Photos courtesy Angélique Levert
The discovery of Splashed White 5 in a family of Paints made waves in 2019, and the January/February 2020 Paint Horse Journal has the details on this exciting new development for Paint Horses.
APHA’s partner labs—Etalon Diagnostics and University of California–Davis—now offer testing for Splashed White 5, giving Paint Horse owners access to this new genetic information.
Testing for Splashed White 5 is now included as part of the UC–Davis/APHA Splashed White testing and the APHA Color/Pattern Panel (since December 2019).
If your horse was tested through APHA prior to December 2019, you can request reassessment of his test results for Splashed White 5 by contacting APHA. Email email@example.com for more information.
Note: UC–Davis recently discovered Splashed White 6 — watch apha.com for more info on this exciting discovery and testing info!
Testing for Splashed White 5 through Etalon is not included on the All-Inclusive Mini-Panel, but is available as an a la carte option for horse owners for a $40 fee; a DNA recording fee might be charged by APHA if the horse does not already have Etalon results on file with APHA.
To request the Splashed White 5 test from Etalon, log in to your account at etalondiagnostics.com and select the applicable horse. Then, select the “Single Test” option; you’ll write in the requested test on the testing kit printout before sending it to Etalon for analysis.
Learn More About SW5
Splashed White 5 was discovered in 2019 through a partnership between the University of Bern and Etalon Diagnostics. It’s found on the MITF gene, which is also the genetic home to Splashed White 1 and Splashed White 3. Though research into Splashed White 5 is new, the following characteristics seem to be associated with this pattern:
- Bald face
- Blue eye(s)
- White lower legs, with markings sometimes extending on the barrel/abdomen (“dipped in paint” look)
- Associated deafness in some, but not all, horses
“There are many different white-spotting phenotypes in horses,” said equine genetics researcher Tosso Leeb, Ph.D., of the University of Bern in Switzerland. “Often the exact genotype cannot be solely determined by looking at the phenotype of a horse and/or the genotypes of the parents, so breeders need to know whether a horse carries SW5 or not.”
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The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded. APHA promotes, preserves and provides meaningful experiences with Paint Horses.