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Splashed white is one of the overo pinto patterns and it is the
most recent color that has been discovered to exist in the Morgan breed (April 2005). Splashed white is
an incomplete dominant. What this means is that heterozygous splashes
white than homozygous splashes- the gene has an additive effect when there are
two of them present. It is like the cream gene in this respect.
Splashes can actually mimic "solids" or sabinos, as their markings can be so minimal. Sometimes only a "bottom heavy"
face marking (which may be just a tiny lopsided snip) and/or one or two blue eyes (or a
partial blue eye) gives a clue that the horse is actually carrying splash.
Although blue eyes may be due to other
causes (for example the frame overo gene), the consistent appearance of blue eyes in a family or bloodline
may be a good indicator that the splash gene is present. You will see several
such related individuals in the pictures on this page. Hopefully as time goes
on, more Morgans will be tested and proven to carry splash, even if by their
outward appearance they may not appear "pinto" at all. Click on any picture to enlarge
heterozygous splashes may be very minimally marked, homozygous splashes have more flamboyant white markings on the body.
These markings are smooth edged and spread
upwards from the horse's underside. The horse looks as though it was dipped, feet-first, in white paint. They often have a white or
white- tipped tail. However, there is a range of expression within all of the white marking
patterns, and a minimally marked heterozygous splash can be indistinguishable
from a solid. There are Morgans who have tested positive for splash who have no
more indication of their splash gene than a few white hairs on their forehead! It may be that there are genes which restrict expression of white, even when the
genes for a white pattern are there. Some experts believe the degree
of expression of splash is intensified when another pinto pattern, like sabino, is present, as well.
Certainly, the potential for more white exists when more patterns are involved
on a given horse.
It is possible that some of the horses in our breed which are currently thought to be
solids are actually
splash. If such horses are bred together, more obviously splash marked individuals, such as MEMC
On Target, Marvelous Picasso, Journey's Made to Order and Shahaylee (all pictured below), may be born.
that are confirmed (by testing) to be carrying splash include
descendants of Royal Glo (found in horses
from the Marvelous Morgans breeding program); Old Ways Bimbeau (and
other descendants of the blue eyed splash mare Lady in Lace, who is
in his pedigree as well as other horses with the "Sweet's" prefix); and
Morgans from the cross of Windover Enchantmint on Icestone
Whitewing (found in horses from Vicki Greer's W-B prefix). There may be more
lines that carry this pattern, and it is hoped that the new test for splash will
identify them. If you have a blue eyed Morgan, get it tested for splash and let
us know the results! We would
love to feature it on this web page. Please email pictures to Laura Behning.
TESTING FOR SPLASH: The long awaited test for splash is now available. If you have a horse you suspect is splash, please have it tested. There are three splash mutations that have been
identified, and the splash test checks for all three. It is available from UC Davis.
So far, only SP1 has been found in Morgans. SP2 and SP3 appear to be found only in
stock breeds, and may be homozygous lethals, unlike SP1 which is not. I'd be interested in hearing from owners of horses that test positive
for splash, as well as blue eyed and/or
loudly marked horses which test negative for splash. Email me
with your results!
SPLASH TYPE MARKINGS ON NON SPLASH HORSES: Towards the bottom of this page
is a section of pictures of blue eyed, chromed out Morgans who have either tested to not have one of the splash patterns, or who are from lines not
currently proven to carry splash. At this time, whatever white pattern is causing their blue eyes and white markings
has not been identified. It may be another splash-type variant, a sabino variant,
one of the KIT gene mutations that make up what is collectively called "dominant
white", or something as yet unnamed, unidentified and unable to be tested for. As more information becomes available, we will update this page accordingly.
UDM INDIAN SUMMER (UDM Fortune in Gold x Shahaylee), 2008 buckskin splash stallion owned by Karen
Burridge, Upson Downs Morgans. "Dusty" is somewhat
unusual among heterozygous splashes in that he has four white feet but little concurrent facial white.
UDM HIGH WATERS (Sharp Dressed Gentleman x Shahaylee), 2009 bay splash stallion owned and photographed by Karen Burridge, Upson Downs Morgans.
WESTWIND JOAQUIN (KS Bluestem Jada Joe x Westwind Carmelita), 2011 black splash (tested/confirmed) colt owned by Gary Seibert,
Jellico Morgans. This colt's only white markings
are a small star and a left hind coronet. His sire is also a heterozygous splash, and his only marking is a partial inside left hind coronet.
