Equine DNA Testing

Equine DNA Testing

Hannah Watros, Contributo

In recent years, DNA testing has been a trend among people. Everyone wants to know more information about their ancestors. The industry has really started to boom for human testing. Within the last year, DNA testing in horses has become a repeating request to vets. More and more information keeps coming out with the different types of tests that can potentially be done for your horse and people are interested. 

The University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine is the #1 veterinary school in the United states and happens to offer equine DNA testing. They offer a variety of different tests that will put out different information about a horse’s history. The school’s website says, “The UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory offers equine DNA tests that verify parentage, assess coat color and genetic traits, and determine genetic predisposition to health condition.” DNA testing is extremely important for horse breeders to use. It helps identify certain genetic traits that can lead to diseases and illnesses. This can help to prevent mares from being bred and producing poor offspring.  

The testing is done by taking a certain amount of mane out of the horse’s body. The hair must contain a follicle to be able for tests to be performed. The amount of hair is dependent on what is being tested. For most tests, they require anywhere from 20-40 single pieces of hair. To determine the parents of a horse, all possible fathers must be identified and tested. If both parents are tested than the accuracy of the test is 100%. When only one parent is analyzed, the accuracy drops to just 95%.  

Anyone can get their horse tested and the price is lower than human testing. Many people are becoming fascinated with this new method and admire the accuracy of it. For anyone breeding their horses, it is a good idea because foals can often be sold for a higher price due to the health insurance of the test. Many racetracks DNA test before buying horses to ensure good parental genes. By getting horses DNA tested, more people can make money and issues can be bred out.