R. Bras. Zootec.. 20/Sep/2018;47:e20170294.
Biometric evaluation of Criollo horses participating in the Freio de Ouro competition, Brazil
The objective of this study was to quantify linear and angular morphological measurements of male and female horses participating in the Freio de Ouro competition. This study represents the first scientific evaluation of the biometrics of the Criollo breed, providing essential information for the evaluation of the development of the breed and supporting objective selection. We examined linear and angular measurements of 634 Criollo horses participating in the Freio de Ouro competition in 2011 and 2012, including height, chest circumference, cannon bone circumference, body length, metatarsus length, croup length, chest width, head length, dorsal neck length, throat circumference, and angles of the croup, scapula, and hock. Statistical analysis showed that males had a greater average cannon bone circumference (19.76 cm) than females (18.95 cm) and a greater throat circumference (77.66 cm for males and 73.30 cm for females). None of the other traits evaluated differed between genders. The average height (141.73 cm for males and 141.41 cm for females) was close to the minimum requirement for the breed standard. Subjective observations suggesting that animals of this breed are decreasing in size were not confirmed in this study, as the height and other evaluated measures did not differ between competing horses less or more than seven years of age. Although these measurements in isolation do not indicate the qualities of individual animals, they serve as valuable auxiliary elements for selection work, showing breed tendencies and providing objective data to support technical decisions of judges regarding conformation.