Connemara Driving Ponies

Connemara Driving Ponies

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Genetic Diversity Narrowing?---- FOOTNOTES TO 2014 Class 1 STALLION SELECTIONS REPORT

   31 stallions passed as grade. Article discusses pedigrees then gives interesting additional notes and summary.

''Twenty-five of the approved colts measured 147cm or 148cm, the smallest colt measured 144cm. Colour wise, the mix was 18 greys, 8 duns (buckskin) and 5 bays.

In 2013 a spreadsheet with stallions from the 2013 CPBS Stallion List listed under their sire lines was developed. This was instrumental to identifying the various sub-lines, the over represented and the rare lines. The sire lines of Carna Bobby, Abbeyleix Owen, Mervyn Kingsmill and Hazy Dawn contributed 77% of the stallions approved into Class 1 in 2014. Continuance of this pattern will lead rapidly to a severely narrowed genetic diversity in the Connemara pony with subsequent increasing levels of inbreeding and increasing potential for genetic problems such as HWSD to become prevalent.

Years ago CPBS inspections provided points to stallions from preferred lines; there is no doubt that this is a cause of the present and continuing loss of genetic diversity seen today.   Today there is a single focus on visual assessment against the breed standard. Unfortunately, this single focus ignores other attributes that a colt might possess that are of value to the breed in all its dimensions. If the CPBS’ stated objective of safeguarding the conservation of the breed and the long term health of the breed is important, then perhaps it is time to introduce a more balanced assessment of colts by including a score for their potential for maintaining genetic diversity''

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