North America’s racehorse breeding body hires Irish equine specialist Plusvital

Plusvital’s research team has experience in thoroughbred genomics, including investigating inbreeding

The Kentucky Derby. The aim of   Jockey Club America is  to boost racing and breeding standards across North America

The Kentucky Derby. The aim of Jockey Club America is to boost racing and breeding standards across North America

 

North America’s racehorse breeding body has hired Irish equine science specialist Plusvital as a consultant on thoroughbred genomics.

Plusvital, backed by leading racehorse trainer Jim Bolger and businessman Denis O’Brien, is the Irish company behind the Speed Gene test that analyses a thoroughbred’s DNA to establish the best distance at which it should race.

The company said on Thursday that Jockey Club America has hired it to provide advice on racehorse genomics to the organisation, which is examining breeding trends in thoroughbreds.

Based at offices in New York and Lexington, Kentucky, the Jockey Club America maintains the American Stud Book, a register of all thoroughbreds produced in the US and Canada, which records their parents and bloodlines. The body aims to boost racing and breeding standards across North America.

Plusvital’s research team, led by chief science officer Prof Emmeline Hill, has experience in thoroughbred genomics, including investigating inbreeding, one of the issues on which Jockey Club America is focused.

Prof Hill welcomed the club’s approach to the issue, and argued that genomics should be central to measuring inbreeding in thoroughbreds.

“The jockey club’s responsibility to ensure the integrity of the breed and our goal to support breeding and management of the thoroughbred through cutting-edge science demonstrates a shared vision.”

Genomics is the study of all an organism’s genes, and how they interact with each other.