Pattern 1, or the Leopard pattern, is the first and currently only genetically proven pattern gene. Mares with PATN1 will have less spots then males. Black based horses will have less white then red based horses. The Leopard horse’s coat ranges greatly depending on many factors including sex, colour, age, suppressing genes, etc. A DNA test for the Pattern 1 gene is available to the public.
Near Leopards will have the body spotted similar to that of a Dalmatian, but their faces and lower legs rarely have the spots present and are instead solid in colour (and sometimes roaned out colour). Generally Near Leopard horses are horses that are heterozygous for LP Complex and PATN1. However, as more horses are being tested for PATN1 it is becoming apparent that some homozygous PATN1 horses express as Near Leopards meaning that they have other factors influencing the expression of the genes.
Nose to Toes Leopard
Nose to Toes Leopard spotted is where the horse is completely spotted, similar to how a Dalmatian is spotted. Unlike Near Leopard horses, Nose to Toes Leopard horses also have spots on the lower legs and face. Most Nose to Toes Leopards are heterozygous for LP but homozygous for PATN1.
Horses that are homozygous for LP complex with PATN1 will have considerably less spots if any at all and are referred to as Few Spots horses. It is often impossible to tell if a Few Spots horse has one or two copies of the PATN1 gene.
To see pictures of horses with the LP Complex gene check out the LP album:
LP Complex HorsesCheck out this album to look at LP horses!