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Splashed white (overo)

Icelandic: (the body colour)-slettuskjóttur, or -hjálmskjóttur.

English: Splash white.

German:  Klecksschecke.

Dansh:  Splashbroget or hættebroget

Swedish: Bukskäck.

Description: The the homozygous horse has a bodycolour with big white spots, with 4 white socks, a white belly and often white flanks , and a white face (bald face), and blue eyes. The back is usually not with white spots. A very rare colour.

Heterozygous splashed white horses can have all, a few or none of the five signs.

Some genetics:  The splashed white colour is on the Spl-locus.  This is an incomplete dominant gene (that is, sometimes you can see it’s expression/color on the horse, sometimes not), spl, that turns spots on the body into pigment-less areas, that is, white. All horse-colours can become splashed white.

If the horse carries the Spl gene, the phenotype (how the horse looks) can be very variating:

If the horse is heterozygous (has just one Spl gene), it could show the gene by having an extremely wide blaze (“helmet”), or having a wide and irregular blaze, it might have 1 or 2 blue eyes, it might have 1 or 2 socks. The heterozygous horse does not nessesarily show all these signs, just some of them, or none of them.  If the base color is black or bay, and the horse has a blue eye, it is very likely that it is heterozygous splash (chestnuts often have a “regular/normal” blaze, but if a black or bay horse has a blaze it is in most cases a splash carrier).

If the horse is heterozygous splash, it is common that you don’t see it at all, the horse just simply has no extra markings because of the gene.

If the horse is homozygous splash (has 2 splash genes), it will have 2 blue eyes, a wide white blaze, white socks, and a white belly spot (it can be big or very very small, I’ve seen belly spots the size of a fist)..

Foal color: You can see right from the start whether the foal is splash white or not, the white spots can be seen already on the newborn foal.

Pictures with examples of horses that are splash white, but with different expressions of the color, and with different base colors:

A bay splash white horse here below, showing all the typical signs for a homozygous splash white horse (a “true” splash white) very well.  The horse has a wide blaze that is a “helmet”, covering the chins and one of the eyes.  The horse has white socks on all legs, and a white belly spot (this belly spot is though so big that it goes all the way up to the back).  Both eyes are blue.  Click on the photos to see them bigger.

© Lukka.

© Lukka.

© Lukka.

© Lukka.

© Lukka.

© Lukka.

A blach splash white horse here below, showing all the typical signs for a homozygous splash white horse (a “true” splash white) very well.  The horse has a wide blaze that is a “helmet”, covering the chins and both eyes.  The horse has white socks on all legs, and a white distinctive belly spot.  Both eyes are blue.

© Lukka.

© Lukka.

© Lukka.

© Lukka.

A chestnut splash white horse here below, showing all the typical signs for a homozygous splash white horse (a “true” splash white) very well.  The horse has a wide blaze that is a “helmet”, covering the chins and one of the eyes.  The horse has white socks on all legs, and a white belly spot (that goes up to the flanks).  Both eyes are blue.  The father of this horse is chestnut, the mother is palomino/grey with a regular blaze, so both parents were hiding the fact that they carried splash white completely.

© Lukka.

© Lukka.

© Guðrún Guðmundsdóttir.

A black splash white horse here below, showing all the typical signs for a homozygous splash white horse (a “true” splash white) very well.  The horse has a wide blaze that is a “helmet”, covering the chins and  the eyes.  The horse has white socks on all legs, and a very tiny white belly spot (it can not be seen on this picture).  Both eyes are blue.

© Lukka.

A maximal chestnut splash white horse here below, showing all the typical signs for a homozygous splash white horse (a “true” splash white) very well (the “helmet”, blue eyes, socks), but the white spreads over almost all the body.  Both eyes are blue.  You can know for sure it is a homozygous splash white (and not tobiano carrying) horse by looking at her parents, her mother is bay with blaze and some white in one of her eyes, her father is black with blaze, one blue eye, and one sock.  So, the horse on the picture is not a tobiano, and both her parents were showing some signs of being heterozygous splash carriers,neither of them were tobiano.

© Lukka.

A heterozygous (carries 1 gene) black splash white carrier horse here below, showing typical signs for a heterozygous splash white horse very well.  The horse has a blaze even though the base color is black, and one of the eyes is blue (all the rest of the body is black).

 © Lukka.

Sometimes additional genes can complicate the expression of the color.  This foal has a tobiano pinto father and a splash white (heterozygous) carrying mother (that shows no signs of having splash white).  The foal is propably both tobiano pinto and heterozygous splash white, so both genes are making many areas of the body white, and the splash white creates the white helmet and the blue eyes.  There is thus not much colored area left on the body of the foal.  Sometimes tobiano causes horses to have blue eyes, so one can not be sure that this horse has splash, only based on this picture.

Again, a propably tobiano and heterozygous splash white foal.  This foal has a tobiano pinto mother and a splash white (heterozygous) carrying father.  The foal is both tobiano pinto and heterozygous splash white, so both genes are propbly making many areas of the body white, and the splash white propably creates the unregular blaze and the blue eyes.  There are thus not much colored areas left on the body of the foal.  The foal is 0ur Óskadís from Langhúsum.  Her mother is a regular chestnut tobiano, her father is a chestnut that conceals the fact that he carries splash, exept that he has one sock (and that is not a proof of having splash white), but he has had many offspring that show clear signs of carrying splash.

 © Lukka.

 © Lukka.

Óskadís, a few years later:

 © Lukka.

 © Lukka.

A silver dapple tobiano heterozygous splash white:

 © Lukka.

A silver dapple splash white, possibly tobiano also, I would have no idea exept by looking at the pedigree and it’s possible offspring:

  © Lukka.

Some heterozygous splash white carriers, with broad irregular blazes, blue eyes, and splash in their pedigree:

 © Chantal Jounkergouw.

 © Chantal Jounkergouw.

 © Chantal Jounkergouw.

Some “pure” splash whites, homozygous splash white (they carry two splash white genes):

 © Chantal Jounkergouw.

 © Chantal Jounkergouw.

These mother and baby might be tobiano and carrying splash, or they might be simple tobianos.  The irregular face markings give the hint that they might carry splash white, but the eyes are not blue, and we can not know for sure exept if they throw babies that are clearly splash white carriers (or by making a DNA test).

 © Lukka.

This horse has an all white body exept the forelock and ears, and the colored lip.  It has a splash white carrying parent and a tobiano parent, and is showing what can happen with a tobiano splash white, each color whitens out it’s areas of the body, untill almost no color is left, just the colored forelock and ears (click on the pictures to see details):

 © Lukka.

 © Lukka.