Keywords: horse breeding, selection, goal standard, genetic resources, horses of the Ukrainian sports breed group


Sports horse breeding in Ukraine has been rapidly developing over the past 10 years. The number of competitions in classic equestrian sports is increasing. The demands on horse performance are also changing. New assessment methods have been developed and widely implemented using genomic selection for early prediction of sports performance. In Ukraine, modern methods of assessment and selection in the work with the Ukrainian riding horse breed have not received widespread adoption, alas. The result was a reduction in the number of horses of the Ukrainian riding breed and an increase in the total number of sports horses of various origins. With the beginning of Ukraine's independence, active import of horses from Western European sports breeds began. To improve the sports qualities of horses of the Ukrainian riding breed, breeders began to crossbreed en masse with stallions of other breeds, often exceeding the permissible degrees of blood.

The aim of our research. Study of the main selection characteristics of horses of the Ukrainian sports group, which is being created and their comparison with the indicators of horses of the Ukrainian riding and other breeds, which are bred on the territory of Ukraine. Form a target standard and characteristics of the main breeding traits for the assessment and selection of horses for reproduction.

Material and methods. The research materials were the results of a comprehensive assessment of breeding characteristics (pedigree, measurements, sports performance) of 1250 horses of various origins in the sports direction of use, which was carried out from 2013 to 2019 inclusive. The pedigrees of the best sports horses and the methods of obtaining them are analyzed. To assess sports performance, a 20-point scale assessment method was used with the summation of points for each competition and determination of the average.

Results of research. It has been established that 1250 horses of various breeds took part in equestrian competitions for the period from 2013 to 2019. Over the past 8 years, the breed ratio of the sport horse population has changed significantly. In terms of numbers, horses (39.60%) predominate, which belong to the breeds of the Western European root. The number of horses in the Ukrainian sports group is increasing from year to year and from 2013 to 2019 increased from 6.66% to 32.32%. It was found that the majority of horses (95.2%) of the Ukrainian riding breed have representatives of other breeds in their pedigree. The blood content of the original rocks reaches 62.5%. It should be noted that the horses of the new breed group differ significantly in blood from the Ukrainian horse. The analysis of sports results showed that the horses of the group of Western European roots have the best indicators (56.72). Based on the results of the assessment, the main measurements of the horses of the Ukrainian sports group that are being created were determined. The new breed group predominates in height at the withers by 2.1 cm (P > 0.95) and a cannon girth by 2.5 cm (P > 0.95) of horses of the Ukrainian riding breed.

The description of the indicated livestock was carried out on a linear scale. It was determined that the horses of the Ukrainian sporting breed group have better qualities of movement and jumping than the Ukrainian horse, but they are somewhat inferior to the representatives of the Western European breeds. By nature, the horses of the newly breed group are calm, respond well to the rider's controls and quickly go through jumps.

The certain target standard and characteristics of the main selection characteristics of horses of the Ukrainian sports breed group that is being created. Horses of the Ukrainian sports breed group must be large, bony, with a well-expressed sports type, dry strong constitution, correct, harmonious body structure, correct exterior, with a well-defined riding type. The desired colors are bay, black, gray, red and their varieties. It is advisable to select and evaluate horses for the reproduction composition in the specialty according to the type of equestrian sport: dressage or show jumping. The formed target standard for height at the withers and the minimum requirements for the sports performance of horses, which are selected in the reproductive composition of the newly Ukrainian sports breed group.

Conclusions. All the prerequisites have been created for testing a new breed group of horses called "Ukrainian sports", in which the direction of productivity is in common with the Ukrainian horse, namely, sports, with possible differences in body type, origin, and advantages in terms of performance level. Over the past 8 years, the breed ratio of the population of sports horses has changed significantly towards an increase in the number of horses that are assigned to the newly Ukrainian sports group.

Recommendations for the breeder's physique, conformation, movement, jumping and character of the animals are given in accordance with the direction of sports performance for the evaluation and selection of horses.


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How to Cite
Ilnytska, T. Y., & Bondarenko, O. V. (2020). CHARACTERISTICS OF THE HORSE OF THE UKRAINIAN SPORTS BREED GROUP THAT IS BEING CREATED. Animal Breeding and Genetics, 60, 31-39.
Breeding and Selection