Photo by Sue Ogrocki.

Is your horse’s ancestry a mystery? Well, thanks to Texas A&M and their cutting edge animals genetics lab, discovering more about your horse’s background is possible. Are you ready to learn more?

“Horse ancestry testing at Texas A&M University is based upon comparing the DNA genotype of the subject horse to a reference panel of 50 horse breeds.  Using a computer program based upon maximum likelihood analysis, the variants present at each genetic marker system tested for the subject horse are compared to those for each reference breed.  For each breed comparison the probability that the subject horse came from that breed is calculated based upon the product of all the systems genotype probabilities.  We then report the three breeds with the highest probability that the subject horse could have come from the breed in order of their probability of being an ancestral breed.  The results cannot give the proportion (percent) of the breed that the subject horse may have.  That really isn’t possible because horses are so genetically similar.” – Texas A&M

In order to participate, a fee of $40 dollars per animal must be paid, and a submission form must be filled out. Once the testing is done, you will receive two reports,  “Horse genotyping report – DNA type (aka DNA profile, aka DNA fingerprint). DNA type shows the markers used (microsatellites – VHL20; HTG10 and etc.) with allele sizes for the markers coded in letters (VHL20 – PR; HTG10 – LR; AHT5 – KN and etc.). DNA types are reported according to standardized nomenclature of ISAG. If one of the parents or both parents are available, parentage verification will be performed and it will reflect on the report (sire/dam qualification/exclusion). Second report is the horse ancestry report with breed assignments.” – Texas A&M

If you’re interested in ancestry testing for your horses, the submission form can be found here.