Racing welcomes genetic research

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  • The British Horseracing Board is funding research into the relationship between pedigree and performance

    Genetic research, which could assist in the breeding of healthier and more robust Thoroughbreds, is being funded by the British Horseracing Board.

    The BHB is providing £2million over five years to finance Equine Genetics Research (EGR), a new company which has been set up to build on the work beingcarried out by the Animal Health Trust (AHT) in Newmarket.

    The AHT has pioneered the world’s most comprehensive map of horses’ genetic make-up. The venture is examining 200 horses, tracing their chromosomes through the generations to examine the extent their pedigree has on performance.

    David Oldrey, a BHB director and president of the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association, is chairman of EGR and said: “We are not looking at cloning or entering the world of genetic engineering.

    “If faults can be identified on the genome [DNA] map, it should be possible to remove weaknesses by sensible breeding.”

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