trotting race


Horse Genome Project


International Equine Genome Mapping Workshop
The 8th Dorothy Russell Havemeyer Foundation International Equine Genome Mapping Workshop took place near Newmarket, UK from July 22 to 25, 2009...[more]

Writers at the Louisville Courier Journal recently won the 2008 Media Eclipse Award for journalism based on an article about Thoroughbred racing and break-downs. They published a 3 part story, including genetics, track surfaces and medications. In connection with the genetics section they interviewed several members of the Horse Genome Project. See the accompanying links for the full stories on the 2008 Media Eclipse Award and the article itself.

Courier-Journal Web site wins award for horse project
Genetics may hold key to Injury-prone horses
[December 2008]

The first draft of the horse genome sequence was recently completed and deposited...
[JAVMA News, April 2007]

Data on Equine Genome Freely Available to Researchers Worldwide
[NIH News, February 2007]

The first genome map of a horse is complete, providing scientists with new tools for investigating equine disease. [ April 2006]



Map of Participating Investigators in Europe Portugal Italy Switzerland France Germany Austria Sweden Norway England Ireland


J. Flynn

John Flynn
Scientific Director with Weatherbys Ireland Bloodtyping Laboratory
at the Irish Equine Centre, Johnstown, Naas, County Kildare, Ireland.

The laboratory is attached to the Faculty of Science at the University College Dublin and has collaborated with the international equine genome mapping program from the outset. John has also a keen interest in breeding thoroughbreds and has bred some very successful horses on the racetrack.


E. Hill

Emmeline Hill
Scientist, University College Dublin,Ireland

Emmeline's family has been breeding racehorses for generations – her grandmother was the first female jockey to ride against men (and win!) under the rules of racing in Ireland and the UK. Her academic training in molecular genetics and interest in thoroughbreds has led to research investigating genes associated with athletic performance in racehorses.


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M b

Matthew Binns
Professor, Royal Veterinary College, London

Matthew Binns is a horse racing fan with an interest in the breeding and history of the Thoroughbred horse. He contributed to the development of genetic maps for the horse and is currently working to identify genes that predispose Thoroughbreds to fracture and tendon injuries.


J. Swinburne

June Swinburne
Post-doctoral equine research, Animal Health Trust, Newmarket, UK

I have always been involved with horses right from childhood gymkhanas with ponies to adulthood passions with Thoroughbreds. My career as a geneticist turned to horses 12 years ago and I'm now involved in wide-ranging projects examining a number of inherited defects in both horse and pony breeds.


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K. Roed

Knut H. Røed
Professor, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science

Knut's background in animal biology, especially genetics, led him to investigate the amazing genetic diversity among the many horse breeds. He works in the area of parentage testing and has research interests including genomics, population genetics, evolution and conservation.

The department link is:


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G. Lindgren

Gabriella Lindgren
Assistant Professor, Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

I have always been interested in biology in general, and my special interest in horses and genetics started early in life. I started riding when I was eight years old and have owned a Swedish Warmblood mare that produced two offspring
I study the domestic horse and the genetics that regulate physical performance traits and locomotion pattern, allergic eczema and the developmental disease skeletal atavism. My research involves using a combination of genomic, molecular genetic, cellular and computational tools as well as animal models, to investigate genetic variants and their phenotypic effect.

G. Lingren link

S. Mikko

Sofia Mikko
Laboratory Director, Animal Genetics Laboratory, Dept. of Animal Breeding and Genetics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

I'm a molecular geneticist and the main focus of my work is parentage and identity control of horses. I am also involved in some research projects, mainly in coat color genetics and breed diversity. Most of my free time I spend with my Swedish Warmblood breeding mare. I do both dressage and show jumping and have been riding since I was a kid.


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O. Distl

Ottmar Distl
Professor, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany

Ottmar got his practical experience in horse breeding on the stud farm of his parents. His group has identified quantitative trait loci for osteochondrosis and signs of navicular disease. Main research areas are reproduction and disease traits, performance and genetic diversity. Ottmar is leading the Lower Saxony Horse Genome Project funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung in Germany.

J. Metzger

Julia Metzger
Post-doctoral Equine Research, Institute for Animal Breeding and Genetics, University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany

Julia is a passionate dressage rider and has always been fascinated by the elegance and power of horses. Her research is focused on neurologic diseases, diseases of the respiratory tract as well as on traits for appearance and performance. Using next generation sequencing as her favorite advanced technology, she works on complex genetic diseases, diversity and selection of different horse breeds.

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O. Distl

Barbara Wallner
Institute of Animal Breeding and Genetics, University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna

I am fascinated by horses – like this proud Lipizzan stallion, Favory Amabila, ready for his performance at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna. In most modern breeds only a few paternal lines are preserved. My main focus is to characterize and trace stallion lines with Y-chromosomal markers. By sequencing the puzzling Y-chromosome I want to gain insight into the male mediated part in the history of modern horses.


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T. Leeb

Tosso Leeb
Professor, University of Berne, Switzerland

Tosso's family has managed for more than 100 years the horse-drawn carriages that bring visitors to the castle Neuschwanstein in Germany. His research interests concern the genetics of recurrent airway obstruction (RAO), Mendelian hereditary defects and coat color genetics.

link to my horse projects' homepage at the University of Berne:
link to the physical map project:


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A. Machado

Artur Machado
Assistant Professor, University of Azores, Biotechnology Centre of Azores, Portugal

Artur has enjoyed horses since childhood. He learned to ride on the Terceira pony, a horse now recognized as an endangered autochthonous breed of the Azores. Currently he breeds Lipizzaner and Lusitano horses.
Autur is the director of the Biotechnology Centre of Azores. The origin and influence of the Lusitano breed is one area of research. This work leads naturally to studies of performance, conformation and muscle-skeleto traits. Additionally genetic studies are concerned with the endangered Terceira Pony and an assisted reproduction unit was created for its rescue.

M. S. Lopes

Maria Susana Lopes
Scientist, Biotechnology Centre of Azores, University of Azores, Portugal

Susana has been a horse fan since childhood. After attending the university she began studying the genetics of horses at the Biotechnology Centre of Azores. She now studies population genetics, evolution, genetic diversity, conservation and disease traits of horses.


M. do Mar Oom

Maria do Mar Oom
Assistant Professor, University of Lisbon, Faculty of Sciences,Centre for Environmental Biology /Department of Animal Biology, Portugal

I have always had a passion for horses. I had my first riding lesson when I was 6 years old. At the university, most biology projects focused on animals in the wild, but I was determined to study horses. So I began studying behavior of the feral Garrano horses at the National Park and have continued studying genetics of the Portuguese native horse breeds since 1982. Since finishing at the University, I have done parentage testing of horses and my main interests are population genetics, evolution and domestication, genetic conservation of endangered breeds (especially for the Sorraia Horse)inbreeding and reproductive fitness.

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E. Giulotto

Elena Giulotto
Professor, University of Pavia, Italy

Elena is a show-jumping fanatic: she owns two horses and rides them in competitions. She recently decided to apply her expertise in molecular biology and cytogenetics to the horse. She is investigating the organization and evolution of the horse chromosomes.


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