Stallions - Herda Carriers
A little rant. I have a 5 page list of known HERDA carriers. There are some top cutting/reining horse names on the list and I just wish that the AQHA would not allow stallions that are known carriers to be included in the stallion registry anymore. Carrier mares are bad enough, but the big time stallions produce hundreds of foals!!!! That's a flood of possible HERDA carriers being born every year. Millions of dollars are needed to train, show and promote an elite performing stallion so I understand wanting to reap the rewards, but couldn't the top producers work with the N/N stallions? There are some really good N/N stallions out there so I don't see the need to breed more HERDA carriers at this point. At the very least, I think that stallion owners should be required to state the HERDA status of their stallion in plain words instead of just saying "HERDA: Live Foal Guarantee". It should be very clear that the stallion is a carrier. Some folks might disagree.
Okay, rant over.
I 100% agree with you. I recently read an article that stated some breeders like the HERDA factor, they say it makes their horses more flexible!?
I also agree, with any of the genetic diseases. There are plenty of good horses out there without furthering a disease for the sake of the all mighty dollar.
I have Poco Bueno bred horses myself, my grandfather started the farm with a son of Poco Dell over 50 years ago. I've had all of mine tested and they are all negative, had they been carriers, there's not a chance I'd consider using them for breeding stock. It's just irresponsible.
I've seen firsthand what herda can do to a horse and it's gruesome. I don't understand wanting to take that chance.
I agree with the above posters that breeding animals with genetic disorders is irresponsible. I did not, however know what HERDA was, so I looked it up... and I have to say that WOW, that's horrible! Why in the world would you knowingly risk inflicting that on an innocent??? Even knowingly producing a carrier just serves to perpetuate the suffering on a future generation....
"The expected lifespan of an affected horse is 2–4 years. There is currently no cure for this disease. To prevent it from occurring, the only solution is not to breed horses who both carry the HERDA allele."
Hereditary equine regional dermal asthenia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I found this very interesting:
Breedings of carrier horses have a 25% chance of producing an affected foal.
Breedings between normal and carrier horses will not produce a HERDA foal although 50% of the foals are expected to be carriers.
So if I undertsand this correctly, if the horse is a carrier then 25% of it's offspring have a chance of being affected. It doesn't say what percent would be a carrier (do we assume all?)
Then if you breed a carrier to a normal horse you positively will not get a HERDA affected foal yet you run the risk of having a carrier.
So... In a perfect world I would assume the "fix" would be to dis-allow any breedings of a HERDA carrier or only allow it to breed to a "normal" horse but then sterilize the offspring...?
I know, that's in a perfect world. I think money is what drives the breeding of these animals...Same with any other genetic defect such as HYPP, SCID, JEB, OLWFS, and GBED to name a few....
It would be great if you could post a link of all those stallions to make others on this forum aware of the horses that carry HERDA.
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The original link to the list page is dead because stallion owners complained. There are a lot of breeders who don't care about standing HERDA carrying stallions. Some clearly state the status of their stallions while others are vague or don't even mention it. To them, it is a manageable disease. To folks like myself, it is irresponsible. You could try doing a google search. Somebody might have stashed the list away somewhere else. At any rate, it is well known that horses with Poco Bueno in their lineage should be checked. Horses with Zantanon or his son, 'King' should be checked for GBED which is still out there and being propagated by stallions with well known pedigrees.
If you have a horse that you want to check for the possibility of HERDA, you can message me and I'll check my list. I don't want to cause any troubles for this forum.
To eliminate all HERDA carrier stallions and mares from the gene pool is an unrealistic expectation. As you've noted, many of the elite stallions in the AQHA and APHA in all disciplines, not just cutting and reining, are carriers. To eliminate them isn't in the best interest of the breed. What the breeds need to do is mandate HERDA testing on every horse that traces to Poco Bueno just as they do for requiring HYPP testing for Impressive horses. Mare owners need to be able to make the best decision for the resulting foal. Resulting foals need to be tested and their status clearing marked on their papers. If the breeders start taking it in the shorts and bare the finacial loss of afflicted foals maybe a little more care in the selection process will take place.
If a stallion owner is gving a HERDA live foal guarantee, they are saying in so many words that the stallion is a carrier. Unfortunately, the foal will appear normal for the most part until they are started undersaddle. Only then will the status of the horse be tested and revealed. At that point, the guarantee probably isn't going to be honored.
Eliminating HERDA carrier stallions would be quite easy on a going forward basis. The well known carrier horses do indeed produce non-carrier offspring. Those offspring should be the next show prospects going forward, not the next generation of carriers. It's not like there is a horse shortage.
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