All kinds of updates


I apologize for neglecting this blog this past month. My time has been almost completely absorbed in the final production work for the book. The good news is that the book is just a few weeks away from publication, though I am almost afraid to jinx it by saying so! What time hasn’t been spent on the book has gone towards a handful of print articles. This has all meant that the blog has languished simply because I couldn’t face writing anything more.

Which is a shame because I sure haven’t lacked for things to share. While I have been quiet, all manner of interesting things have been piling up on my desk and in my inbox. One of them is the picture at the top of this blog. I truly wanted to include it in the book, but I never heard back from the Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums regarding commercial usage of the image. They do allow non-commercial use, though, so I thought I would share it here on the blog. The reason I wanted it for the book is that I have a chapter on the now-extinct Hanoverian Creams. Those were the ceremonial carriage horses that were once used by British royalty, but are now extinct. They have long held a certain fascination for horse color researchers because their exact color is not known. The other mystery is what ever became of them. It is known that some of their Continental relatives ended up in the Wulff Circus, and that a handful of the British horses ended up with Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake. This image caught my eye because the horse has the same diluted coat with the very dark mane and tail that is seen in some of the later images of the Creams. But even more interesting, the photo is part of a group associated with Lord John Sanger’s circus. There is a connection between Sanger and Tyrwhitt-Drake, so it is quite plausible that this horse was one of the Creams, or was related to them. The photos are not dated, but the range from the other photos in the set are correct for the horses that were dispersed to have still be alive. If anyone recognizes the image and can place it or date it, I’d love to hear from them!

There have also been a couple of interesting horses that have come to light in just the last few weeks. The first is another white-born Standardbred recently foaled in New Jersey. Pictures of him can be seen here. Since both is sire Art Major and dam Coochie Mama are unmarked horses, he is quite likely a new dominant white mutation. Another suspected dominant white Standardbred, Macahan Loss, was born in 2008.

The other cool new horse is a confirmed silver dilute Pura Raza Espanola (PRE). That is the mare Trajana YR. She is actually chestnut, so the color is not visible on her, but she carries the gene. If she is bred to a bay or black horse she could produce a black or red silver (bay silver). Some readers might remember a few years ago there was a PRE stallion that was rumored to have been tested as a silver, but many questions were raised about his purity and his testing status. His owner stopped replying to questions (not that I can say I blame them, given the truly unpleasant tone that many took), and it became a dead end. Hopefully this mare puts an end to the debate over whether the gene is there or not.

Speaking of the silver dilution, I was able to get some really wonderful contrast shots a few weeks ago. The opportunity to have two visually similar, but genetically different, colors side-by-side only come up on rare occasions, so I was tickled to have gotten these shots. I haven’t had time to crop and size the photos, but eventually I will have those up on the blog. And I still have to post the “English translation” for the splash research, and some much-needed updates to the Splash Project page. And there are other cool things that just need to be sorted and composed. So like I said, there is a lot to share – just not enough hours in my days at the moment!

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6 Responses to All kinds of updates

  1. (@ilovehorsesnet) May 25, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    Interesting – regarding Trajana YR, the silver-carrying PRE mare, her mane, tail, knees, and hocks have a silver dapple-y coloration to them. I know silver dapple doesn’t overtly affect chestnut, but I wonder if it does something subtle to those points? In other words, is that coloration a tip-off to a chestnut with a silver gene? I don’t know what her parents look like though.

  2. Sue Stewart May 25, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    Trajana YR is really interesting — in the photos, her body color is a very “bay” red, and then there’s all the sooty. If she weren’t tested ee, I’d wonder if she weren’t a bay silver herself!

    Looking forward to the book!

  3. Danni Kinsel May 25, 2012 at 1:04 pm #

    Thanks for posting the website for the mare Trajana YR. I can only read some of it, but I’ve got to say by those photos that’s got to be the cleanest and coolest looking barn I’ve ever seen!

  4. Lewella Tembreull May 25, 2012 at 2:23 pm # – Chestnut shade gives no indication as to the presence or absence of the silver dilution. I breed American Shetlands and have had chestnut silver carriers in every shade of chestnut from the darkest to the lightest.

  5. amber lane May 25, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    that foal is absolutely adorable! i am so happy i just subscribed to this blog just in time to catch this! i find all of your posts to be very interesting, as a big horse lover <3

  6. dakota328 May 25, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    I came across a Standardbred a few years ago in an adoption agency when I was looking to adopt a SB a few years back (approx 3 years ago). She was a lovely big bay with the most unusual facial markings I had ever seen. She had 2 white patches each under both her eyes. I am curious if you think its just a odd face marking or could it be a odd mutation of Dominant White sort of like the SBs you mentioned here? The adoption agency is called OSAS though I forget what the horses name was if you want to contact them for a picture of the mare yourself.