Research: Shetland pony behind thoroughbred speed

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second_glance
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Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:30 pm

Not sure the title is a fully valid interpretation of the data, but, thinking of the Shetland mares I've known, it made me laugh. :lol:

http://www.horsetalk.co.nz/news/2012/01 ... z2fQo5BAje

Another article on the same research findings: "'Speed Gene' in Modern Racehorses Originated from British Mare 300 Years Ago, Scientists Claim"

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 140105.htm
BaroqueAgain1
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Sun Sep 22, 2013 8:02 pm

I don't know about speed, but I would believe that a certain competitive fire came along with any pony genes. I remember quite fondly a little chestnut Shetland who hated letting any horse get in front of him, and he was a diminutive, down-on-his-belly ball of fire in gymkhana events. :D
second_glance
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Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:23 pm

BaroqueAgain1 wrote:I don't know about speed, but I would believe that a certain competitive fire came along with any pony genes. I remember quite fondly a little chestnut Shetland who hated letting any horse get in front of him, and he was a diminutive, down-on-his-belly ball of fire in gymkhana events. :D
I said to a friend earlier today that I think they could probably find an "ornery" gene closely linked to the speed gene on that Shetland DNA line. :twisted:
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Katewerk
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Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:35 pm

I'm inclined to file this one under Junk Science.
second_glance
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Mon Sep 23, 2013 12:01 am

Katewerk wrote:I'm inclined to file this one under Junk Science.
I think that's unfair. Certainly, media interpretations of the study may be sloppy, and in the end the researchers' conclusions may prove to be inaccurate, but Nature and Nature Communications don't publish "junk."
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ElPrado2
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Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:15 am

I doubt if the Shetland being referred to is the miniature now being bred. There were very likely ponies still around at that time that were cross bred riding ponies. Cob sized riding ponies would have been of a size big enough to cross with the Oriental types coming from Africa and the Middle East.
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ElPrado2
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Mon Jan 14, 2019 10:24 am

There are a few more breeding angles that simply vanished over the years.
For instance, some people like the Akhal Teke breed as ancestral to tbreds.
It was more likely the Turkmene, one of the Akhal's ancestors. The breed was allowed to die out by the '60's Soviets. Everything you see as unique to Akhals? Double that in Turkmenes. That breed was used for racing all rhrough the northern Mid East for centuries. The metallic sheen in Akhals coat colors comes from them. Some of the head shapes that are shown in photos of Akhals come straight from Turks. Hip shape, too. The Soviets couldn't be bothered maintaining a seperate stud registry for an "elite" use. They just merged them into the more all around breed. The Stalin/post Stalin era has a lot to answer for.
I dug a book out of a military library once, "Horses of the World", forget the author... she was British, ( high school was going on 50 years ago) but she considered Turkmenes one of the ancestral riding breeds, as in pony, draft, Arab, race......the Turkmenes were the ancestral race breed personified. Akhals came about when Soviets wanted cavalry according to her. The original Akhal was the later basic riding version of the Turkmene.
I was lucky with a history teacher in high school. My Junior and Senior history prof had been a military attache for the US. Got kicked out of Moscow twice. And a few more places, too. He was fun. He had adventures in Argentina and South Africa, too, among other countries.
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starrydreamer
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Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:09 pm

ElPrado2 wrote:
Mon Sep 23, 2013 7:15 am
I doubt if the Shetland being referred to is the miniature now being bred. There were very likely ponies still around at that time that were cross bred riding ponies. Cob sized riding ponies would have been of a size big enough to cross with the Oriental types coming from Africa and the Middle East.
Exactly. The Shetland pony of 300 years ago is almost certainly not the Shetland pony of now.

In any case, Shetlands can be quite the athletic and hardy little ponies. There's even a Shetland Grand National over in the UK, where kids race ponies over jumps.
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ElPrado2
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Mon Jan 14, 2019 2:51 pm

I've seen the videos. That's a competitive breed.

I sent baroque again a PM about a shetland I knew. I worked at a boarding stable at one point in my many jobbed career. We had one of the early Buccaneers keeping his daughter's shetland there. He may not have lived through entering that luxurious pen. Damn thing hospitalized me for 3 days once... and it took 6 firemen to get me out of it. Once he had me, I was his. Flat out after a tremendous belly shot with both back hooves. I was out cold. Boarding stable needed good insurance. All I was doing was giving him dinner, a small scoop of oats with a handful of sweet feed. That little monster lived in real luxury.
20 x 25 pen, 10 x 10 stall attached, running water and waitress, lol, most of the pen had bermuda grass, with a section of it dirt so he had a toilet and a roll spot. I was his personal maid. He only crapped on the dirt, wet on the grass. I hosed down the grass daily. Totally spoiled brat. He worked an hour, tops, after school Thursdays. I had to longe him to keep him from looking like an orange and white basketball. He was a brat
.
BaroqueAgain1
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Mon Jan 14, 2019 4:06 pm

If he only got out once a week, I wouldn't be surprised if boredom (and too much grain?) helped make him so cranky.
IMHO, Shetlands, much like Arabians, need to DO something. They have too much intelligence and too much energy to spend a week in a pen without taking that pent-up energy out on, say, the poor person just trying to feed it? :P ;)
If your pinto mini-demon had been taken out on trail rides, or worked on a gymkhana course in a ring...every day...he might not have been trying to use your belly as his own personal Jolly-ball.
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ElPrado2
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Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:40 pm

We did manage to educate them, but it took a while.
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Gemini
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Thu Jan 17, 2019 1:19 am

If the article is correct, it's a good thing Thoroughbreds inherited speed instead of intelligence and wiliness from the Shetland. Humans would be doomed otherwise.
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