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Correlation of behavioral and performance traits in Quarter Horses

Grant number: 20/14002-9
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2021
Effective date (End): March 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Animal Husbandry - Genetics and Improvement of Domestic Animals
Principal Investigator:Josineudson Augusto Ii de Vasconcelos Silva
Grantee:Carolina Zucatelle
Host Institution: Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia (FMVZ). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Botucatu. Botucatu , SP, Brazil


The goal of this study is to evaluate the behavior of the Quarter Horses (QM) athletic horses, to test the hypothesis that horses with different behaviors when stabled (stimming, distrust and aggression) obtain negative results on sports. To obtain the answer, this study will utilize evaluations of traits on social behavior (SB) and stereotyped behavior (SB) from animals with genetic values for the performance traits of time class (CT) and best time (BT) at a distance of 402 meters. The phenotypic data for the behavioral traits will be colected from 60 animals from the QM breed, stable in the Jockey Clube of Sorocaba and in four different farms in the state of São Paulo. The data collection will be conducted in loco with the goal of not disturbing the animals routine, therefore scores will be assigned to the CS and CE traits through visual assessment of trained researchers with knowledge and experience in distinguishing the horse's behavioral actions and reactions. At the time of data collection, the animals will be filmed to avoid doubts in the attribution of grades. The genetic values for the performance traits (CT402 and BT402) were obtained through Bayesian inference, using a database composed of 5,861 athlete animals born between 1971 and 2014 and a pedigree with 11,425 animals, born since 1747. The results could indicate an association between behavioral traits and performance characteristics, allowing intervention by breeders, owners and trainers in advance. By enriching the environment in which these animals live, they could become less problematic.

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