Horse Racing

Thoroughbred racehorses all traced to one 17th-century mare

Cross-posted from ABC News Blogs

Written by NED POTTER

Horse Racing
A team of geneticists has now traced the Thoroughbred's talent for speed back to a single ancestor.

All the great names in thoroughbred horse racing — from Secretariat to Man O’War, from Seabiscuit to Seattle Slew — they’re all related, and a team of geneticists has now traced their talent for speed back to a single ancestor. The “speed gene” that made them all so fast was apparently a genetic aberration, and it probably started with one British mare who lived in the mid-17th century.

Emmeline Hill of University College Dublin led a team that analyzed DNA in 593 horses from 22 modern breeds, as well as museum specimens from 12 historically famous stallions. Modern genetics have become sophisticated enough that they could tell, with considerable precision, what the horses had in common.

“The results show that the ‘speed gene’ entered the thoroughbred from a single founder, which was most likely a British mare about 300 years ago when local British horse types were the pre-eminent racing horses, prior to the formal foundation of the thoroughbred racehorse,” said Hill in a prepared statement.

She and her colleagues published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Read full post >>

4 thoughts on “Thoroughbred racehorses all traced to one 17th-century mare”

  1. I find this article highly suspect and biased. DNA research performed by a woman, leading to a female carrier of a “speed gene” is noteworthy for its lack of understanding of the importance and significance of the Y chromosome. Might as well believe a mare runs a herd of horses, not a stallion.

    Like

  2. The Mares are always more important when breeding any breed of horse. The Thoroughbred ‘Families’ are fascinating to research and read about. Thanks for posting, have tweeted it.

    Elle

    Like

    1. Please read my comment above. Well, here, I’ll repost it:
      “I find this article highly suspect and biased. DNA research performed by a woman, leading to a female carrier of a “speed gene” is noteworthy for its lack of understanding of the importance and significance of the Y chromosome. Might as well believe a mare runs a herd of horses, not a stallion”.

      Like

    2. Of course, if you’re simply interested in researching mitochondrial DNA, you could come up with something as absurd as this study, but the motives of this researcher are based on envy and self-pity.

      Like

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s