Recently, a foal by
Marajj was tentatively diagnosed as having a condition
called Cerebellar Abiotrophy (CA). The only way a
foal can be affected with this condition is if both
parents are carriers of the gene. Although there is
no direct genetic test for this disease, they have
identified certain markers they believe indicate which
horses are carriers.
We then sent a hair
sample from Marajj for testing to see if he had the
markers associated with the gene. The test has
confirmed that he is a carrier of the condition.
Carriers show no symptoms, but if bred to another
carrier there is a 25% chance they can produce a foal
with the condition, and 75% chance the foal will be
A foal affected with CA
will begin to show symptoms of head shaking, and lack
of coordination. These symptoms generally appear at 6
weeks to 4 months of age and continue to worsen.
There is no cure. To find out more about this
condition, please go to the site
A carrier (such as
Marajj) when bred to a non-carrier will
never produce a foal with CA.
Therefore, we would like to encourage everyone to have
their mares tested prior to breeding in order to avoid
the chance of having a foal with this condition.
If your mare tests positive you can then decide if you
wish to take the risk in breeding, or else would like
to choose a different mare to breed.
For anyone who is
already expecting a foal by Marajj and may have some
concern, a hair sample of the foal after it is born
can quickly determine if it will develop the disease
Enclosed you will find
all the forms and instructions necessary for testing
your mares and foals if you wish.
While we realize this
is an inconvenience, it is our sincere wish for
everyone who has supported Marajj to have a beautiful
and healthy foal.
Please feel free to
contact us with any questions or concerns, or for more
specific questions, you can contact Dr. Cecilia
Penedo, the vet in charge of the ongoing research into
this condition, at