How many of you out there have horses that DNA 1 color but appears to be another. i.e. tests palomino but looks cremello at birth. Is a peachy color with both parents chestnut. Or, is chestnut but has paler skin under the dock.

The pictured filly - FF Amberina - is a palomino pearl. Sorry, not a very good pic but is all I've got. Her mother is dna'd black pearl and produced this to a buckskin. Amberina DNA'd palomino.

I would love to hear from any of you with similar horses and also what their bloodlines are so we can try and figure which lines they are typical to.


By the way, since posting this discussion my black pearl mare FF Ayacuchana's 2nd foal to my cremello stallion has had a smoky black pearl filly.  Her name is SR(NZ) Saliente and she can be seen on my website and also i have some pics of her on my page here and facebook.

Views: 777


Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Heather-

I'm afraid my knowledge of the Pearl gene is extremely limited. I have a Perlino mare...her sire is Palomino, and her dam was bay.

Her daughter is also Perlino...I bred her to my smokey black stallion, was hoping for buckskin, another Perlino.

From what I've read, a Perlino is a double dilute on a bay, and Cremello is a double dilute (cc) on a chestnut. Please correct me if this is incorrect.

So, theoretically, couldn't any horse that is a carrier of at least one (c) dilute gene, such as two bays (phenotype) but each carrying the dilute gene, produce an offspring that is (cc) double dilute and would be Perlino in color, and would genetically test as a bay?(Like I said...I'm a complete neophyte when it comes to color genetics!)

My smokey black stallion is DNA'd "black", but he carries one dilute (c) gene from his palomino dam, MLM Aurora. He is the one that gave me my Perlino filly out of the perlino mare. Since he is carrying one (c) gene from his Palomino dam, and my perlino mare can only give a (c) gene, it resulted in a Perlino foal. If he had thrown his "black" color gene instead of the dilute gene, we would have had a buckskin.

So would this lead to a specific line, or is just one of the possible color combinations?

I look forward to your reply, as I would like to learn more about the gene and how it differs from the cremello gene.

Hi Laura,
This is all so interesting and a bit mind boggling! Thus I have a few questions :-)...
Two of Julio's mares are out of your smokey black stallion Asonbroso. One is black and one is bay/brown. Both had chestnut mothers. Both have been bred to our golden palomino stallion. The bay/brown has produced two bay/brown fillies identical to herself. But the black has produced a palomino. Am I right to assume that the bay/brown mare did not get the cream gene from her sire and that the black did?
Another question. I have a 25 yr old black mare who when bred to the same stallion produced a palomino (dark skin/eyes) and the only other cream gene I can see in the mare's background was a maternal great-grandfather was a buckskin. There are no records of any further back ancestor's color (all in Peru 30+ years ago) Her dam and grand dam were bays. Did they then carry the creme gene and pass that along to my mare and thus she was able to produce a palomino? Or is her gene a pearl that would be recessive? Am I understanding that the creme gene will show if present or can a horse carry a creme gene but they would not be diluted themselves? Does my filly then most likely have a pearl/creme combination? Or would that dictate that her skin be pink?
Also this same black mare when bred to a buckskin produced another palomino. I totally would have expected a buckskin but it was a palomino. This foal as well had dark skin/eyes. I have not had the offspring color tested and just assumed palomino, but this discussion has made me wonder.
Wow is this confusing but very intriging!
I see you listed a website to reference and I will definately check that out. Thanks
Hi Heather-

Just me you have me curious...have you seen this page?

Hi Laura, thanks for your reply and yes I have seen that page. I have actually joined a yahoo discussion group based exclusively on the pearl gene. You have probably now figured out the Pearl is different to the cream dilute??

Anyway in answer to your questions - you are correct on the cremello/chestnut dilute perlino/bay and there is also smokey cream which is double cream black.

If you combine 2 double creams you still have 50% chance of single dilute color, I think.

If combine 2 singles you get 25% solid color, 25% double cr and 50% single cr.

I'm not sure on the single/double combination percentages.

Which color base of dilute you get depends on what base color code is passed from each parent - chestnut, bay or black.

There are lots of great websites that explain all this - I am just learning myself. It almost seems that the more you learn the less you know ;-)) but I'm getting there.
For you, if you Google cream dilute horses you'll find lots of info. If you think you have any pearls then you could join the 'New Dilutes' at yahoo. Personally I find yahoo difficult to use (this site is soooo easy to use - thanks guys/gals) but it's worth it for the info.

