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DNA Testing and Testing for Parentage? {Long story}

Okay, this is a long shot but hopefully someone can give some advice. Here’s the scoop.

Back in May I bought a Gypsy Vanner x Andalusian year and a half old filly. The dam (Gypsy Vanner) was on site. I was told my baby girl was a mistake. The mare was boarded at a different barn (for an arena) where an Andalusian stud was in residence. Fences were jumped etc etc and surprise! There was suddenly a baby. I was told the woman I bought her from would send me over baby pictures and more info on my filly via email. That never happened.

Fast forward half a year. I was at a Gypsy Vanner Fair and the breeder happened to be there with a few of her purebred gypsies. We got to talking and her story was more elaborate this time. I’d asked more about the stud because I wanted to know in case I ever tried to register her with anything. She said when my filly was first born it had been a total surprise. The barn owner, who as it turns out was also the stud owner, refused to believe that the filly was from her boy since there was a fjord stud on site as well. The barn owner ordered a paternity test and when she got the results back she demanded custody of the foal. To me this says that the foal was his, but the BO never released the results to the mare’s owner. The mare owner refused since no one could prove who was responsible for the horses breeding, and the BO ordered her off the property (but I think she was somehow planning on keeping the foal without the mare? I’m not 100%). So anyway they packed up and headed home with momma and baby.

I am pretty sure my filly’s sire is the Andalusian. You can see a picture of her if you click the link in my signature. All I know is that he’s a grey. In the one baby picture of my filly that was online, she was born a pinto bay. Her dam was your typical black and white piebald gypsy. When I bought her she looked blue roan, but she is obviously just greying out. I can’t see any Fjord in her. Her dam was 15hh, and at two years old she’s already 15.1hh. Paired with the behavior after the DNA test came in, I think the Andalusian is the culprit.

Now, what I’m really getting at here is I want to find the sire. The woman I bought my filly from won’t give me the name because she doesn’t want any more drama with the stud owner. I want to know who he is in case I need that information to register her with anything. On top of that, if she proves to be an exceptional riding mare I would breed her back to an Andalusian (The foal would be for myself), but I wouldn’t want to accidentally breed her back to her own sire!

I am pretty sure they can DNA type to figure out what breed(s) a horse is, and I know they can match DNA to prove parentage. What I want to know is if this DNA profile would be kept on file anywhere? Would there be any way to track down the original DNA test performed when she was first born? I think you typically have to know who the dam and sire are and then they just confirm it with a test. Most registries now usually take DNA samples though, so theoretically couldn’t it be matched up? There aren’t a ton of Andalusian studs in Ontario, Canada but I’m hesitant to just contact all the owners in case it opens up an old case of worms! To further complicate things her dam died in a freak accident just months after I purchased her so no new DNA could be obtained to test against her.

I know that the story I was given about her birth could be inaccurate but it’s all I have to work with. I just feel such a lack of closure because I’m so close to the answer but so far! I’m hoping someday the woman I bought her from will pony up his name so I can be informed and just let it rest. In the meantime I think when it comes time to do this years shots I’m going to have the vet run a breed typing so we know 100% her second half is Andalusian but that’s the best I can do.

Does anyone know anything about DNA tests etc? Or have any ideas? Leads?

Well, based on your information about the BO / SO’s behaviour, I wouldn’t be advertising to her that you’ve got the filly she thinks she is entitled to. I also don’t think you’d be real lucky in getting a service certificate from the SO if her attitude is as has been described. Just MHO.

Hers in the states UC Davis tends to do most of the typing. I’m sure you could contact the andalusian registry and see if he had DNA on file and if so whether it matched or not. Not sure about Canada’s main lab. Especially if you know the stud that was there you have a clue. Unfortunately when ass owners don’t want you to know info they can make it quite difficult. Breeds can even be changed when the horse is sold to make it more marketable for them (is my appendix mare I purchased and later discovered and DNA proved to be half hano).doesn’t matter as I got her for a dressage prospect and she is half appendix. They just left the other half out and they were trying to make this poor girl barrel race !

My feeling is that if you like the filly for what she is, then let the whole parentage thing drop.
a) It sounds as though you could have her DNA typed and perhaps find out for sure that she’s half Andalusian, but far less likely that you’d be able to pinpoint the stud responsible.
b) any plans you might have to breed her are several years in the future, so the likelihood that you would breed her accidentally to her own sire are pretty small.

Also, I’d be concerned that the dam’s owner spun you a yarn or perhaps left out a few facts or embellished others. While I’d agree that your filly doesn’t look half-Fjord (she’s pretty btw), there might be some other stallion lurking in the dam’s past who is perhaps less thrilling than a tall, dark and handsome mystery Andalusian.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Unless technology has changed very recently, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible to search for unknown parentage via DNA without some sort of reference point.

The way DNA testing works is you compare certain genetic markers or “sections” of DNA against the mother and father’s DNA. Genes exist in pairs with one gene received from each parent. If you know the mother and father’s genotypes, you can confirm that the offspring’s genes match one of the possible combinations of mother and father’s genes.

Without a known mother and father to reference, the possible combinations of genes are virtually endless.

Are Andalusians required submit a DNA sample for registration? If so, you may have a shot if you could provide a sample of the mother’s DNA (which I just read you can’t) and could narrow the search down to a few stallions of a specific age or in a specific region.

As far as pulling up the old DNA testing, client confidentiality is probably going to prevent anyone from giving the information to you. If you knew what lab it was done, maybe they’d release the info to you… but to my knowledge, there is no “universal database” that stores old results.

ETA: Also, if your horse is grey and the dam is pinto, that means the sire had to be grey. Grey is a dominant gene-- one parent needs to be grey for the offspring to be grey. Unless the Fjord was grey, there is no possible way he could be the sire.

In order for any registration to take place, the Stallion Owner must supply a Breeding Certificate. It sounds as though said certificate would be perilous to procure.

I would let it go, and enjoy your baby.