Joaquin is a gaited Morgan.
MARVELOUS MAGIC MOMENT (Marvelous Intrigue x Marvelous Moon-Glo) 2004 black heterozygous splash (tested/confirmed) mare. Her
splash expression is so minimal as to consist of just a few white hairs on her forehead and a tiny spot of white on
her left front heel. Photo courtesy of Sue Beach, Beach's Triple T Ranch.
UDM SAVANNAH (Faircrest Dark Knight x Shahaylee), 2013 bay splash filly owned by Upson Downs Morgans, Gainesville, FL. Photos courtesy of Karen Burridge.
FCR MAGIC ACT (BFM SWT Chuckanut Jubilee x Mist Chief Mistara) 2009 chestnut splash stallion owned by Jennifer Murdock,
Can-Do Morgans, Pavillion, WY.
STONELAKE WILD MONTANA SKY (Adiel's Snicker Zip x R Two Golden Amber), 2010 buckskin splash filly owned by Sue Martin,
Stonelake Morgans. Although many single cream dilute foals can have blue-ish eyes, this filly's is due to the splash gene she inherited from her sire. Her left eye is
The late MARVELOUS PICASSO (Marvelous Intrigue x MEMC Ladyhawke), 2011
bay splash colt owned by
Beach's Triple T Ranch. Photos courtesy of Sue Beach.
JOURNEY'S MADE TO ORDER (Adiel's Snicker Zip x Journey's Rumour Hasit), 2010 bay splash filly owned by Kathleen Fisher,
Farm Morgans. "Maddie" caused much excitement in the
colorful Morgan community, as she is the first homozygous splash
to be born in several years, and is the first one to have so much white- all the way up over her back! Maddie,
her parents and relatives are participating in a study of splash currently being
undertaken by Dr. Samantha Brooks at Cornell. Maddie tested negative for both frame and tobiano, not unexpected as tobiano is
not known to exist in Morgans and frame is so rare as to likely be extinct. Photos by Laura Behning.
BAYMOUNT'S TIANA (Marvelous Intrigue x Marble Mtn Splendor) 2008 bay splash filly owned by Gloria James, Roseridge Morgans, WA. Tiana's sire is a known splash producer
and the sire of the only known homozygous splash mare, Shahaylee, who can be seen elsewhere on this page.
SWEET D SPLASH OF CLASS (Oldways Bimbeau x Treasure Artemesia), 2008
flaxen chestnut gelding owned by Heather Hotaling. Besides his blue right eye
(left is brown) and blaze this colt also has four white legs, suggestive of the
splash gene. His sire is a known splash producer.
SKYLOFT DREAM CATCHER, 2006 bay splash + sabino colt (Medicine Wheel Jubilee X Rosewind Summer Dream).
The dam of this colt has no white markings, indicating the splash gene is most likely coming from his more "chromed out" sireline to Old Ways Bimbeau.
He has two blue eyes and the typical twisty, skewed to one side, bottom heavy
blaze often found on the more minimally marked splashes. He also
has a detached lower lip white marking indicative of the presence of sabino.
Owned by Jennifer Hartwell of Skyloft Morgans. Photos courtesy of Roger White.
JOURNEY'S DOUBLETAKE (Medicine Wheel Jubilee X Silvershoe Shadys Sadie) 2006 black splash colt owned
by Stonelake Morgans in GA. The dam of this colt
(shown with him in the middle picture) has no white markings, so like his half brother Skyloft Dream Catcher,
and half sister, Journey's Rumour Hasit, it is
most likely he is getting his splash gene from his sire, a son of Old Ways Bimbeau.
Note the crooked, offset star and snip and his blue eye on the right side, all
signs of splash. Foal photos courtesy of Kathleen Fisher; yearling photo
courtesy of Sue Martin.
JOURNEY'S RUMOUR HASIT (Medicine Wheel Jubilee X Arapaho Angel Dust),
2006 palomino splash mare owned by Sue Martin, Stonelake Morgans. This mare has one half blue
eye, her right, along with a blaze and 3 white feet. Two of her paternal half
brothers are also splash and are pictured elsewhere on this page. Her first foal is the homozygous, body spotted splash Journey's Made to Order,
pictured with her in the second photo (courtesy of Kathleen Fisher).