Apparently my mare has a 50% chance of passing on the Pearl gene. So far out of 2 foals they have both inherited Pearl. The first Amberina - pearl palomino, isn't she pretty? The second Alondra - bay pearl (the pearl being recessive and showing no evidence)

The pearl becomes evident when it meets itself or cream.

I'm really enjoying learning about this so keep me posted on anything you learn and I'll keep posting anything else I learn.

Replies from me can take some time as being in NZ there's the time difference and we're on very slow dial-up and if the weather is bad - like now - I can't always get or stay on line :-)
This reply is from your tomorrow... lol
Hi again Laura. I just thought maybe I didn't quite answer the Pearl question thoroughly, I got on a bit of a roll there. I rifled thru my emails to find this reply I got from Barbara Kostelnik in the New Dilute group.

Hi, again, Heather,

I hope you don't mind if I reply to *part* of your email while it's fresh on my mind.

Pearl plus anything other than pearl or cream is invisible. It's a recessive gene.

pearl + pearl = homozygous pearl dilute. Very rare and in demand.
pearl + cream = cream pearl dilute. Slightly less so.

They both look most like champagne, not cremello or perlino. But a trained eye can tell the difference.

Your cream-pearl (the one you thought was cremello) cannot pass on both genes to one foal. UC Davis has not admitted this yet, but they developed the test based on this fact, which was pointed out to them by the ICHR president, Carolyn Shepard. This is because pearl is a "mutation" of cream; they're found at the same location on the chromosome. As soon as Carolyn pointed this out to them, poof! They had the test.

Since each location (locus) can only have two genes, a horse can have only one of these following *pairs* at the cream/pearl locus:

cr-cr (no cream or pearl; all visible colors unaffected)

Cr-cr (one cream gene; single cream dilute like palomino or buckskin, dark skin & eyes at maturity)

Cr-Cr (two cream genes; double cream dilute like cremello or perlino, usually blue eyes, OCCASIONALLY slightly greenish, pale pink skin, little or no freckling)

prl-cr (one pearl gene; all visible colors unaffected)

prl-prl (two pearl genes; color diluted much like champagne, green to light brown eyes, purplish-pink skin with muted purplish freckles)

prl-cr (one pearl and one cream gene; color very diluted, usually green eyes, pink skin, muted freckles)

So, anyway ... your cream-pearl filly can't pass on both genes to any one foal. She won't produce a "double dilute" unless you breed her to a cream or pearl carrying stallion.

She has a 50% chance of passing on the pearl OR cream gene each time she foals.

If you breed her to a homozygous pearl (good luck finding on in the PP
breed) you'll get a beautiful dilution every time: 50% chance of double-pearl, 50% chance of pearl-cream (like her).

One person who has done an ENORMOUS amount of work documenting pearl in PP's is Deb Morgan, who happens to live in a nearby town (to me) in Ohio, though I met her online.

I hope this helps some.
Hi Heather-

Thanks for posting all this great information! Looks like I need to go back to "school" are right...the more you learn, the less you know!

On one site, I read that a Cremello has amber eyes and a perlino has blue eyes (is a Perlino different from the "pearl gene?) Now it looks like the reverse is true...

Both my mares have white/creme color with pink skin and blue eyes...maybe they are just plain old "vanilla" cremellos after all...

Do you know why the Pearl gene is "desirable" over a Creme gene? Especially in the PP breed, these colors are not skin and blue eyes is not in the standard, and will result in marks off in the show ring.

Thanks for all the great resources...I'll start studying and if I come across anything noteworthy, I'll share it.

Hi Laura, isn't it a pitty that the judges and rule makers can't see past their own color prejudices. Apparently a few hundred years ago the 'best spanish horse' was bay. It seems now there are a lot of grays - the fashion must have changed somewhere along the line ;-)
Especially now that we have science to prove there are no difference in the quality and strength of the horses regardless of color.

Double creams are, after all, only homozygous cream dilutes and they don't seem to have anything against palomino and buckskin. In my opinion these prejudices display ignorance and sometimes border on superstition. ie: pale skin and eyes are weaker or albino (no such thing in the horse world)

Double creams, as a rule, have blue eyes tho I have read they occasionally have hazel-ish eyes. Yes, perlino is double cream bay - different to 'Pearl'.

