A Note about Sugarbush Draft Horses

I see it over and over again, and no matter how many times it's said, it's still wrong. "Sugarbush Drafts are just an Appaloosa Draft Cross". Uh.... no. The Sugarbush Draft Horse was a breed created many years ago in Ohio. While the initial cross was made using Percherons to Appaloosas, in the many generations following, the breed has been solidified into a consistent type. Saying these horses are "just" a draft cross makes as much sense as saying that AQHA horses are "just" a Thoroughbred cross, American Cream Drafts are "just" a dilute Belgian, or that Morgans are "just" a grade.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rabicano

First, Check out the horse.... I found the COOLEST site!  Ok, This site has a function thingy mabob (yep, it's obvious that I'm not technical, eh?) that allows you to click on genes, and see the results of various combinations.  It's not perfect (Appaloosa is ALL wrong) but it's pretty close for base colors.  Just click on the link, or go to http://www.jenniferhoffman.net/horse/equinegenetics.html and check it out.

I can't believe I've never seen this before.  It's cool, and very useful for showing people how the genes stack up on each other's effects.  Granted, I couldn't figure out how to save a picture of a horse with Rabicano, so a seal bay with silver will have to do instead.

Now, Rabicano is a white pattern gene.  This pattern is a roan type pattern, but it's inherited separately from classic roan.  Rabicano is refered to as RB, and it's genetics aren't well known.  Currently we discuss it as if it's a simple dominant gene, but again, no one seems to be positive of that, and I can't find any definitive research on it.  I think this is a case of horse people knowing the trait exists, and no one has gotten around to studying it yet, because it's not THAT popular (i.e. won't bring THAT much money to the university).

So, Rabicano is most often seen as a racoon tail, or a stripped are at the top of the tail.  While there are varying levels of expression, rabicano seems to always affect the tail hairs, resulting in a pattern like this:
With higher levels of expression, ticking, or roaning (although not caused by classic roan) is seen on the rib area and flanks.  The ticking can be dense or light, and in some cases owners never realize that this is a pattern gene at work.  First Picture from here, and second picture from here.

As you can see, the first horse has some scattered white hairs in the flank area.  The second horse though, shows extensive white markings traveling up towards the front legs across the ribs, as well as a very white area on the top of the tail.

Like all pattern genes, Rabicano can be inherited with other patterns.  Yes, it is possible to have Classic Roan with Rabicano, although in some cases it is hard to be sure of this.  The best way to check for rabicano, is to look for the stripes in the tail, because white ticking on the sides can be so minimal as to be impossible to see, or it can be covered up by other white markings such as tobiano, or appaloosa.

Because there's no real knowledge about the genetics of Rabicano, I can't go into inheritance of it.  There is a similar trait called a gulastra plume.  This results in a horse with a white or greyish colored tail.  Here is an example:
To my knowledge, gulastra plume has no genetic correlation to Rabicano.

So, today's test............


What color would this horse be?

EE aa CHch Dd RNrn

10 comments:

  1. Tan to Chocolate brown body (classic Champagne), probably tending toward tan because of the double dilute of dun. Chocolate mane and tail. Darker legs, possibly with zebra stripes; definitely a dorsal stripe; other primitive marking may be evident as well. Main part of body will have white hairs mixed in evenly from the roan, to make him look even lighter.

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  2. Cute site, by the way, though the "model" horse's conformation leaves a little to be desired! They also don't differentiate sabino from frame and/or splash, but that seems to be typical.

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  3. Today's test horse would be a grullo champagne roan, or a classic champagne dun roan, or a black dun champagne roan.

    And yes Evensong, I think you got the description about as close as is possible.

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  4. Tan to Chocolate brown body (classic Champagne), probably tending toward tan because of the double dilute of dun. Chocolate mane and tail. Darker legs, possibly with zebra stripes; definitely a dorsal stripe; other primitive marking may be evident as well. Main part of body will have white hairs mixed in evenly from the roan, to make him look even lighter.

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  5. My solid Paint was a skunk tail, and he even showed a slight striping pattern on his belly like the picture of the black horse. His pattern was most prominent during spring shedding, and it was on his belly and flanks.

    I had him from birth. His mother only had a scattering of ehite hair. I am unsure about his father, as he was a paint and had a lot of white. I never looked at his tail.

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  6. it is by the looks of it a Bay Gulastra Plume arabian to me

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  7. I've yet to see a Gulastra plume on a horse that did not have some Arabian in its ancestry---Thoroughbred, MorAb, Arabians (from Egyptian to Jordanian)...etc. and I did note that the photo of the foal used in the example of a Gulastra plume is indeed, an Arabian.

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  8. Sounded like you were describing a Grullo (striped legs, dorsal stripe, coloring) until you mentioned the roaning.

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  9. Grullo and roan do not go together. It's either a roan, or a grullo....can't be both since Grullos will NOT have white hairs mixed in.

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  10. Could we use these photos in some horse art or are they copy righted?

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