Articles | Volume 44, issue 2
10 Oct 2001
 | 10 Oct 2001

Berücksichtigung von Merkmalen der Gesundheit in der Züchtung von Sportpferden

E. Bruns

Abstract. Title of the paper: Considering health traits in breeding ofsport horses
In breeding sport horses Performance and health traits are equally important to exhaust the horses' Performance potential. The need to consider health traits and to produce sound horses follows also from animal welfare and economic aspects. Often horses not successful in competitions are used in breeding. The time length of active participation in competitions and the reproductive Performance of horses are negatively affected by several diseases. Main causes are diseases of locomotor and respiratory organs whereby osteochondrosis dissecans and hemiplegia laryngis are the most frequent ones. These diseases have a sufficiently high heritability and can be selected for. In contrast, reproductive traits in horses have a very low heritability as found in other species. In defining selection policies to improve the health Status other factors besides heritability have to be considered such as way of inheritance, frequency of incidence and economic importance. In future the identification of defect genes may help in exactly diagnosing health problems and in breeding for sound Constitution. First actions to be taken by breeding organizations relate to testing early progenies. But also actions to improve nutrition, husbandry and training in rearing are important to reduce incidence and relevance of health problems in sport horses.