Hoof Wall Separation Disease or HWSD is a serious inherited disease within the Connemara pony breed. Not all ponies are carriers. There is no cure and it can affect a pony to varying degrees. In an effort to eventually eradicate it, testing for HWSD has been made compulsory this year for all colts being inspected by the CPBS. Testing for all foals being registered will eventually be introduced, the sole reason being to avoid matings that could result in affected foals being born. It is very important that two carriers of the single mutated gene that causes the condition are not crossed as this could result in a 1 in 4 chance of being affected. However, it is important to realise that carriers should not be excluded from breeding as that would further contract the gene pool – a carrier may be crossed with a non-carrier.
Full information, photographs and details on testing is available on the Connemara Pony Breeders’ Society website www.cpbs.ie.