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Effects of integrated genetic evaluations for Icelandic horses on predictive ability, accuracy and selection bias

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The genetic evaluation of Icelandic horses is currently based on results from breeding field tests of riding ability and conformation. The effect of integrating competition traits and/or test status into the genetic evaluation was studied concerning estimation bias, predictive ability, accuracy, correlations between breeding values and ranking of sires. Breeding field test data included 19 954 records from horses assessed in 11 countries during 1994–2008. Competition data included 44 160 records from 7687 horses competing in Iceland and Sweden in 1998–2008. Test status was defined as attendance of horses born in Iceland at breeding field tests and/or in competition. Overall, there were trivial differences between different genetic evaluation models regarding estimation bias and predictive ability. Very strong correlations were estimated between breeding values for combined indexes of conformation, riding ability and total score from different models. Higher accuracy was achieved for most of the traits when competition traits and/or test status were added to the model. Sires ranked differently when the new traits were added to the genetic evaluation model. It was concluded that competition traits should be integrated into the genetic evaluation. Further analyses on genetic parameters for test status and its relationship with the other traits are needed for future inclusion of test status in the genetic evaluation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1:  Faculty of Land and Animal Resources, Agricultural University of Iceland, Borgarnes, Iceland 2:  Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Science, Uppsala, Sweden

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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