Connemara Driving Ponies

Connemara Driving Ponies

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Genetic Diversity Narrowing?---- FOOTNOTES TO 2014 Class 1 STALLION SELECTIONS REPORT

   31 stallions passed as grade. Article discusses pedigrees then gives interesting additional notes and summary.

''Twenty-five of the approved colts measured 147cm or 148cm, the smallest colt measured 144cm. Colour wise, the mix was 18 greys, 8 duns (buckskin) and 5 bays.

In 2013 a spreadsheet with stallions from the 2013 CPBS Stallion List listed under their sire lines was developed. This was instrumental to identifying the various sub-lines, the over represented and the rare lines. The sire lines of Carna Bobby, Abbeyleix Owen, Mervyn Kingsmill and Hazy Dawn contributed 77% of the stallions approved into Class 1 in 2014. Continuance of this pattern will lead rapidly to a severely narrowed genetic diversity in the Connemara pony with subsequent increasing levels of inbreeding and increasing potential for genetic problems such as HWSD to become prevalent.

Years ago CPBS inspections provided points to stallions from preferred lines; there is no doubt that this is a cause of the present and continuing loss of genetic diversity seen today.   Today there is a single focus on visual assessment against the breed standard. Unfortunately, this single focus ignores other attributes that a colt might possess that are of value to the breed in all its dimensions. If the CPBS’ stated objective of safeguarding the conservation of the breed and the long term health of the breed is important, then perhaps it is time to introduce a more balanced assessment of colts by including a score for their potential for maintaining genetic diversity''

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Comment on HWSD post of 26th September

Thank you Finola for your comment added today on the HWSD post which I blogged on 26th September.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

CPBS of Ireland------Articles of Association

* N.B. Article 3 makes Article 14b invalid; as clearly the members outside the district are discriminated against by the voting within the Council being weighted against them. What is more, the 'Society's district' is undefined.

01. Definitions
In these articles unless there be something in the subject or context inconsistent therewith,
“The Society” means the above named company,
“The Council” means the members for the time being of the Council herby constituted,
“In writing” means written, or printed, or partly written and partly printed,
“Rules”, “Regulations” and “Bye-Laws” of the Society shall be those as approved by the Council from time to time,
“Words importing persons shall include corporations.

02. Office
The Registered Office and the Office of the Society shall be located in Clifden Connemara. Co. Galway.

*03. Non discrimination
Nothing in the Rules and Regulations or Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Society shall be used to discriminate against any
breeder, owner or member of the Society.*

Friday, 26 September 2014

Will national societies respond ?

The following is pasted from the HWSD website.

Below is pasted the letter circulated by the ICCPS. The email that the letter accompanies states that the letter "contains information that should be shared with all Connemara Pony Society members and breeders."
To Connemara Pony Stud Book Societies:
Recently, the ICCPS Executive Board has had a number of inquiries from Societies and breeders around the world about the status of the UC Davis Hoof Wall Separation Disease research project. Many Stud Book Societies are following the HWSD research project, very closely. Currently, the US VGL (Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at University of California, Davis) delivers gene test results, all over the world. The Connemara Pony Research Group has made this research possible and breeders from most ICCPS societies are concerned.
We feel that it is important that Connemara Pony breeders may find information through their own Stud Book Society. We know there are Societies preparing to take action on national expert advice.
The following statements are based on information from a number of ICCPS member Stud Books and their contacts with national veterinary and genetic expertise:
• Wait for the research to be scientifically evaluated.
• Do not publish test results for individual ponies until the research and test methods are scientifically recognized.
• The first step, before the Society moves on to any breeding policy, the research should have been published in a peer-review scientific journal.
Dr Carrie Finno from the research team sent the following message on 18th September: “The manuscript is currently being reviewed by co-authors prior to submitting for an official peer-review in a selected journal. As the timelines of journal review vary, I cannot guarantee when the publication will be accepted but I will be happy to forward you the acceptance letter once it has passed peer-review.”
The Executive Board will be happy to forward this information to all Societies, as soon as we get it.
There is a long way from genetic research to a breeding policy. Our veterinary experts suggest that we need to know more about the clinical relevance of the genetic findings in this project, to eliminate sources of error and pitfalls, before heading into breeding programs and policies. The Dutch Society reports they are planning to contact the New Forest Pony Society to learn from their myotonia breeding policy.
As long as there is no breeding policy, the test must be regarded as a strictly private and voluntary business for the breeders. At the same time, information proceeding from the breeding societies is needed. People need to know that the research project is recognized by the Societies as an important knowledge but that a Stud Book Society has to wait until the research is finally accepted scientifically before moving on to a breeding policy. A link from Society websites to UC Davis website for information on the project is suggested:
While waiting for final research results and national expertise advice, we may prepare for the future by considering the following questions (in any order):
• How do we secure the identity (and breeding) of tested ponies in a breeding programme?
• Does the pony have to be DNA-tested for identity at the same time the gene test is carried out?
• How can we publish test results?
• How do we secure the use of samples that are sent to the lab – can they be used for further research without the owner’s permission?
• Can we make it possible to agree within the ICCPS on an international breeding policy?
Please let us know about the situation in your Society regarding the Hoof Wall Separation Disease project. Please share your thoughts, plans and further questions with me, and/or the ICCPS. Email to ICCPS Secretary, Susan McConnell (, will be very much appreciated.
On behalf of the ICCPS Executive Board,
Madeleine Beckman, ICCPS Chair
Hoof Wall Separation Syndrome (HWSS) is an inherited condition seen in Connemara ponies and typified by the dorsal hoof wall splitting away from underlying structures. This hoof defect develops in young foals between one to six months of age. The condition results in afflicted ponies having to supp…

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Connemara Liberty Team Training

ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! Connemara's prove again that they are game for anything.''The best little horse in the world.''

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

HWSS Meeting [now officially called HWSD]

Although there were few breeders from Ireland at the meeting, it was well attended and proved a very productive and educational meeting. Needless to say there was the usual lone voice in absolute denial. There is always one! LOL. Report and synopsis to follow soon. The syndrome has now been officially upgraded to a unique, verifiable and testable disease i.e. HWSD [Hoof Wall Seperation Disease]; and should not be confused with any other condition or disease.
[ Sorry about delayed report, but hard to find someone actually at the meeting who could offer a report!] I now have TWO REPORTS to offer readers. One from Fergus Moloney and another by the group who ran the seminar. Fergus's report is posted as a comment below. Here is also a link to the group's own report---HWSD group Clifden meeting report