Coat color genetics, a first approach.


Generations of riders have learnt the coat color of horses using this ancestral mnemonic: Banc-Bis-Gal-RP. And yet we have to forget about it, as we now know that it is riddled with errors, given our current knowledge.


Horse breeding, like all breeding, whether we like it or not, is above all about genetics, even if breeders have always relied on their experience and 'feeling' to choose their crosses, without necessarily translating their choices into genes, chromosomes or other alleles. Today, science gives breeders access to a tool that can help them considerably reduce the element of chance and uncertainty: genetic testing. After the almost complete sequencing of the human genome in 2001, the equine genome was sequenced in 2006, opening the way for genetic testing for horse breeders. The major benefit of these tests is that they enable genetic diseases to be detected in breeding stock so that crossbreeding can be carried out with due regard for health. A FoalR masterclass will be dedicated to this subject. In the meantime, even if 'you can't breed a colour', we also know that colour is often a factor in buyers' favourites, or conversely, that certain colours are 'frowned upon'. In this context, it is important to master the basic principles of colour genetics, so that we can make informed choices when crossing.