Friday, December 29, 2017
Breeding Conservation Principles
Like many other strains of Colonial Spanish horses, the Grand Canyons appear to be gone as a pure strain. There are a handful of horses that have a significant amount of Grand Canyon dna left. Scoundrel, who was bred a Karma Farms is one of them. He is in our pastures now and is one of the most beautiful horses that I have ever encountered.
I can, and will, breed him to a significant number of mares of different strains. But what, if any thing, can I do to preserve his Grand Canyon-ness for the future.
Though experience should have taught me otherwise, I remain an optimist. Might there one day be found a small band of Grand Canyon horses on the ranch of some eccentric old guy who likes the kind of ponies that his granddaddy used to have? Not likely--but the Livestock Breeds Conservancy has made many such finds with other strains of Livestock over the years. If such a find is ever made I will have an unrelated, relatively high percentage Grand Canyon or two around that can be used to help resurrect these incredible little horses.
Of course, that will mean that I will breed him to a close relative a time or two. Not the perfect option. When the perfect becomes the enemy of the good breed conservation is doomed to failure.
Posted by Steve Edwards