Maternal effect on sports performance traits in horsesóchniak T., Rozempolska-Rucińska I., Zięba G. (2019): Maternal effect on sports performance traits in horses. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 64: 361-365.
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The aim of the study was to estimate the direct additive genetic effect and the additive maternal effect on the level of traits estimated during the Polish Jumping Championships for Young Horses. The investigations involved 541 stallions and 353 mares, which in total started in the Championships 1232 times. Variance and covariance components were estimated using the Gibbs sampling method. Heritability (h2) and repeatability (r2) coefficients as well as maternal effects (m2) were calculated for 7 sports performance traits. There was an additive maternal effect, ranging from 0.11 to 0.39, on the level of traits assessed based on achieved scores. The effect was particularly high in the case of traits the level of which was determined by the animal organism performance and stress resistance. It was also noted that the value of the maternal effect in some traits was similar or higher than the coefficient of heritability, which may indicate a high effect of the mare’s specific environment in determining sport predispositions in the offspring. There is a need to analyse the cause of trait variability in other equestrian disciplines.

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