A single racehorse from 300 years ago is responsible for the "speed gene" in modern racehorses.
Scientists at the University College Dublin were able to trace this magical speed gene after studying DNA from hundreds of horses including skeletal remains of 12 thoroughbred stallions born from 1764 to 1930. In addition 330 modern thoroughbreds, 40 donkeys and even a couple of zebras were analyzed, according to Fox News.
Researchers traced all modern variants of the original "speed gene" (C Type) to the legendary Nearctic (1954–1973), and credit the larger expansion to Northern Dancer (1961–1990), the son of Nearctic, and one of the most influential stallions in modern times.
"The findings point to a British mare as the most likely single founder of the original 'speed gene' because one of the lines of evidence from the research demonstrated that the prize stallions of the 17th and 18th centuries had two copies of the T type speed gene variant (T:T) which is linked to greater stamina," Dr. Mim Bower from the University of Cambridge said.Full Story >>