MEMC ON TARGET
(MEMC Crown Royal X WB Her Royal Highness), 2007 buckskin splash colt
(homozygous) owned/bred by MEMC Morgans.
The more flamboyant homozygous expression of splash includes white extending up
onto the body from below; the horse looks as though it was dipped in paint. Photos courtesy of Jennifer Monroe.
The dam of MEMC On Target is WB HER ROYAL HIGHNESS (WB Enchantmint X Icestone Whitewing),
1997 black chestnut sabino + splash mare. While this mare's pattern is typical of sabino- white that travels up the hind legs into a pointed shape, with detached white above it, and dark spots
within her blaze- her son MEMC On Target proves that she is carrying the splash white pattern as well. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Monroe.
MEMC CROWN ROYAL (Robbi-Sue's Mr. Alert X King Blaze Mint), 2003 buckskin sabino + splash stallion owned by MEMC Morgans, pictured as a two year old. "Caesar" has four white socks, a large blaze with
a white chin and a partial blue eye on the right side- a tip-off that he is
carrying the splash gene. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Monroe.
All three pictures above are of SHAHAYLEE (Marvelous Intrigue X Marvelous Phophecy), a 1994 bay splash
(homozygous) mare owned
by Karen Burridge. Shahaylee is the horse that made Morgandom aware of the existence of
splash in the Morgan breed. When she came to my attention in April of 2005, I really was not sure what type of pinto she was, and
neither was her then-owner, Liz Alanne! I showed her pictures to friends knowledgeable about pinto patterns and shared them on the
Morgan Colors list.
Some folks thought she was a splash white; others, a sabino/frame combination. Frame overos have dark legs, but
it was thought that the white on her legs
could be from sabino. Sabinos with this much leg white, however, generally have white lower lips, and this mare has no white on her lower
lip at all. Sabino leg white generally comes to a point at the front of the leg, not blunted off as this mare's leg white is. Tobiano is not known to exist at all in Morgans and was quickly ruled out as tobianos generally have white on the topline or in the tail.
I emailed Dr. Phil Sponenberg, author of EQUINE COLOR GENETICS, and he responded
"This one is tough. She is most likely a splashed white, but could be an odd sort of frame. Sabino is unlikely, although some sabinos
are indeed this "nonroan" type." Elizabeth then had Shahaylee tested for Lethal White Overo and the results were negative, proving she is
not a frame overo.
Shahaylee's coloring traces back to the mare Royal Glo (Emerald's Aristocrat X Caven Glo Saguaro). I
learned from her owner Eleanore Mason that Royal-Glo had produced several blue eyed foals (at the time, unregisterable) from different sires. Shahaylee traces to Royal Glo on both sides of her pedigree. Getting a splash gene from both parents
resulted in Shahaylee's homozygous, full blown expression of the splash pattern.
All photos courtesy of Liz Alanne. For more about Shahaylee and the splash white
pattern, see the article MAKING A SPLASH: THE STORY OF SHAHAYLEE from the April
2007 issue of THE MORGAN
A close-up of the left side of Shahaylee's face, showing one of her blue eyes.
Shahaylee at three days old with her dam,
MARVELOUS PHOPHECY (her name was accidentally misspelled this way on her registration). Phophecy
(Marvelous Gem X Lippitt Rita Roy), foaled in 1971, was a splash herself; although most people would not see her as a pinto, she is one! The lopsided blaze and blunt topped stockings are the only clues that this is not a "solid" as
she might first appear. Photo courtesy of Eleanore Mason.
Shahaylee's sire MARVELOUS INTRIGUE (Marvelous Ideal X Marvelous Legacy), 1990 dark bay heterozygous splash white stallion, owned by Eleanore Mason.
Like Marvelous Phophecy, Intrigue's only signs of his splash gene are a crooked blaze ending in a lopsided snip along with two blunt topped hind socks.
Photo courtesy of Eleanore Mason. You can see many more pictures of this lovely
SCARLET TARA (Marvelous Intrigue X Marvelous Scarlet Lady), 1995 bay
splash mare owned by Beth Hendricks of Kennewick, WA. Tara is not what most
people would think of as "pinto", but she is a prime example of why we need to
re-think the definition of that term! Her blue eye on the left, blaze which does
not include the lower lip, and straight across hind socks belie the fact that
she is carrying the splash gene inherited from her sire.
