Thoroughbred breeders have traditionally relied heavily on past performance and pedigree for selecting stallions to mate with their mares, with the phenotypic traits considered as an afterthought or observed somewhat cursorily if at all. This is an attitude built of necessity out of the lack of opportunity to learn about the phenotypic properties, whereas pedigree data could be obtained with great ease. The founders of the English Stud Book originally intended that all registered horses should be measured and their measurements should be a part of the public record along with the pedigree. Practical considerations prevented that from happening. While the use of genotypic traits may be on the distant horizon, there have been some remarkable advances in the use of phenotypic traits and practical means lie on the near horizon for collecting those traits. Moreover, there now exist far better mathematical tools with which to massage the data than were available in the past. Some of these developments to which the author has given a substantial amount of his time and thought are described briefly in this paper, along with examples of how these new methods can be used profitably by breeders.

P. S Mostert

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume , , 08.12, 2006
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