When Is A Zebra, Not A Zebra? Dominant Whiteface Update

When is a zebra not a zebra? When it’s a horse. As ever I keep a very open mind about new varieties, and old but long gone varieties. I was 100% confident that my little pup was a whiteface. She is not. What appeared to be a tiny shadow on a photograph grew into a tear shaped…little…brown….spot. *sigh*

It’s there. I’d rather it wasn’t but it is.

The bottom eye is not in shadow, it’s shaded with a tiny brown spot. Now visible at 5 weeks old.

There’s still the question of dominant pied to answer in this litter but I won’t be using her for that. I suspect if I was to breed her I’d be selecting for white face pied. It does raise a very interesting question about whether previously thought to be dominant whiteface were actually pied. Who knows. Her brother sports a badger style mask with a neat white line across the eyebrow line so he looks agouti at first glance……but he’s not.

I haven’t seen overmarked faults like this in my breeding before but as I do breed eight distinct and separate colour lines I suppose it was just a matter of time. The pup that shows proper pied markings will be test bred to see if she is dominant or not.

Whatever the outcome it does show that pied (recessive or otherwise) is the worst gene to mix into your lines if you are looking for a non patterned animal. Do these faults mean it is possible to have blue pied with nothing but a blue belly? Possibly. Headspot may just be a product of selecting for a single spot. Certainly, breeding for one or two eye patches in normal pied is very easy to do once you have it. I suspect that patterns are not as random, genetically, as you might think and this type of selection (deliberate or accidental) can cause no end of confusion.

The one thing this pairing has given me is two whites across two litters so far. This is, at least, very good news for the black eyed white.

I’ll be sure to keep this blog updated with anything I find. You can read the original blog post related to this here

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