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  1. #1
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    Question Color Enthusiast ~ Liver Chestnut: The "gateway for color"?

    Happy Friday Everyone! <Grin>

    I am interested in hearing opinions, or experiences (evidence) regarding whether Liver Chestnuts are the “color carriers”.

    Example: I am looking at Silver Dapple. This is what spurred this discussion.

    When looking at Silvers… it is very common to see it expressed (and registered as) on/as liver chestnut.

    So when looking at SD… I’ve figured out to find SD(s) that perhaps their owner’s may not know they are SD(s), I have started directly looking at Liver Chestnuts.

    The other week I mentioned to my operating partner…”I think…that color is expressed more on a liver chestnut base coat”..

    And then a few days later…while doing some internet research, I started seeing other threads/topics/opinions of the same theory.

    What I found was not specific to silver dapple. It was general in the palomino/buckskins, and of course the variation of shades.

    But the general thought was that when breeding a Liver Chestnut to a Palomino or a Buckskin (not cremello or perlino or Double Dilute)…that your odds of getting a single dilute foal by product, was increased.

    I haven’t had time to do full out research. But I thought it would be interested to see what fellow color enthusiast, thought or found to be true (so far) in their color breeding programs.

    Anyways: Thought it would be at least a fun Friday distraction! =)
    "Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game."



  2. #2
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    Liver Chestnut is my all time favorite color. Period.

    It's also the hardest to get, in my opinion.
    Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver, Equine Insurance Specialist



  3. #3
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    VB ~ In my later years.. I have to agree.

    It seems as long as I have had my own "ponies" (Regardless of how tall they are, they are always my "ponies") I have been "cursed" with REDS! And they say... once you own a red.. you will always have reds!

    So I am not a fan per-say of regular ol chestnut... (of course quality is quality regardless of color).

    After I got out of the horse scene for a bit, and came back into it just a few years ago... my first horse back...is...ta da... a liver chestnut.. and he's a chocoloately color with a Copper hue in the summer... GORGEOUS.

    So... When shopping for a mare for an upcoming breeding I have planned... of course I said... ANYTHING but Red or Gray...

    What did I end up with?

    Possibly (not confirmed yet) another Liver Chestnut... same stunning color as my gelding. And when I saw her (I can guarantee she is superb quality) the color, really was an added bonus and just "spoke" to me. lol...maybe it's b/c I am absolutely in love with my gelding <grin>.

    and fancy this.. the planned breeding IS a color breeding.. although it's to a Double Dilute so I KNOW I will get color...Liver Chestnut or not..

    But I'm hoping the Liver Chestnut base creates the "sootyness" on the foal <grin>
    "Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game."



  4. #4
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    I am with VB. It is my all time favourite color. What to know something strange? Usually when I find one and inquire about breeding, more often than not, one parent has been grey. No science here, just an observation.

    Have been in love with a mare I have seen at shows for the last 3 weeks. A big tank of a liver chestnut. She's by Last News. He's grey, a TB, lines we all should know here, and a stunning color and clipped. What's not to love! Trainer tired to argue she was bay. Look at the legs man! She ain't bay!

    Terri
    COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

    "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.



  5. #5
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    Too Funny Terri!

    And oh! and added mystery to the Liver Chestnut scenario...

    Will be something fun to correlate, see who jumps on here and whether their horse has a gray parent.

    Mine is out of a Bay mare by a Red stallion... so no grays there.. but will have to look out for it when I do searches.

    Interesting.

    and that's funny.. My boy can look bay too (at times) to the untrained eye, but most definitely liver!
    "Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game."



  6. #6
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    Dec. 27, 2006
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    If I understand what you're getting at - I just have to say that it would really be scientifically impossible for the non-dilute parent to influence whether or not the dilute gene is passed on by the other single dilute parent. The non-dilute parent (whether liver chestnut or otherwise) doesn't have a way to influence what genes get passed along by the other color gene donor.

