Estimation of heritability for Tying-up syndrome in the Thoroughbred racehorse by Gibbs sampling


Hironori Oki, Japan Racing Association, Equine Research Institute, 321-4 Tokami-cho, Utsunomiya City, Tochigi 320-0856, Japan.
Tel: 028 647 0650; Fax: 028 647 0686;


Tying-up is a condition that primarily affects the muscles of horses. In this study, the heritability of the Tying-up syndrome in the Thoroughbred racehorse was estimated by Bayesian analysis with Gibbs sampling based on the threshold model for binary traits. The data used were the clinical data in racehorses diagnosed by veterinarians of the Racehorse Clinics of Japan Racing Association from 2000 to 2003. The health status of the Tying-up was treated as a binary trait. In the genetic analysis, the effect of changing the amount of the pedigree or inbreeding information on the estimation of heritability was investigated, too. The heritability estimates with non-zero probability in the posterior densities were approximately 0.16–0.18 in minimum, suggesting that the heritability of the Tying-up is not zero at least. The posterior density distributions of the heritability estimates were generally more pointed and sharp with using inbreeding coefficients than without using it, suggesting that more stable estimations were obtained when inbreeding coefficients were used. Among the different amounts of pedigree and inbreeding information, the heritabilities obtained with three or four generations of pedigree using inbreeding coefficients seems to be preferable, i.e. heritability of 0.42 or 0.43 for Tying-up.