Splashed white is one of the overo pinto patterns and it is the
most recent color that has been discovered to exist in the Morgan breed (April 2005). Splashed white is
an incomplete dominant. What this means is that heterozygous splashes
(one splash gene and one "non splash") have less
white than homozygous splashes (two splash genes)- the gene has an additive effect when there are
two of them present. It is like the cream gene in this respect. There are three splash mutations
(SW1, SW2 and SW3) that have been identified
so far, and the splash test checks for all three. So far, only SW1 has
been found in Morgans. SW2 and SW3 are found only in the stock
horse breeds, and appear to be embryonic lethals (affected foals
die in the embryonic stage) when homozygous, unlike SW1 which
is not. Click on any picture to enlarge
Heterozygous splashes can actually mimic "solids", as their markings can be so minimal. Sometimes only a "bottom heavy"
face marking (which may be just a tiny lopsided snip) and/or one or two blue eyes (or a
partial blue eye) gives a clue that the horse is actually carrying splash.
However, there are Morgans who have tested positive for splash who have no more
indication of their splash gene than a few white hairs on their forehead or a
bit of white on a heel. While heterozygous splashes may be very
minimally marked, homozygous splashes have more flamboyant white markings on the
body. These markings are smooth edged and spread upwards from the horse's
underside. The horse looks as though it was dipped, feet-first, in white paint.
They often have a white or white- tipped tail. Generally both eyes are blue.
that are confirmed (by testing) to be carrying splash include
descendants of Royal Glo (found in horses
from the Marvelous Morgans breeding program); Old Ways Bimbeau (and
other descendants of the blue eyed splash mare Lady in Lace, who is
in his pedigree as well as other horses with the "Sweet's" prefix); and
Morgans from the cross of Windover Enchantmint on Icestone
Whitewing (found in horses from Vicki Greer's W-B prefix). All of these splash lines go back to the
same old Midwest breeding through a mare foaled in 1913 named
Byrrh (Handy Allen x Abner Royce Mare) via two of her offspring,
Archie O or his full sister Rose Bay. A third offspring of Byrrh, the
stallion Selim’s Best, also appears in one of the three splash source pedigrees.
Interestingly, most of these ancestral splashes had very little white, which
perhaps explains how they were bred on during a time when excessive white was
Although blue eyes may be due to other
causes (for example the frame overo gene), the consistent appearance of blue eyes in a family or bloodline
may be a good indicator that the splash gene is present. There may be additional
lines that carry this pattern, and it is hoped that the test for splash will
identify them. If you have a blue eyed Morgan, get it tested for splash and let
us know the results! We would
love to feature it on this page. Please email pictures to Laura Behning.
ULTRA'S T PARTY (Menomin Flash Dancer x AMHF Absolut Miss T) 2005 chestnut mare, with her 2016 chestnut splash filly
ROSERIDGE HIGH COTTON (raf), by the splash stallion UDM White Water. T Party's
sabino-like markings are coming from her similarly marked sire who can be seen
on our Sabino, W20 and unexplained markings page.
OREGON COUNTRY FLASH (RDK's Oregon Rising Son x Marvelous Ima Darling) 2013 palomino splash stallion
bred and photographed by Carol Dombrowsky.
OREGON ICE ON FIRE (PT Cruiser x Oregon Gold n Ebony) 2004 chestnut splash mare
bred by Carol Dombrowsky
and owned by Carla Resh.
"Cinder's" splash gene comes from her dam, who goes back to the splash stallion Marvelous Gem.
MARVELOUS PORTIA (Marvelous Intrigue x MEMC Ladyhawke) 2011 buckskin splash
mare bred by Dale and Susan Beach. Photo by Carol Dombrowsky.
W-B BLUE BARRY (W-B Royal Blue x W-B Encasemint) 2004 chestnut splash stallion owned by Laurie Faust, MLB Morgans. Barry is a very dark
shade of chestnut and is often mistaken for black.
ROSERIDGE TEMPEST (UDM White Water x Baymount's Tiana), 2014 bay splash mare (pictured as a yearling) owned by Gloria James. "Tess" tested homozygous for splash. She does have a belly spot that is not seen in this photo.
WESTWIND MEDICINE HAT (Old Ways Bimbeau x Westwind Hazel Run) 2014 chestnut splash (homozygous) filly bred by Bryan Blatt,
Westwind Morgans. "Hattie"
is the first 100% Foundation homozygous splash in the breed. Of the handful of homozygous
splashes in the breed currently, she also has the distinction of having the most white!
