Estimation of genetic parameters for morphological and functional traits in a Menorca horse population

  • Marina Solé Dept. Ciencias Agro-Forestales, Universidad de Sevilla, 41013 Sevilla
  • Isabel Cervantes Dept. Producción Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, 28040 Madrid
  • Juan Pablo Gutiérrez Dept. Producción Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, 28040 Madrid
  • Maria Dolores Gómez Dept. Ciencias Agro-Forestales, Universidad de Sevilla, 41013 Sevilla
  • Mercedes Valera Dept. Ciencias Agro-Forestales, Universidad de Sevilla, 41013 Sevilla
Keywords: dressage, morphology, Bayesian, heritability, local breed


Functional conformation and performance in Classic and Menorca Dressage are the main selection criteria in the Menorca Horse breeding program. Menorca Dressage is an alternative Classical Dressage discipline which is exclusive of the Menorca Island, but including a series of movements that the animals perform in the traditional festivities called “Jaleo Menorquín”. One of these movements involves the horse raising its forelimbs and standing or walking on its hindlimbs, which is called “el bot”. To make the Menorca horse breed more competitive in the equestrian market, it is necessary to understand the genetic background that characterizes the aptitude for Menorca Dressage and its relationship with conformation traits. The analysed data consisted of 15 conformation traits from 347 Menorca horses (200 males and 147 females), with 1,550 performance records in Menorca Dressage competitions. Genetic parameters were estimated using linear and threshold animal models. The heritabilities for heights and lengths were high (0.45-0.76), those for angulations and binary conformation traits were low to moderate (0.10-0.36) as were the scores for dressage performance (0.13-0.21). The results suggest that the analyzed traits could be used as an efficient tool for selecting breeding horses.


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How to Cite
Solé, M., Cervantes, I., Gutiérrez, J. P., Gómez, M. D., & Valera, M. (2014). Estimation of genetic parameters for morphological and functional traits in a Menorca horse population. Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research, 12(1), 125-132.
Animal breeding, genetics and reproduction