Peruvian Horse Genes

Peruvian Horse Genes


The Peruvian Horse tests positive for great genetics.

For several years now the complete horse genome data has been available
to equine genetic researchers all over the world. They have been able
to discover some surprising facts about domestic horses and more
specify about the genetic make-up of Peruvian Horses. The fact that the
Peruvian horse has a larger more diverse gene pool than many other
breeds, like the American Quarter Horse, or the Thoroughbred, or
Arabian or even Tennessee Walker may come as a surprise to many, but
the Peruvian Horse has one of the largest, most diverse gene pools of
any domestic horse in the world.

A large breed population does not guarantee a large gene pool. The
Thoroughbred is a large population that is widely distributed around
the world, however, historic records suggest that one sire is
responsible for 95% of the paternal lineages in the breed and as few as
30 females make up 94% of maternal lineages. In addition the outside
gene flow of the Thoroughbred has been closed since 1791. The fact
that the Conquistadors primarily rode stallions when conquering Peru
may help to explain the large number of sires and the diversity of the
present day gene pool of the Peruvian Horse. Also unlike the
Thoroughbred, new genetic diversity has been added as recently as the

With the entire genome complete, every single gene and gene variants
or modifiers called alleles, can be identified and be compared with
other breeds. Researchers have found the gene for just about
everything, including the gene for gait. When comparing the Peruvian
Horse with other gaited breeds they have discovered that the Peruvian
Horse tests stronger over a longer genetic range. This means with its
ancestral connection to the ambling horse of the Iberian Peninsula, the
Spanish Jennet, the Peruvian Horse is predisposed to gait like no other

Why is any of this important? As a general rule, the bigger the gene
pool is, the better things are for a breed. Diversity tends to
encourage a strong breed hardiness. When a population is not very
diverse, mutated alleles can become amplified and dominant, and this
can lead to some very dangerous problems for a small gene pool

Gene pools should be of interest to Peruvian horse breeders for a
number of reasons. A diverse set of genes is desired to create a
healthy population of breeding animals. This diversity will also help
defend it against genetic diseases and this may be the reason why no
major genetic disease has ever been discovered in any concentration of
Peruvian Horses. This knowledge is especially important for any breeder
who works with purebred horses, as purebreds tend to develop issues
associated with inbreeding due to restrictions on the animals allowed
to breed. These issues become less of a factor when the gene pool is
as large and diverse as the gene pool of the Peruvian Horse. The
Peruvian Horse is not only one of the best-gaited horses in the world;
it is also one of the strongest horses genetically.

Rich Ovenburg