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HWSD in Connemara ponies

full text. Thank you for making this open access.

Finally. Wonder if the breed associations will take action to get it tracked and under control? Or will this wonderful breed suffer from the same administrative debacle that spread HYPP in quarter horses.

In the age of the internet, this will be nothing like HYPP.

Also — it’s a homozygous recessive gene with carriers showing no issues, if I remember correctly, so it’s much more comparable to SCID in Arabians than to HYPP in stock breeds.

Yes, ACPS (American Connemara Pony Society) is requiring testing for breeding stock. I’ll see if I can find the link.
The purebred registration form is here
Note that it says

All foals must be DNA sampled and the sire of the foal must have Hoof Wall Separation Disease results on file with the ACPS, or the foal must be tested ? $90 for HWSD test, DNA test and TFC registration.

There is also a page about HWSD on the ACPS web site

Thank you ACPS for being stewards of this wonderful breed. This condition was unknown when I registered my ConnemaraX. I met some of my mare’s close kin that also had chronic IR and laminitis that was uncontrollable with diet. Mongrel dogs and horses for me from now on!

[QUOTE=Katy Watts;8116075]
Thank you ACPS for being stewards of this wonderful breed. This condition was unknown when I registered my ConnemaraX. I met some of my mare’s close kin that also had chronic IR and laminitis that was uncontrollable with diet. Mongrel dogs and horses for me from now on![/QUOTE]

Why that statement?

The good of knowing the breeding of your animal is that you have control over what goes into it, unlike in individuals of unknown breeding.

As a former breeder, I can attests that knowing the pedigree can help you have a better individual for what you want than taking chances on an unknown individual, that may just have Impressive somewhere back there, or this gene if a Connemare cross pony in the background you would not know about.

Since the test was developed (incredibly quickly I might add!), there is no reason whatsoever to ever breed an afflicted pony ever again.
Your cross OP, should be just fine. Its a non issue in a carrier and since yours is a cross, there is even less likelihood of being a carrier. So, no worries.
IR and laminitis are just as prevalent in “mongrels” as it is in purebred ponies, so that’s a dead argument :wink:

The Irish society is dragging their feet about getting the info out here (MUCH to the detriment of the breeders and poor foals to be born!)… other societies such as the ACPS, CCPS, and some European societies are making it a part of the registration process. Kudos to them.

OK, so I’ll admit to not knowing much about breeding. It is incorrect to assume that most horse breeding is about how a horse performs and looks? Yes, very important. But how many are involved with making their breeds healthier? Please tell me which horse breed associations keep track and do not permit breeding of animals known to carry adverse genetic characteristics? I realize it was difficult before, but new techniques for DNA testing would seem to open the way for breed associations to start improving animals health in addition to fashion and performance. With many generations of pedigrees available, breed associations are in a unique position to track, advise and even eliminate diseases known to have a genetic component. I know a few, HYPP in QTR horses. SCID in Arabians. Are there others?

Take IR. It’s known to be more prevalent in certain breeds. All ponies, TWH, Morgans etc. There is lots of anecdotal evidence passed along at laminitis conferences that shows severe IR in certain bloodlines of several different breeds. There was even a study done years ago on a big name, popular line of Welsh ponies that showed a very definite genetic lineage, back to a stallion and 2 mares imported around the turn of the century. Has the breed assoc. made that public yet? Are any breed associations interested in helping to chart those bloodlines prone to IR or other diseases? Seems like an easy thing to fund some grad student to send out questionnaires and plug results into the registry. The breed associations are in the perfect position to help geneticists discover which diseases have a genetic component. Is there any interest? Seems to be a wonderful opportunity to improve their breeds.

Yes, IR has both management and genetic components. But couldn’t the breed associations help us identify those horses that require special management, BEFORE they founder, or are bred to produce more horses that end up with the same problem? I guess it would be sort of like a ‘hand wash only’ tag on a piece of clothing. “This bloodline prone to laminitis- weight management, regular exercise and grain free diet is advisable.” Yes people are supposed to research that stuff themselves, but they won’t and don’t. Are any breed associations interested in helping people understand that not all breeds need to be fed like a racehorse? We can’t save people from themselves, but maybe we could save a few of their horses from suffering and begetting more horses that will suffer the same fate.

Any dog breeds that help weed out genetic disease?

Breed registries have a legal problem when prohibiting someone from registering two duly registered parent’s offspring.

The AQHA lost one such lawsuit, when it had rules of registration about white markings, trying to keep paint genes off the registry.

After that precedent, all registries learned they could not legally just make rules and that came back to haunt all when it came to genetic defects we can today test for.

The AQHA went the long around way to make registering HYPP H/H horses ineligible for registration, but it took years and I think now they are in the phase of keeping also N/H off, but have not kept up with that.
The AQHA has a five panel inherited defect testing program, but, again, after the precedent set by the Melvin Hatley white rule lawsuit that the AQHA spent immense amount of resources on and lost, well, they can’t very well make it mandatory without jumping thru many hoops, which they are doing.

Seems that the law is in favor of any one person with two duly registered parents to be legally permitted to register the offspring.
Well, it is a bit more complicated than that, but that is the way it seems to work in real life.

Give people whatever piece of paper they want. Just give full disclosure of any genetic defects probable, with the % chance of grievous results if they chose to breed. Holy moly, keeping tall socks off QH set a precedent for allowing horses that suffer horribly until they die from heart/lung failure? I knew a HYPP QH that a lady got for killer price. Was having falling down seizures in between winning classes at state fair. He was too dangerous to ride cause he fell down so much. This is what fashion has done to the horse industry. There’s got to be a better way to be a steward of a breed.

Katy, I totally agree with you and have vented about it for years. Don’t quote me, but I do think that some of the warmblood registries have it in their rules that it’s possible to unapprove a licensed stallion. But first, registries have to have licensing and approvals in place first. I’d be THRILLED if American breeds would require performance standards for breeding stock at a minimum. Wanna have a Morgan stallion? Well, true to breed it should prove that it can be ridden, driven and plow a field.

You don’t ride the papers!