Origin test: Scientists collect blood samples of Sindhi-Kutchi horses

Scientists from the National Research Centre on Equines (NRCE) in Hisar, Haryana, this weekend took blood samples and performed various measurements and observations of Sindhi-Kutchi horses, which some claim are descended from Arabian horses. The samples have been collected to check if they are distinct from the recognised Kathiawadi and Marwadi breeds of horses found in Gujarat.

If the tests prove their distinctiveness, the Sindhi-Kutchi breed horses could become the fourth distinct breed of livestock unique to Kutch, after Kutchi camel and its smaller, mangrove-eating cousin Kharai, which lives in the district's coastal regions, and the Banni breed of buffalo. All three breeds have been documented by the Gujarat Biodiversity Board.

Dr Nitin Virmani, a senior scientist from NRCE who led a team of three scientists and two technical officers to study the Sindhi-Kutchi horses, told The Indian Express on the sidelines of the 6th Banni Pashu Mela Sunday that the horse physically differs from the Marwadi breed in certain aspects, including in the way they gallop and trot.

"We have also observed that while the ears of the Marwadi horses are very close to each other, almost joining each other, those of the Sindhi-Kutchi breed are further placed. There is also a curvature of the nose in the Sindhi-Kutchi breed. We are also told that Sindhi-Kutchi horses are shorter than Marwadi horses," Dr Virmani said.

He said his team is keen to ascertain if Sindhi-Kutchi horses are descended from Arabian horses as some claim.

Kutch shares border with Sindh in Pakistan, and scholars such as Rita Kothari from IIT-Gn say that Turkish, Baluchi and Arab lineages are often found in the villages of the district due to a long history of migration in the former kingdom.

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