Horse Science Reference from C.H.I.P.S.

Equine Color Genetics
Third edition
by D. Phillip Sponenberg

Equine Color Genetics, Third edition presents the most recent advances in color genetics for breeders of horses, donkeys, and mules.

The book provides valuable information that enables breeders to tailor their breeding programs to maximize desired color outcomes and minimize undesired color. The text bridges the gap between the scientific and lay communities without ignoring the intricate and complex issues involved in horse and donkey color genetics.

Special features:

  • Details the genetic basis of five new colors
  • Provides an explanation of genetic mechanisms that determine colors
  • Explains each color through the interactions of genetic phenomena that build the colors step by step
  • Examines patterns of white hair that may be superimposed on colors
  • Treats donkey color in a separate section


1. Introduction

  • Basic Considerations of Horse Color Identification
  • Basic Principles of Genetics
  • Pigments in Horses
  • Pigment Cell Function

2. Basic Dark Horse Colors: Bay, Chestnut, Black, and Brown

  • Bay, Chestnut, and Black: Definition and Classification
  • Bay, Chestnut, and Black: Genetic Control
  • Dominant Black
  • Two Subtypes of Bay: Wild Bay and Bay
  • Seal Brown
  • General Factors Modifying Bay, Chestnut, and Black
  • Sorrel: Def
  • Mane and Tail Color on Chestnut and Sorrel: Gen
  • Bend Or Spots
  • Dapples

3. Colors Built from the Basic Colors

  • Linebacked Dun: Definition and Classification
  • Linebacked Dun: Genetic Control
  • Cream-related Colors: Definition and Classification
  • Cream-related Colors: Genetic Control
  • Champagne: Definition and Classification
  • Champagne: Genetic Control
  • Pearl: Definition, Classification, and Genetic Control
  • Silver Dapple: Definition and Classification
  • Silver Dapple: Genetic Control
  • Mushroom: Definition, Classification, and Genetic Control
  • Other Dilutions
  • Compound Dilute Colors
  • Brindle
  • Eye Color
  • Foal Color
  • Summary of the Genetic Control of Horse Color

4. Patterns of White

  • General Considerations
  • Patterns with Individual White Hairs: Grey and Roan
  • Patterns with Nonsymmetric Patches of White: White Mar….
  • White
  • Patterns of White with Symmetric White Patches: The Leopard
  • Leopard Complex: Definition and Classification
  • Leopard Complex: Genetic Control
  • Patterns of White Summary

5. Horse Color and Horse Breeding

6. Peculiarities of Hair Growth

7. Donkey Color

  • Patterns of White Genetics of Donkey Color Summary of Donkey Color Hair Growth in Donkeys

8. Color Photographs


  1. Color Names by Category
  2. Loci, Alleles, and Effects
  3. UsualGenotypes of Major Colors
  4. Alleles Present in Representative Breeds in the USA
  5. Expected Results of Crossing Various Colors
  6. Unpublished Data Supporting Conclusions


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Equine Color Genetics
Third edition
by D. Phillip Sponenberg

2009 • 277 pages • $78.95 + shipping
Texas residents please add 6.75 % sales tax

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