Animal Science Department


Date of this Version

January 1981


Published in JOURNAL OF ANIMAL SCIENCE, Vol. 53, No. 3, 1981. Copyright © 1981 American Society of Animal Science. Used by permission.


Trotting records on the Finnish Horse were divided into two subsets: the total data set, with 13,000 race records on 554 horses by 206 sires, and the summary data set, with 1,378 records summarized annually for each horse. The purpose of the study was to determine whether these data could be utilized in a simple, yet useful way for the assessment of breeding value. A total of 24 measures of performance based on time at finish, money won and rank at finish were studied in the summary data set. The total data set included four traits compiled from records made at ages of 3 through 6 years. The proportion of horses that started races and at the end of a race year had records different from those of unraced horses, i.e., different from zero, was 95, 82 and 40 through 77% for measures of performance based on time, money and rank, respectively. Simple correlations between best and average time for a year were in excess of .90. Repeatabilities for time at finish during a year were about .70. Both estimates imply that time records are relatively consistent over an entire year. Estimates of heritability for best time were about .30, whereas those for money and rank traits were small or even negative. The results from this study support the concept that best time in a year is the most useful measure for assessing sire breeding values based on progeny records.