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Large hearted event horses (was Martian Tiger)

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  • Large hearted event horses (was Martian Tiger)

    Martian Tiger has a pretty impressive pedigree. He is a 1988 TB gelding and I'm in the process of putting him into the Del Mar database.

    Interestingly enough, on first glance, like the other upper level event horses that I've checked, he appears to have the indicators that he has a larger than normal heart. Pretty cool :-)

    Libby

    [This message was edited by Bensmom on May. 08, 2002 at 10:05 AM.]
    *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*
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  • Original Poster

    #2
    Martian Tiger has a pretty impressive pedigree. He is a 1988 TB gelding and I'm in the process of putting him into the Del Mar database.

    Interestingly enough, on first glance, like the other upper level event horses that I've checked, he appears to have the indicators that he has a larger than normal heart. Pretty cool :-)

    Libby

    [This message was edited by Bensmom on May. 08, 2002 at 10:05 AM.]
    *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*
    **********************************
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    • #3
      Thanks Libby! I knew I could count on someone to have access to the research. I checked Del Mar but didn't see him on there. How'd you find the info about the size of his heart?

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Okay, it's up on the Del Mar database.

        http://www.dmtc.com/pedigree

        Libby
        *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*
        **********************************
        I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
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        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          The research that's being done on the x-factor large heart gene has been utilized mostly in evaluating racehorses. My pet theory is that in most successful event horses, we'll find the same thing. It passes through the female line only as it is linked to the x-chromosome, so if you can pull the pedigree and trace back to four of the large heart lines, and it descends through the female line, you can guess that the descendant will have a large heart. When you check the option to have del mar show you the x-factor in the pedigree it doesn't light up as many indicators as I found.

          Which may mean that, as an rank beginner with this stuff, I'm wrong about the number of places it showed up, or that the computer that generates the pedigree automatically discounts any chance of it passing through a sire, though sires can and do pass it to daughters.

          Confused yet? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] I chatted with an upper level rider about using this info to pick event prospects at Red Hills, and after I said "well, I know you can't *ride* the pedigree, but . . ." He made a great point and said, "No, but the Germans have shown us that you sure can stack the deck in your favor!"

          Very interesting stuff, and I'm packing a couple of folders with research to see if my theory might be correct.

          Both of my boys have the indicators of the large heart gene, and both of our vets are very interested in the research -- one is a race horse breeder and the other worked in Ocala when first out of vet school. At some point when I've paid down my bill some, I'm going to see if we can ultrasound the two of them and check and see if my pedigree research matches their actual physical hearts.

          Or maybe I'm just a nerd who would rather read about this stuff than do my real job of practicing law [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

          Libby
          *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*
          **********************************
          I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
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          Comment


          • #6
            That's actually really interesting. Spot's dam is a pure TB, but for some reason she's not on the TB site, but is on the all breeds site (Chantilly Gray, by Great Substance out of Credit Risk) where I don't see an x-factor marker to check? Maybe I don't understand the site well enough.

            I'm assuming that a larger heart means more capacity to pump blood and thus more efficient under high stress situations (thus, in an event horse, better able to cope with x-c required athletic output at high speed), so it would make sense that successful horses might be more likely to have the genetics for it. The theory reasons that since so many upper level event horses are geldings and many (not all) of the stallions aren't going Advanced or 4* before they start breeding, it may be harder to use performance as a touchstone for genetics, and thus the pedigree research would be indicative?

            -GotSpots

            Comment


            • #7
              Libby

              Wow... another event person looking into the large heart theory.

              I'd love to hear more abour your research? My email is jdufort@aol.com.

              I've got my own "amateur" tool I have used to compare and evaluate eventing prospects, and the large heart factor is an important piece. Also, the appearance of certain lines.

              Interestingly enough, our trainers veteran Rolex horse scores the highest of any horse we have charted - and the's the top performing event horse I've charted.

              Our guy (Northlight) may also have a large heart. You can find him on DelMar as Diamondham, 1993, out of Vanlandingham (Eclipse Award winner) by Mulberry Moon.

