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Table of Contents 

  1. What are my color possibilities?
  2. What is the Champagne horse?
  3. How does the dilution gene work?
  4. What does LFG and LCFG mean?
  5. When is the best time to breed my mare?
  6. Will I be able to register my grade mares foal?

What are my color possibilities?

Scottish Five Bar

Mares Color Foals Color
Sorrel

Sorrel, Bay, Brown, Gold Champagne, Amber Champagne, or Sable Champagne

Bay Bay, Sorrel, Black, Brown, Amber Champagne, Gold champagne, Sable Champagne, or Classic Champagne
Black Bay, Sorrel, Black, Brown, Amber Champagne, Gold champagne, Sable Champagne, or Classic Champagne
Palomino Sorrel, Bay, Palomino, Buckskin, Amber champagne, Gold champagne, Ivory Champagne
Buckskin Sorrel, Bay, Palomino, Buckskin, Amber champagne, Gold champagne, Ivory Champagne
Perlino Buckskin, Palomino, Ivory Champagne
Cremello Buckskin, Palomino, Ivory Champagne

Two Eyed Champagne

Mares Color Foals Color
Sorrel

Sorrel, Bay, Brown, Gold Champagne, Amber Champagne, or Sable Champagne

Bay Bay, Sorrel, Black, Brown, Amber Champagne, Gold champagne, Sable Champagne, or Classic Champagne
Black Bay, Sorrel, Black, Brown, Amber Champagne, Gold champagne, Sable Champagne, or Classic Champagne
Palomino Sorrel, Bay, Palomino, Buckskin, Amber champagne, Gold champagne, Ivory Champagne
Buckskin Sorrel, Bay, Palomino, Buckskin, Amber champagne, Gold champagne, Ivory Champagne
Perlino Buckskin, Palomino, Ivory Champagne
Cremello Buckskin, Palomino, Ivory Champagne

Dudes Moon Dust

Mares Color Foals Color
Sorrel

Palomino, or Buckskin

Bay Palomino or Buckskin
Black Palomino or Buckskin
Palomino Palomino, Buckskin, Perlino, Cremello
Buckskin Palomino, Buckskin, Perlino, Cremello
Perlino Perlino or Cremello
Cremello Perlino or Cremello

Docs Gold Dakota

Mares Color Foals Color
Sorrel Palomino or Sorrel
Bay Buckskin, Palomino, Sorrel or Bay
Black Black, Smokey Black, palomino, Buckskin, Bay, Sorrel
Palomino Palomino, Cremello, Sorrel
Buckskin Buckskin, Palomino, Perlino, Cremello, Bay, Sorrel
Perlino Perlino, Cremello, Palomino, Buckskin
Cremello Perlino, Cremello, Palomino, Buckskin

 

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What is the Champagne horse?

Originally written by Karen Malcor-Chapman

You can see more of this artical along with other champagne information on http://www.champagnehorses.net/

Champagne  is ONE of the FOUR known dilution genes in horses!  The others are Creme (that makes Palomino, Buckskin, etc.); Dun; and Silver Dapple.

Champagne as a color gene has been around for a long time - but it's only recently (the past decade or so) been named and understood to be a separate gene. The American Cream Draft  Horse breed seems to have begun in 1911 with a light Gold or Ivory Champagne mare. In the 1940’s, there was printed speculation that the “pink skinned palominos” might have different  genetics than regular Palominos.  Champagne is currently found primarily in Tennessee Walking Horses, Missouri Foxtrotters, American Saddlebreds and Quarter Horses - also in crosses and related breeds (Appaloosa, Paint, Part-Arabians, etc.).

Champagne is a simple dominant dilution GENE... dominant means that if a horse carries one copy of the gene, it will show the characteristics. If your horse carries the Champagne gene, it will BE Champagne. Other dominant genes include Grey, Tobiano, Creme (Palomino/Buckskin), Dun, etc. The Champagne gene seems to function in many ways aside  from simply diluting a horse's coat color (as the Creme gene does) because it also affects skin and eye color.  Because the Champagne gene is a simple dominant, your horse MUST have at least one Champagne parent in order to be a Champagne!

