Thoroughbred Speed and Distance


New Canine Test

Coat Color Dilution
Please see: Dilute2

New Canine Test

Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE)
Please see: PDE

New Canine Test

Ichthyosis Test For American Bulldog
Please see: Ichthyosis Testing

New Canine Test

Dermatomyositis (DMS)
Please see: Dermatomyositis (DMS) Testing

New Canine Test

Susceptibility to Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
Please see: IVDD Testing

Equine Test

Testing for Warmblood Fragile Foal Syndrome (WFFS)
Please see: WFFS Testing

New Equine Test

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)
New test available for Horses. Please see Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC)

New Equine Test

Occipitoatlantoaxial Malformation Test for Arabian Horses (OAAM)
New test available for Horses. Please see Occipitoatlantoaxial Malformation (OAAM)

Speed and Distance (MSTN)


To days Thoroughbred developed in England during the 17th- and 18th-century when native mares were crossbred with imported Oriental stallions of Arabian, Barb, and Turkoman breeding. All modern Thoroughbreds can trace their pedigrees to three stallions originally imported into England in the 17th century and 18th century, and to a larger number of foundation mares of mostly English breeding.


Studies have shown that sprinting capabilities of Thoroughbred horses are inherited from just a couple of ancestors. Researchers studied the pedigree of these racehorses and found that a genetic variant associated with speed may have originated in the mid-17th century from a single mare. Thanks to a single stallion named Nearctic, the father of the most-bred stallion of modern times. The gene variant became widespread in modern thoroughbreds.

Canine (Whippets):

A 2007 stud in several species have demonstrated that myostatin (MSTN) normally functions to limit skeletal muscle mass. In a study, Mosher et al. reported that a mutation in the canine MSTN gene is responsible for the double-muscling phenotype seen in 'bully' whippets. The study also showed that loss of even one functional MSTN allele seems to confer a competitive advantage to racing whippets, providing the first definitive evidence that loss of myostatin function can enhance athletic performance.

Thoroughbred Horses:

The myostatin gene regulates skeletal muscle growth. Several SNP variants have been identified to have a high correlation with performance and predictive value as to speed and distance. Horses with two copies of the C allele are more able to become fast, short-distance sprinters. Horses with one C and one T tend to be strong middle-distance runners. Horse that are T/T generally have less speed, but greater stamina and endurance.

Breeds Affected:

Thoroughbred and other horse breeds

Additional Tests For Horses:

Test Results:

Animal Genetics offers DNA testing for a SNP mutation in the myostatin gene in Thoroughbred horses. The genetic test verifies the presence of the SNP mutation and presents results as one of the following:

C/C fast, short-distance sprinters
C/T   strong middle-distance runners
T/T   greater stamina

    Submit a Sample for Testing:

    To submit a sample for testing please click on ORDER and download a sample submission form. Then follow the sample collection and submission instructions.


    Cost per sample is $95.00. Please see our fee schedules below for combination rates.

    Equine Fee Schedule