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Estimates of genetic parameters of distal limb fracture and superficial digital flexor tendon injury in UK Thoroughbred racehorses

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Claire WelshORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


A retrospective cohort study of distal limb fracture and superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT) injury in Thoroughbred racehorses was conducted using health records generated by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) between 2000 and 2010. After excluding records of horses that had both flat and jump racing starts, repeated records were reduced to a single binary record per horse (.n=66,507, 2982 sires), and the heritability of each condition was estimated using residual maximum likelihood (REML) with animal logistic regression models. Similarly, the heritability of each condition was estimated for the flat racing and jump racing populations separately. Bivariate mixed models were used to generate estimates of genetic correlations between SDFT injury and distal limb fracture.The heritability of distal limb fracture ranged from 0.21 to 0.37. The heritability of SDFT injury ranged from 0.31 to 0.34. SDFT injury and distal limb fracture were positively genetically correlated. These findings suggest that reductions in the risk of the conditions studied could be attempted using targeted breeding strategies. © 2014.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Welsh CE, Lewis TW, Blott SC, Mellor DJ, Stirk AJ, Parkin TDH

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Veterinary Journal

Year: 2014

Volume: 200

Issue: 2

Pages: 253-256

Print publication date: 01/05/2014

Online publication date: 26/03/2014

Acceptance date: 03/03/2014

Date deposited: 17/10/2019

ISSN (print): 1090-0233

ISSN (electronic): 1532-2971

Publisher: Bailliere Tindall Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2014.03.005

PubMed id: 24679457


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