Vicki Hudgins USA
History of Caspian DNA Project
The Caspian Horse Blood Analysis and Typing Project started in 1990 as a funded Research Project conducted by Dr. E. Gus Cothran DVM at the University of Kentucky Equine Blood Typing Research Laboratory in Lexington, Kentucky. The blood typing analysis identified Blood Group Markers and Biochemical Markers of the Caspian horse.
In 1990 the first group of Caspian blood samples tested was from 3 Iranian registered (imported into England) Caspians and 51 English registered Caspians.
The second group of blood samples were tested in 1991 consisted of 19 registered Caspian horses in Iran, 10 of which were Foundation and the remaining 9 were second generation. Again in 1993, 22 Iranian registered Caspians were tested, 8 of those were foundation.
This constitutes the quite impressive base for the funded Caspian Horse Blood Typing Research Project. The value is remarkable considering so many Foundation and second generation Caspian horses are included. Between 1994 and 2000, 180 DNA hair samples from Iranian Caspians were added.
In 1994 The Caspian Horse Society of the Americas founded by Patrick Carmack, became the first Caspian Society to make blood-typing (later in 2002 DNA) mandatory for all horses entered in its Registry. Starting in May 1994, when 2 stallions, Kineton Kalif and Runnymede Karamat and 6 mares, Mote Shalaby, Mullacot Bathsheba, Mullacot Chestnut, Runnymede Beryl, Henden Shazee, and Shepton Terraneh were imported to develop the first pure bred Caspian breeding program in the United States.
Between 1994 and 2009 the USA breeders have personally paid for and contributed samples *(blood/hair) from 152 imported and 492 US born Caspian horses to this project. Donations paid for an additional 204 samples for Caspian horses in England, Australia and other countries that had not been previously tested have been included. For a total of 848 horses and more to come.
Donations also provided the funds required for special handling for storage, packaging and shipment of the sensitive and delicate frozen blood samples to be relocated from the University of Kentucky to Texas A & M.
The USA breeders have always considered parentage verification and supporting scientific research on the Caspian horse not only as a high priority but should be mandatory for all Caspian Societies. The most difficult, expensive and time consuming aspects of establishing an effective and usable DNA base to use in parentage verification has been done. The USA breeders have been requiring DNA/ Bloodtyping for 15 years and have paved an easy path for other Breeders to follow. The responsibility of contributing to this invaluable Caspian DNA base must be considered more throughout the world. All Caspian Societies, breeders and owners must weigh the value of having a DNA tested, parent qualified pure bred Caspian Horse verses an additional $35.00 of expense.
Not only does DNA testing establish parentage, the samples are included and stored with other Caspian horse materials for current and future research studies!!!
Both blood (cost $50.00) and hair samples ($35.00) for all Caspian horses imported or born before 2002. For Caspian horses born or imported after 2002, only hair samples were submitted. Each individual USA owner and breeder paid for the testing of their horses. Owners of horses born or imported before 2002 paid for both tests on each horse.
Vicki Hudgins, Texas, USA. autum 2013