The Gift of Midas gives back to equine genetic research

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APHA stallion The Gift of Midas.
APHA stallion The Gift of Midas.

A paint horse breeding stud in the US has established a new initiative to fund research on equine genetics.

Mountain View Paint Horse Ranch, in Prescott Valley, Arizona, has established the fund in association with the American Paint Horse Foundation. The ranch is the home of of APHA Leading Sire The Gift Of Midas.

Ranch owners Chuck and Sherry Marx will donate every dollar of breeding revenue generated by The Gift Of Midas over his lifetime, to further this research and making a difference in the industry. This initiative, made through APHF, is supported through a $70,000 whole life insurance policy.

The Gift of Midas is flanked by owners Sherry and Chuck Marx, with friends.
The Gift of Midas is flanked by owners Sherry and Chuck Marx, with friends.

Funds will be available to help researchers identify the factors that give rise to the various symptoms of genetic health conditions, rather than simple identification of genetic “markers” for those conditions.

Chuck and Sherry Marx got their start in the Paint Horse industry in 2003, before many of today’s genetic health tests were designed. The industry-standard “Five- or Six-Panel” tests evaluate some of the most well-known conditions, but more genetic health conditions in horses are known and tests have not yet been developed for all. One of the most widely discussed non-five-panel conditions is Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy Type 1 or PSSM1; research into this disorder is ongoing, and it’s possible external conditions could influence symptoms or symptom development.

“When we began in the business, we were told by top trainers to always breed the best stallion to the best mare,” Chuck said. “In addition to considering the current and ever-expanding list of genetic conditions, that meant we looked for world champion stallion performers, world champion producers, conformation, demonstrated success of foals, size and color, bone and feet quality, and enrollment in major futurity and incentive programs,” Chuck said.

“We encourage other breeders to think about supporting endowments such as the one we have begun here.”

• Interested researchers are urged to express their interest to APHF by emailing ljesberg@apha.com.

To make a donation to this research effort, visit the APHF online donation form. Browse down to the “Honorarium or Memorial Endowment” section and type in “The Gift Of Midas” and the amount of your donation.

Courtesy Paint Horse Journal – apha.com

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