Height at Whithers / Exterieur Traits in Horses

Freiberger mit unterschiedlichem Stockmass
Franches Montagnes Horses with different heights at whiters (Signer Hasler et al. 2012)


Together with the National Stud in Avenches and the Bern University of Applied Sciences we investigate molecular genetic mechanisms, which control height at whithers and other exterieur traits in the horse. We identified a genetic variant in the HMGA2 gene, which leads to smaller horses. The height of withers is decreased by almost 10 cm per copy of the mutant allele. This variant is very common in small Shetland ponies, but also occurs in other pony breeds.


Funding: Agroscope and Federal Office for Agriculture