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Breeding for Dilute Colors, continued ...

Buckskin (non-lineback)

Buckskins that lack linebacks do not carry the dun allele. They are heterozygous for the cremello allele, and carry one or two bay alleles. Cremello is partially dominant, meaning it has a partial effect if heterozygous and much stronger if homozygous.

A single cremello allele only affects red. It turns red to gold in the body, and red to white in the mane and tail. Two copies will make a horse a shade of cream (also called crème or perlino) with blue eyes and pink skin.

Some apparent buckskins owe their appearance to the champagne or silver dapple alleles. These horses can throw unexpected colors. A tip off is that their points are not pure black.

A mating between buckskins that are both heterozygous cremello and homozygous bay has one chance in four of throwing a crème-colored (cremello) foal, one chance in four of a bay, and one chance in two of a buckskin. If the parents are not homozygous bays, the probability of cremello is the same, both buckskin and bay are less likely, and they might throw a palomino or sorrel.

A problem with getting crème foals is that you cannot register them with either the American Buckskin Registry Association or the American Quarter Horse Association.

If you breed a buckskin to a homozygous lineback dun, you will always get a lineback foal. If the lineback is heterozygous dun, you have a 50% chance of getting a lineback. Depending upon the presence of chestnut alleles in the parents, you also could get buckskin, palomino, lineback palomino (which cannot be registered as a buckskin or palomino), or sorrel or bay.

You can be almost 100% certain of getting a buckskin if one parent is homozygous cremello, either parent is homozygous bay and no more than one parent carries the recessive black allele.

There are genetic tests for the chestnut, recessive black, and cremello alleles. By ruling out chestnut or recessive black alleles in a bay or buckskin, you can be certain it is homozygous bay. The wild card in such a breeding would be a case in which the cremello horse hides a dominant black allele. Dominant black is rare, so it is unlikely to create a surprise foal.

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American Buckskin Registry Association
P.O. Box 3850
Redding, CA 96049
(530) 223-1420

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