              Northlight has been eventing since spring 2000, and he was 2nd last weekend in his first CCI* - not bad progression. He's running Intermediate like a champ, and we think he'll be running Advanced sometime next spring.

              Breeding is no guarantee - but it does stack the decks. I agree.

              Jeanne
              Jeanne
              www.horseandhome.com

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                GotSpots -- you are absolutely correct -- on the all breeds site there isn't the option to select the x-factor display. I'm not sure why she appears there and not in the TB database. With some more time, I can wiggle around and see if I can add the missing horses in her pedigree.

                You are also correct that a larger heart means a more efficient "engine" to be able to run xc -- I've also been interested to see if it correlates to an emotional large "heart" i.e. the willingness to try, even when the going gets rough. And, again, I think since so many upper level horses are geldings, and frequently those who didn't do well at the track, the pedigree may be the best indicator, other than actual performance of the horse in question. It is interesting to see how many horses don't have an impressive racing record and that it doesn't have much to do with them -- they can end up not racing at all (My Ben was injured before he was two and would have missed his lucrative 2 year old year, so he never raced) or be poorly managed and not do well and this will not be indicative of how good they really can be.

                Jeanne -- I will definitely e-mail you with some of my random thoughts -- I'm just starting to attempt to bring order to the info I've been squirreling away in various folders and notebooks for the last couple of years. Marianna Haun's x-factor books are excellent. I've gone through the second one first and am now reading in the first one.

                One thing important to remember about this stuff, of course, is that there are great horses out there with "normal" hearts. Bold Ruler and Mr. Prospector are just two. And, of course, the sire can pass along other traits that contribute to a great horse.

                FWIW, people keep mentioning that War Emblem didn't have a very impressive pedigree. I'd disagree with that, as he goes back to the War Admiral heart on the bottom -- way back, but still, it is there in transmittable female line, and he is a cross to Mr. Prospector's speed on the top. A very nice cross, if you ask me [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

                Libby (which of course, no one did, and I didn't even see the Derby as I was out on I-10, searching for something that had blown out of my truck at post time. <sigh> )
                *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*
                **********************************
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                Comment


                • #9
                  Question about the "x-factor" on the Del Mar site: when I do this for my mare's pedigree, I get a lot of horses with red underlining and one (Cap and Bells) with blue underlining. What do these things mean?

                  Which are the four "large heart" lines you refer to? I know about Secretariat, but nothing beyond that.
                  Hindsight bad, foresight good.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    The red lines are the single copy horses and the blue lines are the double copy horses (horses with one large hearted x and horses with both x's being large hearted) The site says that it doesn't highlight the horses with large heart genes that are not in a position to pass that gene along. The funny thing, though, is that some horses that ought to be double copy appear sometimes having a red line instead. Odd -- but again, I am a real beginner at the this stuff, so I could have a misunderstanding of figuring it out myself.

                    The four heart lines that Haun mentions in her book are Blue Larkspur, Mahmoud, War Admiral, and Princequillo. They show up in TBs and QHs, and standardbreds as well. The second book has some fascinating info about the outward physical characteristics that appear to travel with each of the large heartlines.

                    Really cool stuff [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

                    Libby & Ben (whose mom was a double copy QH mare, and Buzzy, who appears to have the War Admiral heart, including the physical characteristics for it, but who won't be able to *use* it if he doesn't quit hurting himself!)
                    *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*
                    **********************************
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                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have been interested in the *large heart* theory for a while. I never understood how it worked on the del mar site. Thanks for the info.

                      FWIW, the reason many horses do not appear on Del Mar is that they must be input versus the database that Jockey Club has. If you know the sire and dam, you can ususally upload the pedigree to Del Mar.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Libby -- great info! This is a brand new concept for me. I knew that when Secretariat was autopsied it was found that the size of his heart was much larger than average. I also know (after prematurely being labled a dud in the sire department) that he became one of the top broodmare sires in modern history. Am I making too big of a leap here to assume the x-chromosome related "large heart" was a big contributing factor?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thanks! Bensmom, would you be willing to look up Luminary Princess and tell me if she should carry the single gene? 3 of her 4 great-grand-dams are underlined, and both of her grand-dams, so shouldn't she have it too?
                          Hindsight bad, foresight good.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            subk, that is exactly what made Secr. a great dam sire. He gave his big heart x to all of his daughters, some would be single copies and some doubles. Weekend Surprise is a double copy mare by Secr. She was the dam of AP Indy and Summer Squall.

