Cresty neck in Pura Raza Español horses
Cresty neck is a morphological defect in Pura Raza Español (PRE) horses and other baroque type breeds. The causes underlying the condition are currently unknown. However, it seems that they relate to dysfunction of the neck muscles and accumulation of fat deposits in the dorsal neck. The expansion of tissue in the neck may be associated with metabolic states like insulin resistance.
Cresty neck decreases the value of horses at sales and high scores of cresty neck are noted as a disqualifying morphological defect in the studbook. The cresty neck score has been monitored by the studbook since 2010. However, no studies have been performed about the prevalence, associated factors and genetic parameters.
The data used in this study consisted of 10.929 PRE horses from 24 countries. Cresty neck score was recorded on a nine point scale. Other factors recorded were: girth-to-height ratio, height at withers, length of neck, head-neck junction and neck-body junction. Genetic parameters were estimated using an animal model, including the following effects: girth-to-height ration, age, sex, coat colour and geographical area.
Cresty neck is a prevalent defect in PRE horses, with nearly 9% of the population showing the defect (score > 5). The cresty neck is associated with: age, sex, coat colour and other conformational traits. It has a moderate level of heritability, which means that breeding to select against this trait is possible.
> From: Sánchez et al., Equine Veterinary Journal 49 (2016) 196-200. All rights reserved to EVJ Ltd.. Click here for the online summary.