BLUE EYES AND SPLASH TYPE MARKINGS ON NON SPLASH HORSES: Below are pictures of blue eyed, chromed out Morgans who have either tested to not have one of the
currently identified splash patterns, or who are from lines not
currently proven to carry splash. At this time, whatever white pattern is causing their blue eyes and white markings
has not been identified. It may be another splash-type variant, a sabino variant,
or something as yet unnamed, unidentified and unable to be tested for. As more information becomes available, we will update this
Lines that produce blue eyes and high white on a consistent basis include Farceur Morgan (through his sire Kings River Morgan); Serenity
Flight Time (especially through his grandson Cedar Creek Harlequin); Moorewood's Excalibur; and Ancan
True Colors (possibly coming from Paramount's Nominee, or Foxfire, both of whom
had quite a bit of white and both of which are behind his dam).
FAIRCREST DARK NIGHT (Century Nightmusic x Hylee's Diamond Fantasy), 2008 black
stallion owned by Jeanne Malone. "Casper" has lots of white producing lines on
both sides of his pedigree (Cedar Creek Harlequin and Serenity Flight Time, respectively).
First photo by Carrie Kitley,
Ghost Dance Photography.
EXPAT'S PATRIOT (Ancan Kodachrome x Legacy's Sea Star), 2008 chestnut stallion owned by Scott and Anne Mayden, Expat Morgans, France. "Pat" has
white-producing lines on both sides of his pedigree-
his sire (pictured elsewhere on this page) is a son of Ancan True Colors, and his dam is a granddaughter of Chasley Superman.
SHARP DRESSED GENTLEMAN (ZZ Top X Psychedelic Answer), 2004 bay stallion owned by Dennis Bontrager. This stallion has four white feet, a blaze and one blue eye (the right).
His paternal great grandsire is Cedar Creek Harlequin, a known producer of
chrome, and he has Orcland Leader, another source of
white, in his dam's lines.
Photo by Anne Wyland.
VS MORO MYSTIQUE (Blue Spruce High-Majestic X Moro Hill Mamosa), 2007 bay filly owned by Stonelake Morgans,
GA. "Misty" is a full Lippitt. She is linebred to two Lippitts who
had abundant white markings, Moro Hill Manito and Moro Hill Prophet. She traces to both stallions
several times, on both sides of her pedigree. As closely bred as Lippitts are, one would have thought we would have seen some
more chromed-out and blue eyed individuals before Misty. It is possible
that this is because of the selection against white markings
in the Lippitt gene pool, or due to rigorous culling during the time of the
White Rule (1962-1996). Photo courtesy of Misty's breeder, Brenda Vincent.
ANCAN TRUE COLORS (Fiddler's Blackriver X Aquila's Miss Bee Haven), 2002 palomino stallion owned by Anne Wyland,
Ancan Morgans, Davison, MI. "Blitz" has no white on his legs, but has
a skewed to one nostril, bottom heavy blaze
with straight edges, along with one mostly blue eye (his left eye is brown). Several of his
offspring (out of different mares) have flashy white markings and a partial blue eye.
The source of white here can only be speculated upon. It is probably coming through
Blitz's dam line, as his sire never produced another blue eyed individual- and
he sired 85 offspring.
Blitz's dam, Bee, only has white hind anklets for markings, but both of her parents have
white markings. Her sire Futurity Command is conservatively marked, but does have a star and snip. Bee's dam is
Aquila's Queen Bee, and behind her are several horses
liberally marked with white including Foxy's Cotton Queen, Foxfire
and Bonfire. Queen Bee's sire Paramounts' Nominee
(and his grandsire Paramount Ambassador) had a lot of white for a bay, including big snips. Other Aquila horses from these
same lines have a lot of white too, like Aquila's Top Command. First photo courtesy of Anne Wyland;
eye photo by Laura Behning.
ANCAN KODACHROME (Ancan True Colors X Nocturnal Melody), 2006 palomino
colt owned by Anne Singer-Mayden, Expat Morgans, Belgium.
"Koda" has one partially blue eye (his left), white on both hind and the right
fore as well as a big blaze. Photo courtesy of Anne Wyland.
ANCAN SAND PIPER (Ancan True Colors X Ancan Second Chance), 2006 palomino
filly bred by Anne Wyland, Ancan Morgans,
Davison, MI. Piper does not have any leg white but has a bottom heavy blaze (it
skews over to her left nostril, and there is a detached spot behind/above her
right nostril) and partial blue right eye. Piper is now owned by Sue Dixon of Ammolite Acres in Alberta, Canada.
