Saturday, May 5, 2007

More on Impressive

In an earlier post, I had mentioned that I was pining for a beautiful sorrel mare I had seen at an auction. The down side was one of many things, but that she was a double Impressive bred Quarter Horse. And I touched a bit on what that meant. Impressive, born in 1969, went on to become a top champion Halter stallion, turning out even more champion Halter horses. He had an outstanding career and proved himself deserving of his name. Not only did he pass on his greatness in the Halter ring, but he had also managed to pass on a bad gene, HYPP, hyperkalemic periodic paralysis and this defect is a dominant gene. Not too many years into Impressive's ascent to the top of the sire list, horse owners who had bred for halter, started noticing muscle twitching in their horses that often left their horses unable to move. and there were some fatal endings. It was soon noticed that these horses had something in common and this was their pedigree. We now know this as HYPP or Impressive Syndrome. In 1992, a genetic test was made available that can identify affected horses. The disease itself can be treated with a certain feeding regimen and medicines. There are rules set in place by AQHA for testing and breeding in order to be recognized by the AQHA and breeders are urged to have their Impressive bred horses tested and to breed responsively as the defect is dominant and can't be diluted out. It's sad and when first discovered was devastating to the Quarter Horse industry. In my experience, alot of Quarter Horse people, especially those involved in the more athletic aspect of Quarter Horses rather than in Halter, believe that problems come with these so bred horses, even if they test HYPP neg/neg. I must say of all the horses at this auction, that mare was also the one horse that appeared ill. She still was beautiful and sweet as pie, and if I could have talked my husband into it and got her at a decent price, she would have had a good home and gotten back to good health. And she would have been an excellent example of a Quarter Horse.

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