                            Bensmom, I don't think you are wrong about the Del Mar database being a bit off on the x-factor. One of the horses in our barn is a Buckpasser grandson (Buckpasser and his dam are both single copies acording to Haun's book) and they are not marked by Del Mar.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              In addition to the "Big Four" stallions mentioned above, there is also a compilation of mares that are generally regarded to be double copy - that is both X chromosomes carry the predisposition to have a larger than normal heart.

                              A mare inherits her sire's only X chromosome, so a sire that is "proven" or "regarded" to have a large heart has a 100% chance of passing that on to his daughters. The same mare inherits only one of her dam's two X chromosomes. So if her dam was a double copy mare, then the daughter will inherit the "large heart" factor (X factor). If the dam had one "large heart" X and one "normal" X, then the daughter has a 50% chance.

                              Our Northlight (Diamondham)is a horse (gelding), so he has a Y from his sire's side, so no possibility of "X factor" from the sire side. On his dam's side, Mulberry Moon has a possible large heart X from both her sire (Our Native) and her dam (Morning Smiles). So Norhlight's X may pass on large heart.

                              The trouble with proving this is that the final answer comes either from expensive diagnosis or from autopsy. And Haun has not opened her research to scrutiny from others, so some question the robustness of her theories.

                              But its interesting. What seems to make some sense, is that almost all of the top racing horses track positive for this trait. Not to say that all horses with this trait become top race horses - in fact, only a small percentage become really succesful.
                              Jeanne
                              www.horseandhome.com

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Bensmom:
                                The four heart lines that Haun mentions in her book are Blue Larkspur, Mahmoud, War Admiral, and Princequillo. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                                Oooo, you guys can help me out. I was just talking with Fairweather about My appendix's dam who was an OTTB. Turns out she's got Princequillo [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] in her pedegree. Can you guys take a look at it and tell me what you see. Admitedly i know NOTHING really about TB breeding, I just know i fell in love with the mare when i saw her.

                                I posted a jpeg of Chi-Chi's pedegree. Take a looksy [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

                                -- Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
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                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Wow! I am so excited that other eventers are interested in this stuff as well. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

                                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I knew that when Secretariat was autopsied it was found that the size of his heart was much larger than average. I also know (after prematurely being labled a dud in the sire department) that he became one of the top broodmare sires in modern history. Am I making too big of a leap here to assume the x-chromosome related "large heart" was a big contributing factor? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                                  As Gry2yng said, this is *exactly* why Secretariat was prematurely labled a "dud" in the breeding shed. In fact, two of the horses that Slew sired that are cited as proof of his greatness as a sire (A.P. Indy, and Summer Squall) carried Secretariat's heart through their dam, Weekend Surprise. Though, it is interesting that Slew's heart did run on in Cigar, through his dam, Solar Slew a daughter of Seattle Slew.

                                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Luminary Princess and tell me if she should carry the single gene? 3 of her 4 great-grand-dams are underlined, and both of her grand-dams, so shouldn't she have it too? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Oooo, you guys can help me out. I was just talking with Fairweather about My appendix's dam who was an OTTB. Turns out she's got Princequillo in her pedegree. Can you guys take a look at it and tell me what you see. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                                  Keeping in mind that I am not an expert at this stuff . . . . I did take a look at both mares, and um, can I say wow?!

                                  First on Luminary Princess -- since she is a mare, both sides of her pedigree are important in terms of the x-factor. On very bottom of the top side of her pedigree, she has, to quote Haun, "the very good broodmare sire, Double Jay." (XFactor 1, pg. 87) His daughter, Continue, has a green star in the Del Mar database marking her as a "Rein de Course" or on the list of great broodmares. Because her dam is also marked as carrying the x-factor it is probable that she is a double copy mare. The large heart gene probably traveled all the way down to Illuminate, your mare's sire, and if he had the gene, it would have passed to his daughter.

