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Sparks international 2023

The Shire Horse Society (‘the Society’) has adopted SPARKS from 2023 onwards to reduce the rate of increase in inbreeding and enhance genetic diversity in Shire horse breeding.  SPARKS is available for Shire horse breeders internationally.

SPARKS is a computer-based breed advisory scheme developed by Dr Andy Dell in the UK. It calculates Mean Kinships (a measure of how related any individual is to all other members of the population) and the potential inbreeding of foals resulting from specific male / female pairings in populations of horses.

Shire horse breeders can use SPARKS Kinship Tables to choose optimum pairings of mares and stallions from a kinship and genetic diversity point of view. For the 2023 breeding season, there are Kinship Tables for living, pure-bred Shire mares born in and after 2003 up to 2021 who are registered in the breeding section of the Society’s Stud Book and recorded as located in countries outside the UK (except Russia). Kinship Tables for mares born before 2003 are available on request from the Society office, quoting the mare’s name and Stud Book number.

The Tables are free of charge as PDF downloads. To access them, click on the ‘Kinship Tables International’ option in the drop-down menu by the SPARKS International tab above. The Tables are updated annually.  

When using Kinship Tables, please read the International Guidance Notes on the Use of SPARKS Kinship Tables. These explain what SPARKS and Kinship Tables are, and how to find information for individual mares. The notes also include how to get help accessing and using the Tables.  To access the notes, click on the ‘Guidance Notes International’ option in the SPARKS tab drop-down menu above.


 
 

 

 

 

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