Extreme horse breeding leaves animals looking like cartoons, warn vets

A nine-month-old colt, called El Rey Magnum, was bred by Orrion Farms, a specialist Arabian breeding farm in Ellensburg, Washington, US.

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.Left Quotation Mark

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.Right Quotation Mark

Well, you can pay vets to say anything. We have witnessed that time and time again.

The article continues with:

Left Quotation Mark

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.”

Right Quotation Mark

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) »

We are breeding a world full of creatures who cannot survive, Futurism.com »

El Rey Magnum, Orrion Farms

Embryo Transfer – A Shadowy Market Ripe for Exploitation

Pregnant mare. Google search result credited to Thinkstock.

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We’ve known for many years that farm animals have been exploited to produce more meat, milk, wool etc. Embryo transfer in horses is another technology that is unrivalled for its inefficiency and costliness. There’s also some evidence that embryo transfer (ET) is exploitative because it can be painful, requiring analgesics. We recently read about the cast-off recipient mares (the “gestational” carriers that give birth to foals of a different mare/stallion) from the Arnold Reproduction Center who were consigned to the Kaufman kill pen/kill buyer Mike McBarron for eventual slaughter.

Once exposed on social media platforms, veterinarian Leea Arnold responded:

“I recently sent some mares to the Cleburne Horse Sale. I certainly never intended for them to end up in the slaughter pen. Many of these mares came to me through the sale barn system, were sick, completely unbroken and certainly destined for slaughter at that time (15 or so years ago). As long as these mares are reproductively sound, they stay in my herd – many probably longer than they are useful. My staff and I have taken the time, money, and resources we have to help these mares become useful and give them a viable purpose.

“I will use another avenue to re-home these mares in the future. If you are a non-profit organization and have your 501(c)3 at hand, I would be more than happy to donate any older or reproductively unsound recipients to your facilities as they become available.”

Dr. Arnold did not otherwise offer to help the animals that were scheduled to be sent for slaughter.

Please continue reading »

Google search result crediting Thinkstock.

Rolling Stones wife withdraws horses from troubled Polish stud farm

Cross-posted from The Telegraph

The future of one of Europe’s oldest stud farms has a cloud hanging over it after political rows and the death of prized horses left the reputation of the 199-year-old institution battered.

Horses from Poland’s Janow Podlaski stud can sell for hundreds of thousands of pounds but the recent scandals have prompted one high-profile owner to pull her horses out and there are fears other might follow suit.

Charlie Watts and his wife Shirley at the National Arab Horse Society in Malvern in 1998 CREDIT: JEREMY WILLIAMS/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK
Charlie Watts and his wife Shirley at the National Arab Horse Society in Malvern in 1998 CREDIT: JEREMY WILLIAMS/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

Earlier this week, Shirley Watts, the wife of Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stones drummer, withdrew her horses from the stud after two of her mares, with a combined value of £460,000, died in rapid succession.

The deaths of the horses came just weeks after the Polish government sacked the management board of the state-owned stud and fired Marek Trela, the director who had been at Janow for 38 years, replacing him with a man who, by his own admission, knows little about horses.

The appointment of Marek Skomorowski, an economist by profession, raised eyebrows in Poland’s horse world, and prompted allegations that the government was putting its people in positions of authority in order to cement its hold on power regardless of their competencies.

The government has, however, initiated a criminal investigation into the deaths of Mrs Watts’ horses.

In a statement Mr Jurgiel said that to have two horses die so suddenly gave “reasonable grounds for suspicion” that the deaths were the “intentional acts of third parties”. Continue reading »

FEATURED IMAGE: Preparations are made for the transport of the mares owned by Shirley Watts CREDIT: EPA.

Lawsuit over quarter horse’s clone may redefine animal breeding

Los Angeles Times »

Three identical horses. by Pixgood.com.
Three identical horses, possible with today’s science of cloning. But is it a good thing considering the rampant overbreeding done in the natural way, not taking into account of course frozen semen and no live cover already allowed by the AQHA. Image by Pixgood.com.

Texas horse breeder Jason Abraham and veterinarian Gregg Veneklasen sued the American Quarter Horse Assn., claiming that Lynx Melody Too should be allowed to register as an official quarter horse.

A Texas jury decided in their favor in 2013, but a three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that ruling in January, saying there was “insufficient” evidence of wrongdoing by the association.

Abraham and Veneklasen are now seeking a rehearing before the full 15-judge circuit panel.

The suit is among the first to deal with the status of clones in breeding and competition, and its outcome could impact a number of fields, including thoroughbred horse racing and dog breeding.

The quarter horse association is adamant that clones and their offspring have no place in its registry.

“It’s what AQHA was founded on — tracking and preserving the pedigrees of these American quarter horses,” said Tom Persechino, executive director of marketing for the association. “When a person buys an American quarter horse, they want to know that my quarter horse has the blood of these horses running through it, not copies of it.”

But Abraham and Veneklasen say that cloning follows a long tradition of using the latest technology to improve and maintain the breed.

First Clone to Clone Foal.
First clone to clone foal. When is a horse truly a horse with this type of madness is going on. Picture attributed by Google to hoofease.com.

Cloning “is nothing more than an assisted reproductive technique, similar to in vitro fertilization and artificial insemination,” the plaintiffs wrote in their suit. “A clone is simply the genetic twin of the original animal separated in time.”

Ever since Dolly the sheep was cloned in 1996 in Scotland, the use of clones as food, resurrected pets or competitive animals has been hotly discussed. Continue reading at the LA Times »