The Eriskay Pony Society is delighted to say that the 2021 SPARKS data sheets are now available which will help breeders make informed choices about which stallion to pair with their mare.
SPARKS – Single Population Analysis and Records keeping system – is a computer-based breed analysis system developed by Dr Andy Dell which, used in conjunction with the GENES genetic analysis programme, can help breeders choose the optimum pairing of male and female for the maintenance of genetic diversity. The key aim of SPARKS is to help reduce the depletion of genetic diversity that can pose a serious threat to the existence of small populations.
The data is updated each year and the information provided helps breeders choose pairings that will give the progeny a lower mean kinship than both of the parent animals. Matings that give the progeny a higher mean kinship than both the parent animals are discouraged as are any matings that give the progeny a mean kinship near 0.24, an indication of inbreeding.
A fuller explanation of SPARKS can be found HERE.
The Eriskay Pony Society is very grateful to Dr Dell for allowing and supporting the use of SPARKS and also to the Rare Breed Survival Trust for their help and encouragement.
Please contact the Breeding Advisor, Mary McGillivray, via firstname.lastname@example.org or the Registrar, Lorna Holden, via email@example.com for more information or advice regarding the best matches for your mare.