Study suggests EIPH is an inherited trait

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Eric Mitchell of the Blood-Horse summarizes the findings of South African-based international veterinarian John McVeigh, which were revealed during the two-day Medication Summit at Belmont Park and which suggest horses that are bleeders may pass the trait on to their progeny.
“The relationship between runners with EIPH and the stallion has a heritability of 0.4, which is very high,” McVeigh said during the panel discussion. “The two sires that produced the most bleeder progeny were both champion sires.”

Eric Mitchell of the Blood-Horse summarizes the findings of South African-based international veterinarian John McVeigh, which were revealed during the two-day Medication Summit at Belmont Park and suggest horses that are bleeders may pass the trait on to their progeny.

“The relationship between runners with EIPH and the stallion has a heritability of 0.4, which is very high,” McVeigh said during the panel discussion. “The two sires that produced the most bleeder progeny were both champion sires.”

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  • PNewmarket

    As suggested in the article, the German’s have it right – do not allow any horse that has raced on medication to go to stud.
    The German breeding industry punches well above its weight on the international scene, despite being small in number. If only other racing juristictions (and I include the rest of Europe in that statement) were brave enough to be as tough on stallion prospects.

  • John greathouse

    Both Champion Sires is the catch word. Racing in the USA is a business and it follows that there are horses being bred today that wouldn’t have been bred 50 years ago. What they do or don’t do in S Africa or Germany is their business. Making rules for our country is no different than telling them they must race on Lasix. The good Dr is welcome to his opinions but he doesn’t need to be writing our rule books

  • http://www.racehorseherbal.com polo

    Dr. Paul Ewald and Dr. Gregory Cochran have brought new insight into the field of infectious diseases. Dr. Ewald is a brilliant freethinker, an evolutionary biologist that offers much food for thought when it comes to epidemiology. Before I discuss Ewald, I would like to mention another researcher, Dr. Cochran, who was Dr. Ewald’s inspiration. This is all discussed in an exceptional article by Judith Hooper of The Atlantic Monthly . She quotes Dr. Cochran as saying that widespread, old diseases are infectious, if their incidence in the general population is above one-in-one thousand. Likewise, if he sees a disease that has been observed in a population for many years, he becomes very suspicious that it may well be infectious in nature. His view is that the most “fitness antagonistic diseases” must be of an infectious nature as opposed to genetic. The word, “Fitness”, is defined as simply the survivability of an animal over others on an evolutionary scale. Judith Hooper writes: “Consider a disease with a fitness cost of one percent — that is, a disease that takes a toll on survival or reproduction such that people who have it, end up with one percent fewer offspring, on average, than the general population. That small amount adds up. If you have an inherited disease with a one percent fitness cost, in the next generation there will be 99 percent of the original number in the gene pool. Eventually the number of people with the disease will dwindle to close to zero — or, more precisely, to the rate produced by random genetic mutations: about one in 50,000 to one in 100,000.” Thus, using this logic, EIPH is most likely an infectious manifestation, not genetic.

  • watcher

    Mr. Greathouse’s comments illustrate the primary problem in the U.S. breeding industry: an emphasis on commerciality while downplaying soundness and longevity.

    Like invasive surgical procedures on young horses which have altered the looks–but not the genetics–of sales horses, so have drugs masked the inheritable defects of racehorses.

    Market breeders/sales agents like Mr. Greathouse should be held accountable for the long decline in the strength of American bloodlines. No one taking a long view of our industry could support the short-sighted tactics of these people in breeding horses for the sales ring instead of the winner’s circle.

  • John Greathouse

    whoa!!!
    That is not what I said and if you know ANYTHING about Glencrest you know that we stand behind our horses as we WILL take them to the race tracks.
    What I said was that today’s market place is business oriented and one cannot control the kinds of horses that are put into production
    I am held accountable at each and every sale and each time we race one.
    At least I have the guts to use my own name instead of hiding behind a curtain and an opinion

  • Tom Goncharoff

    Kudos to John Greathouse. The reality appears to be that the shift to commercial breeding as opposed to breeding to race, has likely at the very least, exacerbated the problem of bleeding in the American racehorse. It seems to me the issue at hand is how do we deal with this reality? If Salix has been demonstrated to help alleviate bleeding, how can we not allow it to be used? It doesn’t seem realistic to hope that we can go back to the old way of breeding – that genie is already out of the bottle.

  • watcher

    Perhaps Mr. Greathouse can tell us the number of Glencrest-raised foals are placed under the surgeon’s knife each year for “corrective” leg procedures. Does Glencrest divulge this information to each of their purchasers?

  • maukone

    I bought a yearling from Glencrest a few years back and Mr. Greathouse told me everything about the colt..Yes he’d had surgery to correct offset knees..The surgery wasn’t much success and the colt was not very comercial but a lovely horse..I felt that price made right and bought him at Keeneland for $9,500…He should have brought $100,000 if correct..He earned $476,000 for us and set two new track records..Glencrest raised a good horse and lost money when selling..The horse was Tap Dancing Mauk..Oh he made 44 starts..Not bad for a horse with terrible offset knees..and one who had been under the knife…

  • gcochran

    Really strong selection often results in high frequencies of gene variants that have favorable effects in individuals with one copy but negative effective in those with two. You often see such things in domesticated animals, and it would hardly be surprising to see such effects in thoroughbreds. Hyperkalemic periodic paralysis in quarterhorses is a good example.

  • Toast

    If anybody really knew the answers to these questions I’m sure we’d be doing the right thing. Problem is NOBODY REALLY KNOWS! If we knew we wouldn’t be wasting all this time & money breeding and raising thousands of horses! Personally, I like horses that could really, really run…but had problems. To me it means they WANT to run and WANT to win! I don’t know how you breed that genetically…..except to know the horse? Danzig is a great example of this!

  • Hail To Reason

    Another horse that had his knees operated on was Real Quiet who came within a nose of winning the Triple Crown. I once asked a very large breeder his thoughts on conformation and he said they thought that wouldn’t breakdown did and horses they thought would breakdown didn’t. Go figure. I think you need an alloy in the pedigree to hold the gold together.

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