The Council of the Society recently commissioned a study into trends within the Highland pony breed. With direction and support from the RBST, researchers from South Africa and Germany have created three extensive documents.
The Population Report interprets:
- The number of breeding males and females by year dating back to the beginning of records 120 years ago
- The age structure of parents by birth year of offspring
- The distribution of parity of dams at birth of offspring
- Generation intervals
- Family size.
There is a vast amount of information in this first report and the Rare Breeds Survival Trust is currently working hard to summarise it and to consider benchmarks to secure the long-term genetic future of our breed.
A Monitoring Report has been prepared by the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute and also an In Breeding Report by the Institute of Farm Animal Genetics, both in Germany. These bodies comprise statisticians from France and Bulgaria as well as Germany and South Africa. The content forms the basis for statistical research which is currently in the cabable and very experienced hands of the Rare Breed Survival Trust.
We will report on their findings as soon as further information is released.