Why a DNA Databank?

In the 90's a lot of Gypsy Horses were exported from England en Ireland to Europe and the United States. Since then the breed has spread all over the world and is known under multiple names such as Gypsy Vanner, Tinker, Irish Cob and Gypsy Cob. Worldwide there are several studbooks that are working very hard to improve the breed and register the Gypsy Horses. Because not much is known about the horses that were exported, there are a lot of blanks in the registration of these studbooks. In most of the cases, DNA comparison is the only way to discover or confirm family connections between Gypsy Horses.

Usually when DNA is compared to confirm relationships, the laboratory gets DNA samples of the horses that are most probably related to one another. The pedigree is already known and DNA analysis is only used for confirmation. This is done by studbooks such as the KWPN.


In the case of our breed this is not always possible. In fact, in almost all the cases we have no idea who the dam, sire, or foals of a certain horse are. This means we need to compare huge amounts of DNA samples to one another in order to find matches. If you wanted to do this on your own you’d most likely go bankrupt. The lab charges you for every test and you will probably have to pay for hundreds of them before finding a match. That is why we created a database. This database gives us direction and tells us where to look. This way we only order tests at the lab that we know might be right.


If something is not there, you will never find it. So if the DNA of the parents or foals of your horse is not in the database, we will never find them. That is why it is so important to add as many DNA profiles to the database as possible. That is what we are trying to achieve: one big DNA Databank filled with DNA samples of Gypsy Horses from all over the world.

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