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A true palomino has one cremello allele and is homozygous chestnut (sorrel). The Palomino Horse Breeders of America, Inc. (PHBA) registers palominos of several breeds. They must have a body coat color close to that of fourteen-karat gold, and a white mane and tail (no more than 15% other colored hairs). By contrast, the Palomino Horse Association (PHA) registers both palominos and cremellos. This provides an advantage to breeders. Here is why.

If you breed one palomino to another, on the average, half of their offspring will be palominos, one quarter sorrels, and one quarter cremellos. A palomino bred to a sorrel has a 50% chance of throwing a palomino and 50% chance of a sorrel. On the other hand, if you breed a cream-colored horse that is both homozygous chestnut and cremello to a sorrel, you will always get a palomino. This is the only way to 100% guarantee that your foal will be a palomino.

The problem is, you cannot tell whether a cream-colored horse is homozygous cremello just by looking. For example, a horse that combines one cremello allele with a champagne or silver dapple allele can look like a cremello.

A silver dapple or champagne horse can also appear to be a palomino without having a cremello allele. A horse with the silver dapple allele can look like a sorrel, but carry bay alleles. If you breed these false sorrels or palominos, they can throw surprise colors.

Genetic tests for homozygous cremello and chestnut alleles can guarantee 100% success at palomino breeding.

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Palomino Horse Breeders of America
15253 E. Skelly Drive,
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74116-2637
918-438-1234 Phone
918-438-1232 Fax

Palomino Horse Association
HC 63. Box 24, Dornsife, PA 17823.
Telephone (570) 758-3067
Fax (570) 758-5336

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