Equinome, an Irish equine genomics and UCD spin-out company, has launched its new website www.equinomesales.com earlier this month. It aims to equip prospective bloodstock buyers with genetic profiles of horses prior to upcoming auctions, which will aid them in future acquisitions.
The project was first started at NovaUCD and has been securing thoroughbred breeding and training clientele in Europe, North America, Australasia and Hong Kong, with precise genetic analysis since its commercial launch in 2010.
It was established in 2009 by Dr Emmeline Hill, a UCD genomics scientist, in collaboration with Mr Jim Bolger, the infamous Irish racehorse breeder and trainer. Additionally in 2012, Equinome opened its first international office in response to the surging demand for its services across Australia and New Zealand.
Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Leo Varadkar said, “The company’s genetic tests for thoroughbred horses are truly innovative and have the potential to make a significant contribution to the further development of the thoroughbred industry.”
UCD Vice-President for Innovation, Professor Peter Clinch said “The continuing success of Equinome demonstrates the quality and international reach of start-up companies emerging from UCD.”
The Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in Queensland, Australia, was the first market to take advantage of such genetic data made available in advance of its sales stock. This is the largest annual event of its kind in Australia.
Managing Director Donal Ryan said, “We are delighted that the Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale in Queensland is the first auction to have this information available. Australia has been at the forefront in the adoption of Equinome’s technologies in the past four years and we were delighted by the response of so many breeders and purchasers when we first proposed this idea earlier this year.”
The tests offered by Equinome can look at the optimal race performance characteristics of a particular horse, assess its potential to function at an elite level and test for the potential height of the animal.
The announcement of the potential to test for height in horses coincided with the launch of the new website. Height projections in horses involves the identification of an inherent indicator in the animal for the trait. The mature stature of a pure-bred horse can be calculated to within 2.54 cm, with a 70% achievement rate.
Ryan emphasised their excitement over “this latest development in the utilisation of genetic information made available from Equinome tests. We believe that genetic information is an essential component of a balanced selection strategy that considers new and traditional assessment tools… We will continue to add the genetic profiles of horses in advance of other upcoming auctions in Australia and Europe, including Ireland.”