    I would say any perceived increase in single dilute foals out of or by a single liver chestnut parent (when bred to a single dilute) is nothing more than coincidence.

    With that being said, there are may single dilute sires/broodmares that produce above the expected 50/50 dilute/non-dilute norm. I know of a silver bay QH stallion that passed along his silver gene (to non-silver mares) something like 80%+ of the time across two foal crops. Unfortunately he passed away before we could get a true average across a large number of foal crops.
    We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others, by their acts. ~Harold Nicolson



  7. #7
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    Thanks Talia,

    I know that it has not been "proven". But there has been more and more talk of it as of recent. And the color genetics of equines is still so perplex and mystifying no matter how far along we've come. There's still so much more to know, and we are making more progress and making new discoveries every day.

    I was just curious as to people's thoughts and or their experiences. To see if just by the comments on this thread, what the odds have been =)

    And to share the love of liver chestnuts and colors in general =)
    "Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game."



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Equilibrium
    I am with VB. It is my all time favourite color. What to know something strange? Usually when I find one and inquire about breeding, more often than not, one parent has been grey.

    Terri

    Let me chime back in ...........

    I have a chestnut TB broodmare (I LOVE her) who is the mother of those twins that were born on 2006. One is liver chestnut, one is not. Sire was a brown/bay.

    She has had two other foals, both grey, but she was bred to greys both times.

    This year she was bred to a black stallion. Wonder what color I'll get?????
    Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver, Equine Insurance Specialist



  9. #9
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    Jun. 24, 2005
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    Interesting re: the liver out of a grey hmmm...

    Wally is really dark chestnut - like port wine color and his sire was grey (not sure of the base color though). His dam was dark bay. I've debated having him tested for Agouti but in the end he is chestnut and carries sabino and am not sure if it 'proves' anything in the end to spend the $. Every year I hope to have one the same shade of chestnut...we've come close with Wizard but in the end it doesn't matter what color the foal is - as long as it is healthy.

    One of our broodmares - Emmy - is by a grey (base dark bay with a chestnut sire and grey dam) and she is a really dark liver chestnut. She's had 3 really dark chestnut foals by Wally but not quite as dark as he is. She is bred to a grey (base black and had a chestnut sire) and now I am very curious to see what color the foal is at birth.

    Interesting. Thanks for starting this thread!



  10. #10
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    From a breeder of mostly colored horses I have a bit of experience here.

    Liver chestnut is a red horse with possibly a sooty or smutty influence. It has no influence on the passing of the single cream gene (single dilute) from either a single or a double dilute mate....that is occuring within the eggs or sperm of that dilute mate. In theory a single dilute horse (say a palomino....red with a single cream) will pass that single cream along with a 50/50 chance at each breeding. This may or may not also equal 50% single dilute foals. My old palomino stallion sired single dilute foals about 80% of the time but each of those foals was conceived with a 50/50 chance of getting the cream gene. A red horse, BTW, won't make a buckskin foal unless the mate is black based, has a bay form of the agouti gene and has a single or double cream. My perlino is apparently a homozygous black, agouti and cream...so sires nothing but buckskins...won't sire smokey black or palomino. Haven't had him tested (should do) but of 14 horses in 3 generation pedigree 13 are black based with agouti and most with a single cream...the one red is third generation back. There is also a possibility that he has a dun gene (his sire is registered as buckskin but photos show a dorsal stripe so would have been a "dunskin"....dun plus cream on bay).

    Silver dapple that looks somewhat like liver chestnut is a black based color so the idea that chestnut would be more of a color carrier doesn't have anything to do with the result of silver on black based colors (black or bay). Silver only effects the black pigment so even though a red horse may carry it it won't show or cause any changes in the red horse's coloring... the red horse with silver that is bred to a black based horse would have a 50% chance of passing the silver (if the silver is heterozygous in the red horse). Depending on whether or not the black based horse was hetero or homozygous for black you would have a 50 to 100% chance of a black based foal...and that foal would have the 50% chance of silver being present....or a total of 25% chance to 50% chance of being both black based and silver.

