Need for speed: NZ thoroughbred breeders get inside running on genetic testing

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Plusvital Brand Ambassador Johnny Murtagh and Guessthebill.

Irish equine science company Plusvital has joined forces with the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association to offer information and discounts on genetic tests for thoroughbred horses.

In addition to the newly announced partnership, Plusvital also has a relationship with the New Zealand-based Cambridge Equine Hospital, which offers clients Plusvital’s Speed Gene Test, as well as the Distance Plus Test, which further refines a horse’s optimum trip.

Powered by Equinome’s cutting edge genomic tools, these genetic tests analyse the DNA of a horse to predict optimum race distance, optimum race surface and performance potential.

Plusvital Sales Director Ciara Watt said the company was thrilled that the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (NZTBA) had chosen to partner with it. “The NZTBA are committed to consistently improving the production of quality thoroughbreds in New Zealand and we hope that our innovative research can contribute to that commendable goal”.

The NZTBA’s Justine Sclater said that being able to offer New Zealand breeders the opportunity to educate and access cutting-edge technology in genetics is a “part of the equation in breeding.”

Plusvital maintains a multi-million dollar genomic and nutrition research program at its headquarters in Ireland, with its most recent high-profile development being the launch of EnerGene-Q10, the world’s first nutrigenomic supplement for horses. This specifically tailored supplement increases and maintains the energy levels of horses during exercise, with particularly benefit for T:T type horses as categorised by the Speed Gene Test.

With more than 15,000 thoroughbreds genetically tested worldwide to date, Plusvital’s clients include leading trainers, owners and breeders in all of the major racing regions.

Prices for Plusvital’s genetic tests start at NZ$435.

Pictured at the launch for EnerGene-Q10, from left, Plusvital sales director Ciara Watt; UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science and Plusvital CSO Professor Emmeline Hill; and thoroughbred trainer Henry de Bromhead, with Poker Party.
Pictured at the launch for EnerGene-Q10, from left, Plusvital sales director Ciara Watt; UCD School of Agriculture and Food Science and Plusvital CSO Professor Emmeline Hill; and thoroughbred trainer Henry de Bromhead, with Poker Party. © Tadhg Ryan
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