The Splash White Project


Among those of us who follow horse color research, the reaction to the new test for Splash White is curiosity about what the results will tell us about what is and what is not Splash White and by extension, the group of patterns collectively known as sabino.

One of the most helpful things will be the ability to see the range for each of the genes. How much white can a horse with one copy of SW1 have? How do they look different from a horse with two copies, if in fact that look different at all? Can a horse have one of each type, and if so what does that look like?

To help figure those things out, I thought it would be useful to set up a page with photos of tested horses, and the results. WordPress allows me to add permanent “pages” to the blog, which is what I have done. You can find this by looking at the top header (white letters on green) that says “The Splash White Project”. So far I have included my own mare, whose test was submitted the other day. I have another horse that I plan to collect hairs from today for submission, and once that is done he’ll go up ¬†there, too. I’ll keep track of Pending and Tested Horses. For the moment, I’ll be including horses that test negative, too. Sometimes that tells us as much as the ones that test for a color! If space becomes an issue, I can always archive horses to the website.

What I need is participants! The more horses and results we assemble, the more insight we can gain. So please, if you have sent a horse for testing, reply in the comments or send me an email (contact is to the right on this page). I’ll post as many as people will submit. And feel free to spread the word, if you are involved in a breed where testing is being done. I’d love to hear from anyone with a tested horse.

(Pictured is the kind of horse that would be helpful to test. She is marked with a fairly narrow blaze and three small socks. Her left eye has a small blue sector, though there have been horses marked like this with two dark eyes that have produced wildly marked splash whites.)

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11 Responses to The Splash White Project

  1. Pauline H January 18, 2012 at 11:01 am #

    I am currently trying to find a owner of a splash Gotland Russ who’d be illing to donate some hair samples. I’d actually be willing to pay for the test myself if I have to, but since I don’t on a russ myself I have to find a loud splash first! But if I manage to hunt one don and the owner agrees to send some hair, then I’ll make sure to submit the results!

  2. The Equine Tapestry January 18, 2012 at 11:08 am #

    That would be wonderful! They are among my candidates for breeds I’d most like to see tested, since they only have splash and no other forms of pinto patterning. Do you need contacts for breeders? I have names of stallions that are (what I suspect at least) homozygous splash.

    • Pauline H January 18, 2012 at 12:39 pm #

      I actually emailed UC Davis and asked wether or dot the Russes were already in the research group and have been tested negative, since they stated hich breeds that tested positive but didn’t leave any info if there were any breeds that tested negative. Could be like Sabino, I assume?

      I have posted in a few forums and have asked one owner so far, but haven’t got any ansers yet. If I don’t get any replies I’d definitely like to have the names of the potential stallions and the contact information!

      • The Equine Tapestry January 18, 2012 at 12:51 pm #

        I am not sure Russes were included, since they are such a small group – and the splashes within the breed a still smaller group. Hopefully that’s the sort of information that will be included in the paper when it is published.

  3. Pauline H January 18, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    Ah, I see. I figured that it might be the case, but thought it might be a fairly good idea to at least ask. Haven’t got a reply yet though, but it as just a day ago as I sent the email.
    Another breed I’l like to test are the draft trotters that we have around here. Loud splash markings and blue eyes exist in that breed as well.

    I think I just found a REALLY loud Russ, whos owner as it seems right now would be interested in donating some hair from the horse. So hopefully I’ll be able to post the samples within a near future!

  4. Rebecca Turner January 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    IM sorry but what are Russes? not sure I have heard of them.. is it a line of a certain breed? wish I could help you though.. none of our horses have much white and no blue eyes at all.. most are morgans and one morab, oh and a qh and a thourobred..but they are a grey one a bay with 2 white feet.. no white on faces here really.. I will be reading though.. am very curious to what you find! I hope you get a lot of people to give you pics!

    • The Equine Tapestry January 18, 2012 at 3:01 pm #

      Russ is what the Gotland Pony is called in Sweden. They are particularly interesting because they do not appear to have sabino – just splash and varnish roan.

  5. Kathleen Fisher January 18, 2012 at 2:48 pm #

    I am the owner/breeder of Maddie, and will be submitting her DNA for testing along with another mare that is a half sibling to Maddie’s dam. She is more sabino looking to me, but has a characteristic that I think indicates possible splash. The trait I am referenceing is leg white that is higher in the back. I will also be sending a sample on a unrelated mare with that characteristic. It will be interesting to see the results!

    • The Equine Tapestry January 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

      That is wonderful! I am looking forward to learning what pattern the Morgans have. Hopefully it is one of the three they have pin-pointed with the tests.

  6. Heather January 26, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    There has been at least one miniature mare that tested neg. for all three mutations of Splashed White, and negative for OLWS(frame). She has a blue eye…so….this is very interesting! I think there are more mutations of Splashed white out there than they have found so far! This mini in question only has a roany star and a blue eye from what I can tell in pictures, no other white. White Diamonds Angel Eyes is the name of the mini.

    • Kathleen Fisher September 25, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

      Maddie came back as SW1/SW1-no surprise!