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Irish Genetics Firm Launches "Elite Performance Test"

Tuesday, 19th July 2011

Leading Irish equine genomics company Equinome launched a new genetic test overnight which it announced “can identify individual thoroughbred horses with the greatest genetic potential for racecourse success”. The company claims that “using the results of the Equinome Elite Performance Test, thoroughbred horse owners & breeders can now increase their chances of successfully identifying those foals & yearlings most likely to perform at the elite level”. The test is based on research carried out by Dr Emmeline Hill & her research group at University College Dublin’s School of Agriculture, Food Science & Veterinary Medicine; Equinome is a UCD “spin-out company” established in 2009 by Dr Hill in partnership with leading Irish trainer-breeder Jim Bolger. Equinome says its Elite Performance Test “uses state-of-the-art genomics technologies to examine panels of DNA variants that have been identified as being critical to racing performance; different sets of genes are used to distinguish between elite performers & poor performers, depending on whether the individual horse is suited to short, middle or long-distance races. This information provides owners & breeders with valuable knowledge about the inherited genetic contribution to the racing ability of their horses.” At the launch of the new test, Dr Hill declared: “We can now definitively identify the optimum racing distance for an individual racehorse & evaluate their potential for elite performance at that trip. This has been enabled by the rapid developments in genome sequencing & the highly advanced genomics technologies that are now available for the horse.”

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