    There is some thinking that chestnut horses are more inclined to allow for expression of white markings (Paint/Pinto)....I don't know the genetic mechanics of this but haven't noted it in my own Paint breeding...have black and bay Paints as well as chestnut/sorrel Paints and am getting approximately the same numbers of colored foals from each.



  11. #11
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    VB- You will have to update us when the foal arrives =)

    And Tasker - NP at all =)

    Coloredcowhorse:

    The example of the theory or suspicion that the red based coat colors allow for more expression of the white is kind of where I was going with the liver chestnut allowing for more expression of color.

    If you do a search, it does come up... at least the "talk of".

    The liver chestnut color has always intrigued me.

    My gelding has an almost black mane and tail, does actually have a good chunk of black through out it, the rest is a very deep brown/mahogany color and his legs are definitely about 3 shades darker then the rest of his body.. where as if he WAS a bay... he would have the black legs.

    In any sense, I sure hope if I do use this mare... and it's a DD stallion, so guaranteed some form of dilute... that at least the "sooty" part of the liver chestnut is correct, and it carries through to my foal. I also hope it's a filly <lol>!
    "Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game."



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DontStrikeOut View Post
    Thanks Talia,

    I know that it has not been "proven". But there has been more and more talk of it as of recent. And the color genetics of equines is still so perplex and mystifying no matter how far along we've come. There's still so much more to know, and we are making more progress and making new discoveries every day.
    Yes, I am someone who is personally VERY fascinated by color genetics. I researched color genes obsessively after I discovered that my own "dun" APHA mares were actually silver gene carriers.

    You may want to email UC Davis or some of the other DNA color testing labs for their thoughts on the topic. If there is any validity to the rumors I'm sure they have looked into it.

    To me, the thought that a non-dilute parent could somehow "pull" the dilute gene from the other single dilute parent just sounds, well, impossible.

    The other thing to consider is the fact that many breeders have a certain degree of color blindness when it comes to their foals. They tend to see what they want to see. There are many liver chestnuts that perfectly mimic a sooty palomino and vice versa. So the color that they want is what goes on the papers in lieu of having a DNA test done.

    I have many examples of this phenomena taking place. It is very common to see dark brown horses being marketed as black, liver chestnuts as sooty palomino, gray as blue roan etc. People just can't let the color that they hoped for go sometimes!
    We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others, by their acts. ~Harold Nicolson



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by DontStrikeOut View Post
    The example of the theory or suspicion that the red based coat colors allow for more expression of the white is kind of where I was going with the liver chestnut allowing for more expression of color.
    The theory that the gene for black (E) can be a suppressor of white markings has nothing to do with the likelihood of a gene being passed or not passed from a parent. In essence the theory is this:

    Red based foals (pali, sorrel, chestnut etc) that receive a white pattern gene from a parent will tend to have bigger, wilder white markings than a black based foal that receives the same type of white pattern gene from a parent.

    For example, here is a sorrel homozygous tobiano:

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3084/...2cb861b912.jpg

    Here is a black homozygous tobiano:

    http://ox.equinenow.com/equine/data/photos/192776_1.jpg

    The black homozygous tobiano is exhibiting some evidence of a white pattern suppressor, which in theory causes his white markings to be very minimal.

    Now, there are some VERY loud black based pintos around so this theory does obviously not apply to all cases. It happens frequently enough among black-based pintos however that the theory really can't be ignored.
    We are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others, by their acts. ~Harold Nicolson



  14. #14
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    Thanks Talia!!

    Good thing I like black/bay and minimal white <grin>
    "Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game."



