50 Years since the discovery of the ancient Caspian Horse

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the remarkable discovery by American woman Louise Firouz that a horse breed thought extinct for 1300 years had in fact survived in a mountainous region of Iran. Read more about Louise Firouz and the discovery of a living herd of Caspian horses. Horsetalk NZ Wikipedia Sydney Morning Herald (2008) Continue reading

Genes link wild horses in Western Canada to Siberian Breed

A genetic study of a remote population of wild horses in Western Canada has posed a raft of new questions about their origins, with the results revealing an intriguing link to the Yakut horses of Siberia. It is assumed that the horses observed by European fur traders in the early 1800s in association with Tsilhqot’in First Nations in the Chilcotin area of south central British Columbia were descended from Spanish-derived horses brought in about 1740 along native trade routes from plateau grasslands in what is now Washington State. Today, an estimated 1,000 feral horses still survive in remote areas of… Continue reading

Research reveals domestication’s effects on horse genes

A study, carried out by scientists at the University of Copenhagen’s Center for GeoGenetics, detailed some 125 genes related to physical and behavioral traits favored by humans. By comparing the genomes of modern domesticated horse varieties to DNA sampled from now-extinct wild horse species, researchers were able to isolate genes that control skeletal muscles, balance, coordination, cardiac strength, fear response, and more. Read more: http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2014/12/16/Research-reveals-domestications-effects-on-horse-genes/4501418747928/#ixzz3MOKCWUBB   Continue reading

Lack of Genetic Diversity in Modern Horse Populations

WA Horse Council News – Extract October 2011 Newsletter     LACK OF GENETIC DIVERSITY   An international team of researchers has used ancient DNA to produce compelling evidence that the lack of genetic diversity in modern stallions is the result of the domestication process. The published results suggest the almost complete absence of genetic diversity in modern male horses is not based on properties intrinsic to wild horses, but on the domestic process itself. Researchers sequenced Y chromosomal DNA from eight ancient wild horses dating back from around 15,000 to more than 47,000 years and a 2,800 year old… Continue reading