Owned by Pat Wilson. Foal photos courtesy of Bryan Blatt, adult picture courtesy
of Nikki Atkins.
UDM INDIAN SUMMER (UDM Fortune in Gold x Shahaylee), 2008 buckskin splash
gelding owned by Karen Burridge, Upson Downs Morgans. "Dusty" is somewhat
unusual among heterozygous splashes in that he has four white feet but little concurrent facial white.
UDM HIGH WATERS (Sharp Dressed Gentleman x Shahaylee), 2009 bay splash stallion
(deceased) owned by Karen Burridge, Upson Downs Morgans. He is pictured on the right at the 2013 Citrus Cup, with Rick Gervasio, up. Photo by Tami Johnson.
MARVELOUS MAGIC MOMENT (Marvelous Intrigue x Marvelous Moon-Glo) 2004 black heterozygous splash (tested/confirmed) mare. Her
splash expression is so minimal as to consist of just a few white hairs on her forehead and a tiny spot of white on
her left front heel. Photo courtesy of Sue Beach, Beach's Triple T Ranch.
UDM SAVANNAH (Faircrest Dark Knight x Shahaylee), 2013 bay splash filly owned by Upson Downs Morgans, Gainesville, FL. Photos courtesy of Karen Burridge.
FCR MAGIC ACT (BFM SWT Chuckanut Jubilee x Mist Chief Mistara) 2009 chestnut splash stallion owned by Jennifer Murdock,
Can-Do Morgans, Pavillion, WY.
STONELAKE WILD MONTANA SKY (Adiel's Snicker Zip x R Two Golden Amber), 2010 buckskin splash
mare (pictured as a foal) owned by Sue Martin,
Stonelake Morgans. Although many single cream dilute foals can have blue-ish eyes, this filly's is due to the splash gene she inherited from her sire. Her left eye is
The late MARVELOUS PICASSO (Marvelous Intrigue x MEMC Ladyhawke), 2011
bay splash colt owned by
Beach's Triple T Ranch. Photos courtesy of Sue Beach.
JOURNEY'S MADE TO ORDER (Adiel's Snicker Zip x Journey's Rumour Hasit), 2010 bay splash filly owned by
Mia-Mar Morgans. "Maddie" caused much excitement in the
colorful Morgan community when she was foaled, as she was the first homozygous splash
to be born in several years, and the first one to have so much white. Maddie,
her parents and relatives participated in a study of splash by Dr. Samantha Brooks at Cornell. Maddie tested negative for both frame and tobiano, not unexpected as tobiano is
not known to exist in Morgans and frame is extremely rare. Photos by Laura Behning.
BAYMOUNT'S TIANA (Marvelous Intrigue x Marble Mtn Splendor) 2008 bay splash
mare (pictured as a suckling) owned by Gloria James, Roseridge Morgans, WA. Tiana's sire is a known splash producer
and the sire of the only known homozygous splash mare, Shahaylee, who can be seen elsewhere on this page.
SWEET D SPLASH OF CLASS (Oldways Bimbeau x Treasure Artemesia), 2008
flaxen chestnut gelding owned by Heather Hotaling. Besides his blue right eye
(left is brown) and blaze this colt also has four white legs, suggestive of the
splash gene. His sire is a known splash producer.
SKYLOFT DREAM CATCHER, 2006 bay splash colt (Medicine Wheel Jubilee X Rosewind Summer Dream),
The dam of this colt has no white markings, indicating the splash gene is most likely coming from his more "chromed out" sireline to Old Ways Bimbeau.
He had two blue eyes and the typical twisty, skewed to one side, bottom heavy
blaze often found on the more minimally marked splashes. He was owned by Jennifer Hartwell of Skyloft Morgans. Photos courtesy of Roger White.
JOURNEY'S DOUBLETAKE (Medicine Wheel Jubilee X Silvershoe Shadys Sadie) 2006 black splash colt owned
by Stonelake Morgans in GA. The dam of this colt
(shown with him in the middle picture) has no white markings, so like his half brother Skyloft Dream Catcher,
and half sister, Journey's Rumour Hasit, it is
most likely he is getting his splash gene from his sire, a son of Old Ways Bimbeau.
Note the crooked, offset star and snip and his blue eye on the right side, all
signs of splash. Foal photos courtesy of Kathleen Fisher; yearling photo
courtesy of Sue Martin.
