I was on one of the FB endurance pages when I stumbled upon the story of a Mustang that had been DNA tested to find out what mix of breeds he was. I came to a screeching halt. I've been unsuccessfully looking for an equine breed genetic test for the last 2 years. Luckily, a bunch of people had asked this person where she had had the DNA test done, and she was nice enough to link back to the Happy Mustangs FB page, where they have all of the info in their Files section. It is a members-only page, so I actually joined just so I could have access to those files, though it doesn't hurt that I love Mustangs and now enjoy reading the stories of the Happy Mustangs members.
But I digress. The genetic test is done at Texas A&M University and your horse doesn't have to be a Mustang to get tested. You send in 30-50 hairs from your horse's mane or tail, and they analyze them to find specific breed or horse type markers. So say, if you have a draft-type Mustang (they exist), the results might come back that it's a mix of Spanish horse, Draft, and Morgan - you're not necessarily going to get a specific breed always. If your horse is heavily mixed, the results might come back as "Inconclusive".
For just $25 for this test (vs $150 for some of the canine breed DNA tests, which sometimes get some really crazy results, and I think part of it is because they try to always identify specific breeds), I was willing to experiment, even if the results came back as "Inconclusive".
I wrote to Dr. Cothran, the person in charge of the Genetics Lab at TAMU, and within 24 hours he had responded and sent me the form that I would need to fill out. They just ask for your mailing address and some very basic information on the horse whose hair you're sending. The turnaround time for the test itself is 2 weeks, but it took closer to 4 weeks total: 1 week for my form + hair + check to arrive at TAMU and another week for the results to arrive to me via mail.
Here are the results!
|You can see all of the breeds/horse types that they can identify with this test.|
So of course I went and looked that up. Eastern European Warmbloods include the Holsteiner, Hanoverian Oldenburg, and Trakehner, among others.
So she has something from one or more of those breeds, and possibly some Irish sporthorse thrown in there somewhere. No Spanish horse whatsoever.
I laughed. This just makes her even more of a mutt than I originally thought, but it is fascinating to me because TBs have been crossed with Warmbloods and Irish Drafts to produce some really awesome sport horses. Since she has "clear Thoroughbred roots" per the notes on the results form, she could also just be a pure TB that was just never tattooed...though I've had enough vets and farriers ask what she's mixed with other than TB, based solely on her solid feet and excellent teeth, that it makes me want to lean more towards the idea of her being a mix!
So basically, my mare is a sport horse.
|Not the best conformation shot, but it's still my favorite!|
Yeah, I can totally live with that. :)
If anyone wants more info on the genetics test, just read through the comments below. I've responded to the same question numerous times: the info on who to contact is right there! :)