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The Case for Sabino

If you agree with this post please share on Facebook and other Social Media Sites. The only way to make this stick is for the horse world to agree that we want Sabino and not White Spotting.

The past several days have been very exciting in the world of Equine Color Genetics. The results from the first round of W20 testing has started to filter into facebook and the results are very popular. However, this has caused a problem. More than once over the past several days, I have found myself explaining why this white pattern (and all white patterns at the KIT locus) should know be referred to as “White Spotting” rather than Dominant White or Sabino.

Then it dawned on me...Why can’t we just call them all Sabino? These white patterns phenotypically look like Sabino. Who cares if they are inherited as an Dominant, incomplete dominant or recessive for that matter. It’s something to which most people in the horse world have grown accustomed. For years, before the advent of genetic testing, white patterns with pointed leg white, blazes, and roany/jagged edges where Sabino. We even had max white Sabinos that were almost entirely white. Wouldn't it be easier to explain that some forms of Sabino are incomplete dominant and others are embryonic lethal rather than teaching an entire generation of horse color enthusiasts that it’s NOT Sabino (even though it looks like Sabino)?

Does it really matter that these mutations have been designated W? No, not really. Isn't it easier to say all W mutations are Sabino than to say it’s not Sabino it’s White Spotting (when it really looks like Sabino)? Locus designation does not always follow naming after all. Dominant Black in dogs is at the K locus. Which does not correspond to the name of the color (at least in English).

Let’s simply for once rather than making things more complicated. Lets keep the original categories for White Pattern categories in horses: Tobiano, Splashed White, Frame, and Sabino. Long Live SABINO!!!

For more information on this topic see RIP Sabino Scapegoat. To compare these white patterns and their similar appearance please see these galleries: Sabino, White Spotting, and the W20 Gallery.

Sabino (SB1) Tennessee Walking Horse

A Sabino (SB1) Tennessee Walking Horse

Arabian with

A "Sabino" Arabian


A "Sabino" Gypsy Stallion (homozygous W20