Steve Autry's Thoughts. : LUSENET : ASD : One Thread


A word for the ASD group. I know that there is a lot of interest in opening up to RMHA books to outside horses. The Genetics Committee has not ruled out a dilutional approach (opening the RMHA books) to the ASD issue. The fact is there is currently little support either on the RMHA Board or in the RMHA membership as a whole to use this as a primary approach. More needs to be known about ASD, as well as its incidence in the horses that are currently not in the RMHA registry. It doesn't do much good to open the RMHA books to more horses with ASD. The Genetics Committee's current proposals are designed to immediately lessen the likelihood of further production of horses with ASD syndrome(AA). The overall incidence of carriers should gradually decline to a stable level that significantly lessens the possibility of producing additional ASD(AA) animals. In my opinion, policies that open the RMHA books such as allowing stallions out of grade mares, or even reopening mare and stallion certification to outside horses will require a longer period of review. Patience and procrastination are not the same. The Genetics Committee feels that membership education such as the Ramsey seminar is paramount to enlisting the cooperation of our breeders and owners. Voluntary compliance is essential. Understanding and "buy in" must occur if this program is to be successful. We need the awareness and support of the vast majority of our membership.

The first "real" information on the ASD issue was not made available to the Genetics Committee by Ramsey until early September, 1997. Before that date speculation centered around a two gene theory that was not fleshed out with any assurance. Even the phenotypic expression of the ASD Syndrome, such as its relationship to coat, mane and tail color was not available until the September date. It has been less than four months since the first accurate data became known to the RMHA. Believe it or not, a lot has been accomplished in a very short time. I am confident that the RMHA Board will pass policies on ASD that are effective. They will be subject to review and responsible revision as the need arises.

I hope you find these thoughts helpful.


-- Annette L. Gerhardt (, January 05, 1998


Thank you, Steve, for taking your time to answer these questions. As head of the RMHA's Genetic committee, your farm & private work I appreciate all that you have done to keep us informed.

-- Carol Fred (, January 05, 1998.

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