Date: December 2000
Q: Unfortunately, breed or color registries are not the best sources for
> definitions of color. For instance, the AQHA (correctly) registers yellow
> horses with black points as buckskins or duns depending on the presence or
> absence of a dorsal stripe. The best information is from geneticists, and
> the most accepted geneticist in horse color is Philip Sponenburg. He has
> written 2 books, the latter and better is Equine Color Genetics.
A: The various color registries in the USA have different rules to register
horses, the color defenitions for the various registries are often not the
same as the defenition for the color, look at the Palomino Registry for
example, they do not register all palominos. The AQHA defenition of
buckskin is the reason for much of the confusion about the buckskin color
in the USA. The misconception is that the dorsal stripe indicates a D locus
dilution, or in other words, if the golden buckskin has a dorsal stripe
they must also be dun.
This is not the case in for example the Akhal-Teke breed, the Swedish
Warmblood breed, the Gotland breed where buckskins often have dorsal
I guess a lot of Gotland ponies are registered as duns in the USA as the
buckskin ponies often have distinct dorsal stripes also many tekes are
probably faulty registrered as duns, the mistakes will only be corrected IF
the "dun" is bred to anothe "dun" or palomino and IF the offspring turns
out to be perlino or cremello.
The Arabian breed, the English TB and the Akhal-Tekes, being cultured for
thousands of years, do not carry the primitive D gene.
II: a point that we have mentioned some time ago on this list (or its
precursor), but some new members may not be aware of ---
in 'British English' (as opposed to 'American English') the word 'buckskin'
is not used. 'Dun' is used for this colour - i.e. both the D locus colour
and the cremello gene colour. This could be misleading! Tekes in Britain
therefore who are 'buckskins' are referred to here as 'dun'. This is
'incorrect' if you are thinking in American terminology, because it is not
the primitive factor; but in British terminology it is 'correct' because
here it does not imply the positive allele on the D locus, with dorsal
stripe, leg barring, base of tail colouration and other 'primitive'