Updated: 10:45 am.
This was brought to our attention by some horse lovers in the UK. It is from the Telegraph, written in 2017 by Sarah Knapton and Charlotte Krol, and not covered it seems in the US. It is a trend we are warned that is spreading resulting in some tragic occurrences.
The trend of breeding animals to make them more attractive even when it damages their health has spread to horses, vets are warning, after a stable released images showing a ‘cartoon-like’ colt.
Extreme breeding practices have already left animals like French bulldogs and pugs struggling to breathe as their faces have become squashed over time to suit human demands.
But vets believe that the worrying practice is now happening in horses after a US stud farm offered an Arabian Colt for sale with an strange concave, or ‘dished’ profile.
The farm described the horse as a step towards ‘perfection’, but equine experts warned the animal may find it difficult to breathe and exercise with such a flattened nose.
UK equine expert Tim Greet of Rossdales Veterinary Service, in Newmarket, said although Arabians were known for their ‘dished’ features, the new colt ‘takes things to a ridiculous level,’ and said the deformity could be even worse for a horse than for a dog.
“Dogs like man can mouth breathe, but horses can only breathe through their nose,” he told Veterinary Record magazine.
“I suspect exercise would definitely be limited for this horse.”
The nine-month-old colt, called El Rey Magnum, was bred by Orrion Farms, a specialist Arabian breeding farm in Ellensburg, Washington, US.
Since launching a promotional video earlier this month, under the title ‘You Won’t Believe Your Eyes’ the farm has received interest from across the world, including the UK.
Doug Leadley, farm manager and primary breeding adviser for Orrion, said: “This horse is a stepping stone to getting close to perfection” and US vets who have examined the colt says it has no medical or respiratory issues.
Well, you can pay vets to say anything. We have witnessed that time and time again.
The article continues with:
Dr Madeleine Campbell, an equine reproduction specialist, expert in animal welfare and ethics and director of the Equine Ethics Consultancy, added: “Whilst it is obviously impossible to comment on an individual animal based only on photographic evidence, as a general principle any trend towards breeding for extremes of form which might adversely affect normal function must be condemned, on welfare grounds.
This would apply equally to head shape which might compromise the ability to breathe or eat normally or, for example, to extremes of animal size which might compromise the ability to give birth normally.”
Another source states, “Many experts gave their opinion on this example of extreme breeding. Dr. Madeleine Campbell is an equine reproduction specialist, and also an expert in animal welfare. On top of that, she’s the director of the Equine Ethics Consultancy. So she’s probably got a fairly good handle on all things horses.”
This quote disputes? clarifies? who bred and owns the horse:
“Regency Cove Farms, in Oklahoma bred El Rey Magnum, and said that in his breeding they knew he would be a “very unique animal” who would be a little bit different. Orrion Farms in Washington owns El Rey Magnum. Veterinarians are expressing their concern with the breeding practices. [Italics added]
See Guff.com »
“The owners of El Rey Magnum, at a specialist horse farm in the US, have defended the appearance of their nine-month-old colt, which resembles cartoon horses in Disney films Sleeping Beauty and Aladdin”, writes The Daily Mail.
Vanity breeding. Do you find this attractive, or repulsive? Legitimately cool or legitimately cruel?
• Extreme horse breeding leaves animals looking like cartoons, The Telegraph (UK) »
• Extreme horse breeding leaves animals looking like cartoons, warn vets, Guff.com »
• The horses bred to have cartoon faces: Vets’ horror at unnatural concave-faced animals created using extreme selection as owners search for the perfect-looking animal, The Daily Mail (UK) »
El Rey Magnum, Orrion Farms