Evaluation of the height at withers based on the mares recorded in the mixed stud-books of Mezőhegyes during the 19th century
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Through this diploma work we characterized the height at withers of the mares (n=641) of Mezőhegyes stud farm by breed. The mares under investigation were born between 1803 and 1867. Further on, we compared them using the “hand system” and the “centimetre system”. By doing this we also compared the usefulness of the two systems. The raw data that we collected was recorded in hand, inches and fingers, what we refer to as the “hand system”. These data were transformed into cm, and adjusted into expected height at 5 years of age. This way we were able to compare the individuals more accurately. We also looked into how fashion and the changing needs of society influenced the breeding traits in horse production. This last mentioned point has been emphasised in this study by investigating the breed composition at the Mezőhegyes stud by time periods. During our study we realized that during the earlier years there was a more distinct border between the different breeds, while today’s modern sport horses appear very similar when it comes to height at withers. This tendency makes it very important to reproduce and preserve the traditional breeds like Nonius, Gidran and Furioso North-Star. If not they might be lost forever.