Until there is a DNA test for Champagne, the most accurate way to identify a Champagne  horse is to have known it from birth. A Champagne horse must have at least one Champagne parent. Their foal coats are usually darker in color than their adult coats - the opposite of most  other colors. Champagnes are born with bright pink skin and bright blue eyes that take a long time to change, but usually become hazel or amber by adulthood.*

*This can sometimes confuse people, as palominos and chestnuts are also born with pink  skin, but their skin begins to change to dark within a few days, while a Champagne will stay pink-skinned to some degree throughout it's life. Some dilutes are also born with bluish eyes, but, again, these begin to change rapidly instead of the slow change that Champagnes do. Appaloosas also have mottled skin, but it's unrelated to the Champagne gene (unless you have a Champagne Appaloosa.)

Most Champagnes have a metallic "glow" about them in their summer coats, but this "glow"  is also found in non-Champagne colors. Champagnes also often have "reverse dappling" - but so do other colors. It's just that the "glow" and the reverse dappling often go hand-in-hand with  the Champagne gene.

There is some evidence that a homozygous Champagne will look the same as a heterozygous  Champagne, but when bred the homozygote will produce 100% Champagnes as opposed to the statistical 50% of the heterozygote.

 What Champagne is not!

Champagne is not a recessive gene - you can not have a horse that "carries" a hidden Champagne gene. If your horse has the gene, it will BE Champagne.

Champagne is not a SHADE of another color. A light-colored Palomino, Buckskin or Dun is  not a Champagne even if it has a light "champagne-colored" coat. Champagne is a genetic color, not a "descriptive" color.

Champagne is not JUST a metallic "glow" - this same metallic "glow" can happen in just  about any breed or color of horse. Ditto with the reverse dappling color - while common in Champagnes, it can and does happen in other colors.

Champagne is notJUST a foal born with pink skin and blue eyes, either!  All chestnut-based foals (non-grey) will be born with pink skin, and many foals who carry dilution genes of any kind are born with blue eyes!  So a palomino foal born with blue eyes and pink skin is not  automatically a Champagne... the skin color on such a foal will darken rather than mottle, and the eyes will change faster than a Champagne’s will.

As you can see, it takes some detective work and some experience to be sure that what you’re seeing is really the Champagne gene at work, or a variation of a different color!

 

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How does the dilution gene work?

The Basics

All horses carry two color genes. A basic dilute horse is Palomino, Buckskin, or Smokey Black. A Palomino carries one red gene and one dilute gene, a buckskin carries one bay gene and one dilute gene, and a Smokey Black carries one Black gene and one Dilute gene.

Now if you have a sorrel it carries two red genes, therefore it can only pass on a red gene copy to its foals. If you breed it to a Palomino you will only have a 50% chance of getting another palomino, since a palomino carries a red gene and a dilute gene.

Some bays can carry a red gene and a bay gene but in this case we will say it is a bay with two bay genes, therefore it can only pass on a bay gene (eg. black legs, mane, tail, tip of ears). So breeding it to a palomino or a buckskin will give you a 50% chance of a buckskin.

Double Dilutes

In order to guarantee a dilute foal you will have to breed to a Cremello or a Perlino, these are double dilutes meaning they carry two dilute genes and can only pass on a dilute gene to their foals.

A Cremello is a double dilute sorrel. These horses have blue eyes and pink skin, they are NOT albinos. They can only pass on a dilute color to all their foals resulting in 100% color offspring.

A Perlino is a double dilute bay. These horses have a darker mane and tail than the cremello. They have blue eyes and pink skin they are NOT albinos. They carry two copies of the dilute gene, but they also carry the agouti gene, this gene is the black points. So they can sire a buckskin foal from a sorrel mare.

 

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What does LFG and LCFG mean?

LFG means Live Foal Guaranteed - this is usually described by a foal that stands and nurses.

LCFG means Live Color Foal Guaranteed - this is a guarantee on a live color foal, and is usually offered by horses that are homozygous dilute (cremello, or perlino), homozygous black, or homozygous tobiano.

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When is the best time to breed my mare?

A natural breeding season for the equine starts when the days lengthen, usually around March to August. This allows for foals to be born in the warm part of the year. However some people wish to have early foals for the purpose of registration associations rules. To bring a mare into early estrus you would need to trick her body into thinking it is summer by placing her under lights and blanketing her. However if you do not have a safe warm place for her to foal in the winter time, it is best not to do this. So for the average person the best time to breed a mare is during the summer months between March to August a horses natural breeding season.

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Will I be able to register my grade mares foal?

You will not be able to register a grade mares foal with the AQHA or APHA. However if you have a color foal such as a Champagne, Buckskin, or Palomino you could register these with the corresponding color registries. Please visit their websites to learn more about this.

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