Splash White

Splash White was recently genetically discovered with the research published and the tests became available in 2012. Currently there are 5 different Splash Whites with at least one more to be discovered genetically (the Bald Eagle line). Splash White is where the white rises from the bottom of the horse’s legs raising up the body resulting in a dipped in white paint effect. The lines are crisp where white meets colour. Many Splash White horses have blue eyes and partial blue eyes. In minimal cases the horse may just have a few white markings on the leg and face. In extensive cases the white tracks up the sides of the horse and face. Maximum White Splash horses can also be seen.

Splash White Genetic Defects

There is one genetic defect that is often seen on Splash White horses: deafness. Deafness is most often seen when horses have combinations of multiple Splash White genes. It is suggested that the more white that the horse has the more likely that it is deaf. Where as others say that if white covers the ears then it will be deaf. Both of these theories are not quite correct as the deafness all depends with how the inner ear was developed.

Splash White Genetics

Splash White is genetically studied and testing is available, for 4 different versions of Splash White. There is still one bloodline, often referred to as the Bald Eagle or Gunner line, of horses in Australia who is visually Splash White but tested negative for the genetic tests, therefore there is at least one more to be genetically discovered.

Splash White 1

SW1 is the most common genetically tested Splash White. It is an incomplete dominant gene that is located on the MITF gene. Horses with one allele of SW1 are seen to have minimal markings with white on the legs and face; some have blue eyes or partial blue eyes. Homozygous SW1 horses are seen to have white stretching up from the feet onto the side of the body, the faces are sometimes white with blue eyes.

Splash White 2

SW2 is the second most common splash white, it is assumed to have started in Quarter Horses. The mare Katie Gun produced many SW2 horses although only tested positive for carrying SW1. SW2 is located on the PAX3 gene. SW2 isn’t as bold as SW1, seemingly only producing patterns as bold as high stocks on the legs and bald white faces.

Splash White 3

SW3 is rare and although genetically studied there is still little known about it. SW3 is found on the MITF gene and had only been documented to be tested positive in two mares (mother and daughter). The mother had white on the legs and face and had white legs, the daughter was completely white and tested for also carrying SW1. The bloodline where SW3 is found is TD Kid. SW3 is assume homozygous lethal, however, it is only theorized until more horses carry the gene and more studies can be done.

Splash White 4 aka Macchiato

SW4, or Macchiato, is the rarest splash white and arguably the rarest colour documented. SW4 only exists in one horse, a Freiberger stallion named Apache Du Peupe. Apache was born out of two bay parents with minimal markings; Apache however is a diluted bay (similar to a buckskin colour) with high white stocks, some white tracking up the body, and white on the face. He was tested to see if he was a chimera however the test was negative. He was also tested to see if he was truly bred out of the parents that they said he was, which he was. Apache’s owners named his odd colour Macchiato, which was referring to his paler body colour. When genetic testing came back it was revealed that SW4 was a very rare gene, it not only inhibits pigment but it also dilutes it. This is why Apache is paler then bay without having any true dilute genes. Apache has failed to produce any offspring and has since been gelded.

Splash White 5

Newly discovered in 2013, SW5 is the latest of the Splash White genes. It is currently found in Appaloosa’s and results in markings on the legs and face.

 The Bald Eagle Line

There is a line of Paint Horses in Austrailia, dubbed the Bald Eagle Line or the Gunner Line who have Splash White markings, yet test negative for SW1, 2 and 3. Therefore it is assumed there is at least one more Splash White to be discovered.

Check out the Splash White album to see Splash White horses: