Icelandic toelter horse
The Icelandic toelter has become very popular in several European countries
for leisure riding and for special gait competitions for this breed.
The global population of Icelandic toelters is estimated to about 180,000
horses, whereof about 100,000 are outside Iceland. For Icelanders this old
national horse breed has received an important status as a valuable export
product and tourist attraction. An advanced national breeding scheme for
the Icelandic toelter horse has been established under the responsibility of
the Farmers Association of Iceland (FAIC). The breeding goal includes
riding ability traits and functional and esthetic conformation traits.
Since 1950 breeding horses have been systematically judged on body
conformation and performance-tested for riding qualities. |
The Icelandic toelter horse was the first horse breed in the world to implement the BLUP method for genetic evaluation of breeding animals. In 1980 a research project was initiated with the aim of implementing BLUP animal model for routine genetic evaluation based on scoring results. In 1983 a practical procedure for a multiple trait BLUP animal model was introduced in a doctoral thesis (Įrnason 1983). The genetic evaluations have been released on a routine basis since 1986 by FAIC. The computer programs used for the evaluation of breeding values in Iceland were developed by IHBC. Currently a global genetic evaluation system for Icelandic horses is under development. The estimated breeding values of Icelandic horses are included in a comprehensive database which can be viewed by a Java Servlet by subscribers at the web adress: http://www.worldfengur.com
Currently IHBC is involved in the development of a computing procedure for estimation of genotype probabilities in colour loci in all registered horses in the population, and in further development of a global genetic evaluation procedure for the Icelandic toelter horse. For scientific references see Curriculum vitae (Žorvaldur Įrnason