Dr. Kao Castle

Before starting Practical Horse Genetics, Kao studied to obtain her doctorate with the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney. She graduated in 2014. Her research project focussed on osteochondrosis (often called OCD or OC) in Thoroughbred horses in Australia and New Zealand. Just over 1,900 horses were involved in the study.

As well as studying, Kao worked at Intersect helping NSW researchers access high-performance computing and specialised software. Although the researchers she assisted work in a range of fields, Kao’s own specialisation is bioinformatics.


Practical Horse Genetics aims to conduct fast, high-quality genetic testing for owners of horses and ponies in Australia. We are starting by validating existing genetic tests for coat colour traits and single gene disorders. We will also create and publish our own tests for disorders and traits that Australian veterinarians and owners regard as important or useful.

In conjunction with our tests, Practical Horse Genetics can provide genetic advice to horse owners and breeders. Our emphasis is to be practical and pragmatic. We aim to provide advice that will help you breed healthier horses and horses that can sell for a higher price. We know that there are many competing factors in horse breeding, including the breeder’s time.