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Mongolian horse is genetically closer relative to Finnhorse than other Nordic horse breeds

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From Suomenhevonen polveutuu ikivanhoista hevosroduista (Maaseudun Tulevaisuus 30.8.2014)

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The studbook of the Finnhorse is only 107 years old. We have yet much to learn about the time before organised documentation. Photo by Satu Pitkänen / Rozpravka photography

A recent study shows that the Nordic coldblood horses are not genetically closest relatives to the Finnhorse. The researchers have found the same genes in Estonian, North-Russian and Mongolian horses. The results were surprising.

– Most often the closest relatives are found from closest neighboring countries,  says gene technology professor Juha Kantanen from the MTT Agrifood Research Finland.

But it seems that the closest relatives to finnhorses would be the old eastern breeds Yakutian horse from Siberia, Mongolian horse, Estonian horse and Mezen horse.

For the last few decades, we have assumed that finnhorse would origin from the north European forest horse. Researchers Juha Kantanen and his Estonian colleagues Erkki Sild, Haldja Viinalass, Sirje Värvi, Krista Roon and Knut Røed  from Norway studied the DNA of 17 horse breeds, for example the Finnhorse, the Estonian horse, Estonian draft, Tori horse, Latvian native horse, the Norwegian døle horse, Norwegian Fjord and Nordlandshest. The Estonians have used also Arabian and Ahaltek horses in their breeding programs.

There is a thesis coming up on the subject at Tartu University.

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Author: Viivi

I'm a Finnish horse enthusiast. This blog is my tribute for the national horse of Finland. I started in 2009. My aim is to provide information about this multipurpose horse breed in English, in all its variety -as a historical and cultural figure, modern sport horse, friend and a companion.

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