Ann Trommershausen Bowling, Ph.D
CNASHA offers a perpetual trophy to honor and remember one of its founding members and a dear friend of the Arabian Sport Horse.
Ann Trommershausen Bowling, Ph.D, a member of CNASHA until her death in December 2000, was Executive Director of the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the University of California in Davis. She was a major force in the development of first blood typing and then DNA parentage testing and their adoption by horse breed registries, one of the first of which was the Arabian Horse Registry of America (now the Arabian Horse Association). She was genetics consultant to the AHRA, AQHA, the Jockey Club, AMHA and many smaller horse registries.
Ann published extensively in peer-reviewed genetics journals and was an internationally recognized authority on horse genetics, particularly chromosome structure, coat color inheritance, horse evolution and the history and interrelationships of the horse breeds. She wrote the all purpose text ‘Horse Genetics‘ and was starting a second edition at the time of her death; she was coeditor of the more specifically academic ‘Genetics of the Horse’ and contributed chapters to numerous other books on horse genetics and blood typing. She also traveled extensively to address both academic and horse breeding audiences.
Ann was for years the genetics advisor to the international project to preserve the genetic diversity of Przewalski’s wild horse, AKA “Takhi” in their native Mongolia. She traveled to Russia several times in connection with P-horse breeding and visited Askania Nova in Ukraine to study and advise on the captive breeding herd there. Her reconstruction of the Askania Nova herd book from parentage testing data, after the horses had lost their individual identities through problems in record keeping, remains a unique achievement.
Ann was a volunteer leader with the local 4-H Club horse project while her daughter Lydia was a member and helped develop a musical Kur quadrille for members riding purebred Arabian horses. The New Albion Stud in Davis was a family project, founded by Michael and Ann Bowling with Ann’s late parents, Bill and Claire Trommershausen. Ann was deeply involved with the New Albion CMK Arabians and emphasized the importance of riding horse qualities in making breeding decisions.
Colleague after academic colleague at Ann’s memorial service fondly remembered her pride in having bred the endurance gelding Benjih, winner of the Tevis Cup in 2000; he represented New Albion breeding on both sides and descended from three of Ann’s riding mares.