Evaluation of Breeding Value Based on Scores Achieved in the Polish Championships for Young Horses

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Genetic improvement of show jumping horses is problematic, given the multitude of physical traits that determine sport usability and the specific mental predispositions required during training and competitions. The Polish Championships for Young Horses (PCYH) provide an opportunity to evaluate usability traits in Polish horses, which, however, is not a basis for evaluation of the breeding value. The aim of the study was to propose a model for evaluation of the breeding value of horses taking part in the Championships. In total, 1232 starts of 894 4-, 5-, 6-, and 7-year-old horses were analysed. Indices of BLUP breeding values were calculated based on 7 traits with known genetic parameters (ranking in the championship, style rating on days 1, 2, and 3, and penalty points on days 1, 2, and 3). A low and irregular genetic trend, significant only in the case of penalties scored on days 1 and 2 of the championships, was shown. Compatibility of the evaluation of the breeding value estimated on the basis of scores achieved in the Polish Championships for Young Horses with the scores of the performance test carried out in Training Centres was shown. It was also demonstrated that the “sum penalty” and “sum style” measured during the three days of the Championships is sufficient for evaluation of the BLUP breeding value. It was suggested that the evaluation combined with the results achieved at the PCYH (in four age categories) would provide a more detailed picture of the genetic predispositions of jumping horses.

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