The Foundation for the Advancement and Support of the Tennessee Walking Show Horse (FAST) has voted to issue a grant in the amount of $5,750 to the University of Minnesota’s study on breed diversity and genotyping of Tennessee Walking Horses.  The overachieving goal of the study is to use genetic information to examine the genetic relationships between horse breeds as well as investigate genetic variation within each breed.

     The world of equine genetics has changed dramatically in recent years due to the sequencing of the horse genome and the development of new genomic tools including a 60,000 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP, pronounced “snip”) genotyping chip for the horse.  This chip has resulted in an exponential increase in the number  of genetic markers that can be assayed in the horse, from less than 1,000 previously to greater than 50,000 informative SNPs in any given individual.

     The information provided by this study will be invaluable to breeders and breed associations, allowing them to understand the genetic diversity within their breed, the impact of selective breeding practices, and how to maintain the breed’s genetic diversity.  The information will allow researchers in the scientific community to better plan and execute genetic research leading to discoveries that will be utilized by veterinarians and horse owners to improve health and performance of the horses.

     FAST is a 501 C 3 non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible.  Donations are needed for the funding of this study and can be made to the Research and Scientific Development fund of FAST.  For more information on the study or to make donations online please contact any FAST director or visit FAST online at