Equine Innovators: Horse Breeds and Genetic Variation

Three scientists discuss genetic variation in horse breeds, why it’s important, and what we’ll learn from the Thoroughbred Genetic Diversity project.

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Equine Innovators: Horse Breeds and Genetic Variation
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In this month’s episode Drs. Ernie Bailey and Ted Kalbfleisch of the University of Kentucky and Dr. Jessica Petersen of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln discuss genetic variation in horse breeds, why it is important, and what we will learn from the Thoroughbred Genetic Diversity project.

Click here to view the podcast transcript.

If you’d like to enroll your horse(s) in the Thoroughbred Genetic Diversity Project, send an email to receive a kit containing an informed consent form (saying you have the legal right to offer the sample and pedigree of the horse), blood draw tubes (one 10ml EDTA tube), and instructions for submitting pedigree(s) of your horse(s) and where to mail samples and forms.

This podcast is the ninth episode in our ‚’Equine Innovators’ podcast series, brought to you by Zoetis. You can find the Equine Innovators podcast on TheHorse.com, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcast, and many other podcast apps.

Don’t miss a single episode! Sign up now to receive email reminders from The Horse.

About the Experts:

Ernie Bailey

Dr. Ernie Bailey
Ernie Bailey, MS, PhD, is a professor at the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Center, in Lexington, where he trains graduate students, teaches, and conducts research into the genetics of horses.

Ted Kalbfleisch

Dr. Ted KalbfleischTed Kalbfleisch, PhD, has been working in the field of animal genetics for nearly 20 years. He is an associate professor at the University of Kentucky where his research focuses on the use of genetic sequence data to understand the genetic basis of health and disease susceptibility in horses. He led the work that culminated in the 2018 publication of an improved reference genome for the horse and has authored or co-authored more than 60 scientific publications.

Jessica Petersen

Dr. Jessica PetersenJessica Petersen has led genetic studies to define the relationships among
and within horse breeds and works to understand how genes of the horse are regulated. She is an associate professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and has led or contributed to over 40 scientific publications and the textbook, The Horse (3rd edition).


Written by:

Stephanie L. Church, Editorial Director, grew up riding and caring for her family’s horses in Central Virginia and received a B.A. in journalism and equestrian studies from Averett University. She joined The Horse in 1999 and has led the editorial team since 2010. A 4-H and Pony Club graduate, she enjoys dressage, eventing, and trail riding with her former graded-stakes-winning Thoroughbred gelding, It Happened Again (“Happy”). Stephanie and Happy are based in Lexington, Kentucky.

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