators to put the question of soundness of the thoroughbred into more scientific terms with original research. Rather than letting the lunatic fringe blame the presence of "too

X-Rays at yearling sales - a continuing challenge for Veterinarians

A couple of recent scientific papers have shown the challenges of veterinarians in making calls on x-rays at yearling sales as it relates to future soundness. Up first was a very interesting paper on the relationship between sesamoiditis and suspensory branch injury. You can read the paper here, but the summary is that evidence of significant sesamoiditis implies a 5 times greater risk of developing clinical Suspensory Ligament Branch Injury with the onset of training. Basically, while the suspensory might be normal at the time of sale as a yearling, if they have significant sesamoiditis the chances of suspensory injury when they start training is real. Somewhat juxtaposed to this study was

Yearlings and High Speed Treadmills

A new study on treadmill use in conditioning has been released. You can read the full study by clicking here but it is an interesting one as they are using yearlings to two year olds, not older horses as their subjects. 12 Yearlings in Japan from the October of their yearling year were broken into 3 Groups and worked through to April of their 2yo year. The groups were: Group 1 - Those that had conventional riding alone for the 8 months Group 2 - Those that had riding plus a 2 month interval (Feb to April) of once per week high intensity treadmill work Group 3 - Those that had riding plus long 8 month interval of once per week high intensity treadmill work They tested VO2Max in the October of

Grading the Elite Thoroughbred

For those of you who read this blog, you would be aware that I am not a great fan of the current graded stakes system as a framework for selection for genetic merit. There are a couple of reasons for this, but the main reason is the variability of form in stakes races around the world on a year by year basis make selecting for merit based on this framework, especially in lower class stakes races, next to worthless. I believe I am not alone in this assessment. Back in 2011, as a project for Dan Rosenberg as advisor to Sagamore Farm, Professor Robert Losey of the University of Louisville completed a very good study on the broodmare selection as it related to performance and production. You can