                                  The fun part of your mare's pedigree, though is on her dam's side. Citation is all the way at the bottom -- another great runner considered to be a "dud" as a sire at first. He was bred to Alablue, who is a daughter of Blue Larkspur. She also goes back to War Admiral through War Siren, and descends through Princess Jane W., who interestingly enough is also in the bottom of Martian Tiger's pedigree, though I inputted her as simply Princess Jane, since that is how the Jockey Club had her listed.

                                  There are a number of great horses in her pedigree, even where they are not in a position to pass along the large heart gene, they are still pretty cool. Turn To, for instance I've seen noted as a great sire of jumpers. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

                                  Now, on Run Apalachee Run, hey, Lisamarie8, since you don't know much about TB pedigrees, wanna sell this mare? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] Just without digging very far, she's got Double Jay in a position to pass the gene (although unmarked by Del Mar -- odd) Mahmoud, bred to a double copy mare in a position to pass the gene, she goes back to Domino, again in a position to pass through Gala Bell, and Sandury, on the bottom side is a daughter of War Admiral. Plus, she's got lots of other good horses scattered throughout. She crosses well with Quarter Horses? <sigh -- that's what I want to find eventually is a well bred TB to cross with QHs [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] >

                                  All of this is terrifically interesting, in fact, I can spend hours paying attention to this and not working (or, shoot, sleeping, as was pointed out to me last night that I really had to wait until this morning to reply on this thread again [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] ) but Jeanne makes an excellent point:

                                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> The trouble with proving this is that the final answer comes either from expensive diagnosis or from autopsy. And Haun has not opened her research to scrutiny from others, so some question the robustness of her theories.

                                  But its interesting. What seems to make some sense, is that almost all of the top racing horses track positive for this trait. Not to say that all horses with this trait become top race horses - in fact, only a small percentage become really succesful. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                                  I believe that Haun has stated that the large heart characteristic is no more than about 23% of what makes a good horse. And, you can have a horse with a large heart that for many other reasons, either doesn't race or doesn't want to event. I am hoping to find a way to have my boys tested at some point, just to see if my pedigree research bears itself out. All of the factors needed to make a great race or sport horse have to be there -- training, management, and the genes in order for a horse to be really successful, but this is a fun thing to look into and a useful thing to know. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

                                  Libby
                                  *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*
                                  **********************************
                                  I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
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                                  • #18
                                    Ok, I'm trying to figure all this out and while biology was a favorite of mine in school, I'm still not 100% sure on reading pedigrees... so bear with me.

                                    If the x-factor is carried by the mares, and a my girl's great-dam on her sire's side had the x-factor... wouldn't it have passed through her sire to her? Is that how it works? Her sire would have gotten his X gene from his dam which in turn he would have HAD to pass on to any female get? Geez, I think I'm confusing myself. I do see the red underlines in Char's pedigree (listed as *gag* Tippateena), but not sure if I fully understand how it works. Keep posting... maybe I'll figure it out (thanks for all the great info to date)... and if you care to look at her pedigree and let me know if I'm on the right track, I'd appreciate it. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

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                                    • #19
                                      I don't know a thing about this pedigree stuff but I find it fascinating and want to learn more. I went to the Del Mar site and added my daughter's pony; True Romantic. He is a son of Romantico (son of Secretariat) and True Halo (daughter of Halo). How can I tell from the information listed there if he is likely to have a large heart? Also, how can I learn what all the numbers at the top of the pedigree mean and what all the information shown means? Is there an explanation somewhere on that site, or is it standard TB pedigree stuff and it is assumed that you understand what it all means already? Thanks for posting about this stuff, its great.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        TLE - Your horse's sire only received one of his mother's X chromosomes. If both of her X chromosomes carried the large heart gene, then he would indeed have inherited it and passed it on to his daughter, your mare. However, if only one of his mother's X chromosomes carried the large heart gene, he had only a fifty percent chance of receiving that X chromosome and passing it on to Char.

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