On February 19, 2014 Select Breeders Southwest in Aubrey, TX hosted a seminar about genetic diseases and testing. The wacky winter weather gave us a break and it turned out to be a warm and altogether pleasant day for our seminar. A congenial crowd of over 55 people made up of veterinarians, horse breeders and college students filled the beautiful western themed meeting hall at Lantana Lodge for this highly anticipated event. Our guests were treated to gorgeous views of Lake Ray Roberts and mingled happily over a delicious selection of light fare before finally taking their seats for an interesting presentation by Dr. Sharon Spier from UC Davis California.
Dr. Spier began the seminar talking about cloning and then moved on to in-depth coverage of congenital defects, inherited tendencies, genetic defects and undesirable traits. After the presentation the audience was invited to ask questions which opened a lively round of discussion.
This seminar came to fruition in part because of the new genetic testing required by the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA). The new requirements will be phased in over the next two years. Beginning this year, all AQHA breeding stallions having 25 or more mares booked are required to have a five panel disease test performed. This will be required of all breeding stallions starting in 2015 regardless of the number of mares they have booked. The disease panel includes testing for glycogen branching enzyme deficiency (GBED), hereditary equine regional dermal asthenia (HERDA), hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP), malignant hyperthermia (MH) and polysaccharide storage myopathy (PSSM1). For more details about the information covered during this seminar you can view the handout provided to the participants. Several other breed registries require genetic testing as well. Please contact your specific registry to inquire what their requirements may include.
Judging by the high marks on the surveys collected from the participants following the presentation the attendees were impressed with our speaker and expressed their interest in future seminars on other equine related topics. It would not be possible for Select Breeders Southwest to produce these quality educational seminars and offer them free to the public without the support we received from our sponsors. We’d like to thank Purina, D & L Farm & Home, Weems & Stephens Equine Hospital, Breeders Choice and Dr. John Carroll’s Equine Medical Associates for their generous support.