  15. #15
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    LIver chestnut with four socks and a star has given us black, bay and live chestnut with four socks and a star many times over. Lots of oil spots, roaning, stripes, white birdcatcher spots etc too.
    Love those blingy liver chestnuts!
    Anne
    -------
    "Where knowledge ends violence begins." B. Ljundquist



  16. #16
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    ^^ COTH really does need a like button. "Like" Anne! <lol>

    That's my gelding... Liver chestnut, heavily roaned, 3 socks (range from minimal to taller) star and stripe.

    and TB all the way =)

    Now.. if only he was a mare..<grin>

    I loff him no matter what though <smile>
    "Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game."



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tasker View Post
    Interesting re: the liver out of a grey hmmm...

    Wally is really dark chestnut - like port wine color and his sire was grey (not sure of the base color though). His dam was dark bay. I've debated having him tested for Agouti but in the end he is chestnut and carries sabino and am not sure if it 'proves' anything in the end to spend the $. Every year I hope to have one the same shade of chestnut...we've come close with Wizard but in the end it doesn't matter what color the foal is - as long as it is healthy.

    One of our broodmares - Emmy - is by a grey (base dark bay with a chestnut sire and grey dam) and she is a really dark liver chestnut. She's had 3 really dark chestnut foals by Wally but not quite as dark as he is. She is bred to a grey (base black and had a chestnut sire) and now I am very curious to see what color the foal is at birth.

    Interesting. Thanks for starting this thread!
    Since your mare is dark chestnut and is bred to a heterozygous-for-black horse that is also hetero for gray...you have 50% chance of chestnut or of black based and each of those has 50% chance of graying with age.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DontStrikeOut View Post
    ...

    Will be something fun to correlate, see who jumps on here and whether their horse has a gray parent.
    I have a liver chestnut gelding who is by a grey or roan sire out of a chestnut mare. He has 2 socks, a star, strip and snip. He's a deep mahogany color, with a lot of darker mottling.



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaliaCristianna View Post
    The other thing to consider is the fact that many breeders have a certain degree of color blindness when it comes to their foals. So the color that they want is what goes on the papers in lieu of having a DNA test done.

    I have many examples of this phenomena taking place. It is very common to see dark brown horses being marketed as black, liver chestnuts as sooty palomino, gray as blue roan etc. People just can't let the color that they hoped for go sometimes!
    Sometimes too it is the increased registration fees as the foal gets older that encourages breeders to register quickly ...and foal coats are sometimes very, very different from adult coats so what you see as a breeder with a foal may be very different from what that same horse looks like as an adult. Add in that not all registries recognize all colors and you have to go with the nearest approximation and things get to being confusing. AND there are plenty of breeders who don't know squat about colors....not recognizing for instance that roan and gray are NOT the same thing (plenty of misregistered horses in this pair of colors). Lots of people don't know that a gray HAS to have a gray parent, a roan HAS to have a roan parent, a single cream dilute HAS to have a cream dilute parent (this one gets lots of folks when a smokey black is the single dilute parent of a buckskin or better yet, a palomino...they will swear that the "palomino gene" skips generations), a dun HAS to have a dun parent, etc. And then you get the combo colors....dun plus cream, roan plus gray etc.....makes things interesting. Even fewer know about silver, champagne and pearl for instance.

    I would personally like to see color testing required for registration of any horse claiming to be one of the exotic colors. I too have seen more than a few bright chestnuts with flaxen manes/tails registered as palomino (same with sooty liver chestnuts with lots of flaxen), bays with countershaded dorsals registered as duns, etc. And I'd like to see the registries (esp AQHA and APHA) list colors that are combos (AQHA at least allows notation to be made on the papers now so a red dun with cream...a "dunalino"...will have that notation on the papers if the person registering it requests...don't know that they require testing to prove it though which I think they should).



  20. #20
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    VABred, check out my 2008 colt that was out of a gray (flea-bitten) mare by a black stallion (bottom of page):
    http://www.summerwoodwelsh.com/Youngstock.html

    The Society called him a "liver cream". I tested him for the silver gene, he doesn't have it. Those are dark dapples under his coat. Isn't he wild?

    I have a liver chestnut sabino mare (she tends to look chestnut if she is sun-faded), she does not have a grey parent.



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