SONDARLING'S GYPSY LOVE (Higuera Sondarling X Futurity's Passion), 2003 chestnut mare owned by
Anja Grell, Germany. Besides her star, offset snip and blue eye, this mare has a left fore partial coronet, left hind sock and right hind fetlock.
Several of her white markings have distal spots and she is also getting roan
hairs, likely indicating the presence of sabino. Her "chromed out" (white on all 4,
star and stripe) sire has produced other horses with belly spots and high white
more typical of sabino;
her dam has a star and a faint lopsided snip as her only white. There are two lines to Orcland
Leader, a known source of white, through Rapidan Apollo behind her dam.
NORCAL SPECIAL KITTEN (A Midnight Special X Kizzy's Kitten), 2006 bay filly owned by Gerry Paiva.
This filly has one mostly blue eye (her right) and one brown eye. Her white
markings consist of a star and snip and both hind fetlocks. While her sire is
marked only with a telltale snip, Kitten's paternal
grandsire is Farceur Morgan,
who has a lot of white, as does his sire, Kings River Morgan. Another son of Farceur Morgan who has produced blue eyed offspring on several occasions is the palomino
stallion Farceur's Fool's Gold. Photos courtesy of Gerry Paiva.
ICE FARCEUR'S HONEY (Farceur's Fool's Gold X CTM Whirlwin Romance), 2007 palomino filly owned by Ingela Isetoft
of Ice Morgans. Honey has one blue eye and
one brown eye and a crooked, spreading blaze which skews towards one nostril.
Shown on the left with her dam. Honey's white is probably coming from her
sire. Photos courtesy of Ingela Isetoft.
REGENCY CARROUSEL (Farceur's Fool's Gold X Aquila's Royal Satin), 2000 buckskin mare owned by Julia Allen Rose. Carrousel has one blue eye- the left- and one brown eye, a big blaze,
left fore and right hind white fetlocks, and a left hind sock. Like her half
sister Honey above, her markings may be coming through her sireline.
Photo courtesy of Erika Bronstrup.
GSV REMBRANDT (Spring Hills Finnlee X Prairie Hill Mercedes), a 2004 dark bay/brown gelding
owned by Valerie Larson-Lohr, has no white markings, but he does have one
beautiful blue eye! Often
horses who are thought to be "solid" have lighter areas of hoof horn visible
only when their otherwise black hooves are viewed from the bottom. This is
thought to be a white marking that simply did not extend up onto the limb. Tiny
snips of no more than a few hairs are frequently missed, as well. Rembrandt's
sire is marked with just a star, but his dam has a star, a snip and a hind
fetlock white. Photos courtesy of Jerri Ostendorf.
OUT OF ORDER (Whitmorr Law and Order X Molly Creegan),
2005 bay gelding owned by Carol Prindle, pictured on the left as a foal
and then as a two year old. He is marked with an off center, faint snip and the two blue eyes.
The leg white on this colt is very minimal- just two hind fetlocks. His sire Whitmorr
Law and Order has Serenity Flight Time behind him, which is a
line known for producing white markings. I have heard of several instances of blue eyes
from horses with close up Serenity Flight Time, including the
mare, Shock and Awe
(complete with blue eyes and white tipped tail) by his grandson, Cedar Creek
ULTRAS SPRIRIT OF THE LAW (Whitmorr Law & Order x Ultras America
Rising), 2005 chestnut gelding owned by Amy Bearman,
Bearsfield Morgan Farm. Pictured at the 2011 Michigan Futurity Show.
UNNAMED COLT (Homeward Middlebury x Bay State Narcissus), 2010 dark bay or brown. This cute colt's
flashy white and blue eyes came as a surprise to his breeders, the University of Massachusetts. Several
flashily marked (minus the blue eyes) have been sired by Middlebury, and the Orcland Leader lines behind his dam Narcissus are also known for producing white.
The "cut out" in the blaze is thought to be a sabino "thing", as well as the pointy topped in front back stockings. Photo courtesy of Erika Botman.
BATTERSEA PHOENIX (Battersea L'Enfant X Sunleaf's Sassafras), 1999
chestnut gelding owned by Carlton Huhn, pictured as a weanling. Photo by Lisa Holec.
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