Waler DNA is currently tested by Dr Gus Cothran's team at the University of Texas as part of the global Equine Genome Project. Rare breeds are of great interest. The more breeds that are tested, the more accurately the DNA of all breeds can be read - a background breed cannot be found if it has not been tested.
Many samples are needed to get a proper breed profile as the old bloodlines of the Waler cannot be reproduced once these have been lost. From an initial testing of 70 samples, a breed profile was gained for the Waler (see an article by Khanshour, Juras & Cothran, ‘Microsatellite analysis of genetic variability in Waler horses from Australia’ in Australian Journal of Zoology, 2013,61, 357-365).
More have been added since; more are yet needed to get a truly full DNA picture of the Waler. Sending your DNA sample in is one of the best things you can do for the breed.
A genetic map of the stations of origin is also being built up so it is important to include this information.
To get your horse’s ancestral results is only US$40. The money keeps this fabulous research lab service going. Richard Chrispin is co-ordinating Waler DNA collection in Australia so post your horse’s DNA sample to Richard. Then email Dr. Cothran at the email address below and ask how to pay.Tell him Richard is posting the sample, and you’re happy for the DNA to be used for research. Once paid for DNA results are sent to you within a month or so. The results are owned by the lab and the horse owner. The Equine Genome Project details are available on the website below. This website includes instructions for DNA sampling and the form you will need to complete.
Postal address: Richard Crispin, PO Box 230, Beechworth, VIC 3747.
If a vet collects the DNA or witnesses it, and signs the collection details sent in, this lends far greater veracity to samples if there is ever any doubt.