JOURNEY'S RUMOUR HASIT (Medicine Wheel Jubilee X Arapaho Angel Dust),
2006 palomino splash mare owned by Sue Martin, Stonelake Morgans. This mare has one half blue
eye, her right, along with a blaze and 3 white feet. Two of her paternal half
brothers are also splash and are pictured elsewhere on this page. Her first foal is the homozygous, body spotted splash Journey's Made to Order,
pictured with her in the second photo (courtesy of Kathleen Fisher).
MEMC ON TARGET
(MEMC Crown Royal X WB Her Royal Highness), 2007 buckskin homozygous splash
gelding owned/bred by MEMC Morgans.
The more flamboyant homozygous expression of splash includes white extending up
onto the body from below; the horse looks as though it was dipped in paint. Photos courtesy of Jennifer Monroe.
The dam of MEMC On Target is WB HER ROYAL HIGHNESS (WB Enchantmint X Icestone Whitewing),
1997 black chestnut sabino + splash mare. While this mare's pattern is typical of sabino- white that travels up the hind legs into a pointed shape, with detached white above it, and dark spots
within her blaze- her son MEMC On Target proves that she is carrying the splash white pattern as well. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Monroe.
MEMC CROWN ROYAL (Robbi-Sue's Mr. Alert X King Blaze Mint), 2003 buckskin
sabino + splash stallion pictured as a two year old. "Caesar" has four white socks, a large blaze with
a white chin and a partial blue eye on the right side- a tip-off that he is
carrying the splash gene. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Monroe.
All three pictures above are of SHAHAYLEE (Marvelous Intrigue X Marvelous Phophecy), a 1994 bay splash
(homozygous) mare owned
by Karen Burridge. Shahaylee is the horse that made Morgandom aware of the existence of
splash in the Morgan breed. When she came to my attention in April of 2005, I really was not sure what type of pinto she was, and
neither was her then-owner, Liz Alanne! I showed her pictures to friends knowledgeable about pinto patterns and shared them online.
Some folks thought she was a splash white; others, a sabino/frame combination. Frame overos have dark legs, but
it was thought that the white on her legs
could be from sabino. Sabinos with this much leg white, however, generally have white lower lips, and this mare has no white on her lower
lip at all. Sabino leg white generally comes to a point at the front of the leg, not blunted off as this mare's leg white is. Tobiano is not known to exist at all in Morgans and was quickly ruled out as tobianos generally have white on the topline or in the tail.
At that time, the splash test did not exist.
I emailed Dr. Phil Sponenberg, author of EQUINE COLOR GENETICS, and he responded
"This one is tough. She is most likely a splashed white, but could be an odd sort of frame. Sabino is unlikely, although some sabinos
are indeed this "nonroan" type." Elizabeth then had Shahaylee tested for Lethal White Overo and the results were negative, proving she is
not a frame overo.
Shahaylee's coloring traces back to the mare Royal Glo (Emerald's Aristocrat X Caven Glo Saguaro). I
learned from her owner Eleanore Mason that Royal-Glo had produced several blue eyed foals (at the time, unregisterable) from different sires. Shahaylee traces to Royal Glo on both sides of her pedigree. Getting a splash gene from both parents
resulted in Shahaylee's homozygous, full blown expression of the splash pattern.
All photos courtesy of Liz Alanne. For more about Shahaylee and the splash white
pattern, see the article MAKING A SPLASH: THE STORY OF SHAHAYLEE from the April
2007 issue of THE MORGAN
A close-up of the left side of Shahaylee's face, showing one of her blue eyes.
Shahaylee at three days old with her dam,
MARVELOUS PHOPHECY (her name was accidentally misspelled this way on her registration). Phophecy
(Marvelous Gem X Lippitt Rita Roy), foaled in 1971, was a splash herself; although most people would not see her as a pinto, she is one! The lopsided blaze and blunt topped stockings are the only clues that this is not a "solid" as
she might first appear. Photo courtesy of Eleanore Mason.
Shahaylee's sire MARVELOUS INTRIGUE (Marvelous Ideal X Marvelous Legacy), 1990 dark bay heterozygous splash white stallion, owned by Eleanore Mason.
Like Marvelous Phophecy, Intrigue's only signs of his splash gene are a crooked blaze ending in a lopsided snip along with two blunt topped hind socks.
Photo courtesy of Eleanore Mason.
SCARLET TARA (Marvelous Intrigue X Marvelous Scarlet Lady), 1995 bay
splash mare owned by Beth Hendricks of Kennewick, WA. Tara is not what most
people would think of as "pinto", but she is a prime example of why we need to
re-think the definition of that term! Her blue eye on the left, blaze which does
not include the lower lip, and straight across hind socks reveal that
she is carrying the splash gene inherited from her sire.
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