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Genetic parameters of new comprehensive performance traits for dressage and show jumping competitions performance of German riding horses



Genetic parameters of new comprehensive performance traits for dressage and show jumping competitions performance of German riding horses



Livestock Science 212: 93-98



The aim of this study was to optimize modelling of the highest performance in dressage and show jumping competitions for enabling its use in the genetic evaluation of German riding horses. Genetic parameters were estimated using 4,582,191 observations from 221,132 horses in dressage and 9,997,439 observations from 253,945 horses in show jumping recorded between 1995 and 2014 in Germany. The highest performance was defined as the highest level achieved in competition and graduated by the level of difficulty. To investigate the effect of alternative modelling on genetic parameters for performance and on distributions and stability of estimated breeding values (EBV), eight different statistical models were set up. In these models, the following fixed effects were considered separately and in combinations in addition to the random additive genetic effect: gender, age at the highest performance or maximum age in the competition data, birth year, and year of the highest performance. Models were compared based on Akaike's information criterion (AIC), genetic parameters, and correlations between EBV from full and reduced data. Heritability estimates ranged from 0.21 to 0.24 for dressage and from 0.28 to 0.36 for show jumping. The two best fitted models included year of the highest performance and age at the highest performance or maximum age. EBV for the highest level achieved in dressage and show jumping competitions appear to be valuable in enhancing genetic progress for sport-related breeding goals of German riding horses.

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Accession: 066364109

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DOI: 10.1016/j.livsci.2018.04.002


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