Brooks Equine Genetics

Brooks Equine Genetics Lab is working to identify genetic components contributing to equine face shape. This fascinating trait varies greatly across breeds, and is an important component in our selection of valuable individuals

Why Do This Study?

Ship Forms and hair samples to:

Brooks Equine Genetics Lab
2033 Mowry Road
Lab 330G
Gainesville – FL 32610
United States of America

Email photos to:

Printed and completed submission forms, a hair sample and a profile head photo like the one above showing the full head (see figure above).  Digital photos should be emailed to for better photo quality.

All information is confidential and each horse is given an anonymous lab ID number for reference during data analysis.

1) Face shape in domesticated animals is a good model for skeletal development that can teach us about biology and help to better understand problems with skull shape in human disease.

2) Understanding the genetic basis for face shape will allow breeders to select for desirable variations more effectively, improving the value of their future foal crops.

In this study, we will first analyze and quantify morphological differences of horse face shapes to scientifically define this trait, then we will use genomic tools to discover markers responsible for variations in this facial morphology trait.

Humans have selected horses over thousands of years for diverse functional and appealing traits.  In particular, as visual and social animals, the face expression and shape has often captured our attention.  For example, the dished face shape in the Arabian horse and the distinguished profile of the Andalusian are both recognizable characteristic of these breeds.

Face Shape

Interested yet would like more information? 
Please contact the Brooks Equine Genetics Lab.  You can reach us by phone at (352) 273-8080 or email,

Figure: Example image of face photo with morphometric markers

How to enroll my horse(s):

Ongoing study at the University of Florida

It is very simple to enroll your horse and all horses are welcome to participate in the study!

For the face shape study, from each horse we are collecting:

  • Profile face photo showing the full face (example above)
  • Pulled tail or mane hair with roots
  • General information about the horses history - breeding, diseases, injuries, etc.

And finally, a consent form from each breeder/owner. You can download the necessary documents on the button below:

What is needed to Enroll:

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