In Defense of Grade Horses

Many people are under the impression that grade horses (those whose parentage is unknown, unidentifiable, or of significantly mixed breeding) are largely to blame for the horse overpopulation issue. The May 2010 issue of The Horse had a letter to the editor that again stated horse overpopulation would be reduced if people stopped breeding grade horses.

Grade horses provide a great pool of genetic variation and generally lack many of the genetic diseases that currently can afflict purebreds. Their lack of papers does not decrease their functionality, with the exception of

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