The only way you will know for sure if either of your mares is pearl (apart from dna) is if 1 of the parents is not a cr dilute. If both parents are at least single cr dilutes then they are most likely just dble crms.

I guess the pearl gene is more desirable because of its rarity.
Imagine going to a parade on an apricot with green eyes!! If you can find a breeding pair of chestnut/pearls you have a 50% chance of getting that.

Tomorrow I am meeting with a friend who is much more versed on color genetics than I am so I can learn a little more about what the odds are on different color varieties I will get from my stallion and my 2 pearl mares. Fun, fun, fun. I fully expect to have scrambled brains by the end of the day %-)
Hi Heather-

Thanks for the clarification. Both my horses each have one palomino they must be cr and not pearl. One question one mare, her sire was palomino and her dam was bay, could she be a creme/pearl? This is interesting, so a pearl gene will not show itself unless it is a double pearl or creme/pearl? Unlike the cr gene, which will dilute the base color to palomino, buckskin, etc. So a bay could be a bay/pearl or a chestnut could be a chestnut /pearl, but phenotype would display bay or chestnut color.

I think I'm starting to get it (a little)

I know in Peru, grey was a very common color, and then they went out of "fashion", and today, not so common. The thing that I have to be more concerned about with my cremellos, are melanomas and sunburn in the summer...other than that, they are just as strong healthy as my other PPs here, so there are a few more precautions we have to take with them. I'm guessing, but maybe for the Peruvians, who wanted a hearty breed for work...having a horse that you had to take more precautions with may not have been desirable...just speculation here on my part. I'd like to know the reason behind the dislike for pink skin and blue eyes in our breed.

I think they are beautiful, and people always comment on them...then I have to explain that they are "outside the breed standards for color".

Once your head stops spinning from your meeting...I hope you'll share what you learned ;-)
Hi Laura, you are right about the pearl only showing when it meets itself or pearl. So, you're saying the 1 mare you're not sure of is creamish with paler skin and eyes? If so she probably is a pearl. If you're really curious go in to the new dilutes website and check out the photos. It shows all sorts of variations of pearl colors. The only thing I find a bit disappointing is the lack of detailed info on what color combinations. There's 1 on there called Abbas that's a black double pearl. He's beautiful! You mentioned there used to be a lot of greys.
On the new dilute site pics there seemed to be a lot of greys (largely Lusitanos) that somehow related to pearls - I'm not quite sure what they are on about there - perhaps they were throwing pearls?? My connection is too slow to look into it all, it takes ages for each page to load.

Mostly what I learned from my friend was what colors I'm most likely to get from my horses. Most likely smoky cream or grulla with 50% chance of pearl adding to that.....interesting. Will post pics when they're born.

You are right about the sunburn thing but they don't burn too bad (our sun here is fierce) and are definitely not as 'burnable' as a white faced horse. The cr/cr has more pigment in it's skin than white. Also from what I've read in the cremello information websites melanoma is not an issue.

I think the main reason for the dislike of pink skin and blue eyes seems to go back to the misconception that they were albino. Also the eye thing is probably a bit like how people don't like the Appaloosa eye, it's just too freaky for them.

I like that they're so different. Keep me posted if you learn anything more yourself :-)
Hi Heather-

Okay...I'm just plain old confused again....and starting to think that my mare may be a pearl after all. We have a new foal, the sire's parents are chestnut and black. The foal is phenotype bay/seal brown (not sure yet) his mane is very dark brown, almost black, but his body is brown.

This is not what I would have expected with a cremello. I would have been expecting a buckskin, or palomino, or smokey black.

I'll keep you posted. The more I learn, the more I'm getting confused these days! Any clues?

Hi Laura,

it's been a while, how are you? I was just re-reading your last note to me. It certainly looks like you mare must be a pearl and not a cremello as she could not throw a plain color if cremello.

Have you posted pics of the foal on your page? Also have you had all the DNA done?

We have our first foal of the season out of my black pearl mare by my boy (very exciting) It appears that we don't have a pearl this time. Debbie - who I got my horses from - tells me she will be a dark palomino.

I have posted a pic of her at 2 days old on my page. The next is due soon. I will keep updating the pics as they grow so you can keep tabs on them if you want to :-).


© 2020   Created by Chris Austin.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service