Genetic parameters of body conformation and performance traits of Wielkopolski horses registered in the successive volumes of the Herdbook
Abstract. The study covered 11 376 horses registered in the six successive volumes of the Wielkopolski Herdbook. The level of variability in the body conformation indices and in the performance value indices was analysed. The genetic basis parameters for the body conformation and performance traits of the Wielkopolski horses were assessed. A high level of heritability was identified for the wither height (h2 = 0.566) and cannon circumference (h2 = 0.418), with an average heritability level of the other analysed characteristics (ranging from h2 = 0.205 – for the stallion performance test results to h2 = 0.350 – in the case of chest circumference). On the other hand, genetic correlation between the analysed indices produced the highest values for the relationship between wither height and cannon (rG = 0.636) and chest (rG = 0.551) circumference, as well as for the interrelation between the above dimensions and the following body structure indices: »boniness« (rG = 0.690) and »bulkiness« (rG = 0.541). Considering the extensive scope of the study – and the fact that the breed population was registered in the Wielkopolski Herdbook – the authors suggested the advisability of using the results of the present study for the modification of breeding programs with a view to improve the breed in question, both its principal population and the one included in the program of gene-pool protection.