New breeding evaluation indexes (BLUP) have been calculated and are now available in the Studbook of origin of the Icelandic horse, WorldFengur for a total of 492.564* horses. The number of full international breeding assessments on which the calculation is based, was 36.160. These assessments are divided over all FEIF countries as follows: Iceland 22.379, Sweden 4459, Germany 3721, Denmark 2819, Norway 1279, Austria 387, Finland 294, the Netherlands 319, the United States 228, Canada 117, Switzerland 110, the United Kingdom 39, and the Faroe Islands 9. The results of DNA testing for the pace gene of 1.027 horses were also included in the calculations.
Please bear in mind that a BLUP accuracy rate below 60% constitutes an unreliable prediction and needs to be regarded cautiously. The accuracy rate is based on the amount of information – i.e., the number of breeding assessments of related individuals – behind the calculations. Therefore, the BLUP of horses with assessed offspring has a higher accuracy rate. The BLUP of horses with assessed offspring are an indicator of their value as a breeding horse, e.g., the traits that they might pass on to their offspring in comparison with the international breeding standard for Icelandic horses.
The BLUP is calibrated on the average score of horses born on Iceland in the past 10 years, so the control group was born between 2014 and 2023. The scale is set with 100 points as the average value; one standard deviation unit (std) equals 10 points for all traits but one, i.e., height at withers. The population of horses is distributed over the range of 70-130 points (6 std), with only a few horses outside of that range. BLUP for height at withers is published in centimeters and is a deviation from the average height of horses measured in the referenced period.
BLUP is published for a total of 24 traits, that most are assessed at breeding shows: Height at withers; head; neck, withers and shoulders; back and croup; proportions; leg quality; leg stance; hooves; mane and tail; tölt; slow tölt; trot; pace; gallop; canter; rideability; general impression; walk; Total score (TS); TS for confirmation; TS for riding ability; TS without pace; TS for riding ability without pace; Test status.
The BLUP for the virtual mate selection is simultaneously updated. This information is highly useful for breeders to take into account when planning the mating for the next generation of horses; for this purpose, the “Select a stallion” and “Virtual mating selection” – both based on the BLUP – are invaluable tools.
*only horses registered in WorldFengur before 8 September 2023