While I know you should NEVER breed for color alone, I can't help but talk about color as a factor in my search for the perfect stallion because Lilly is "color". She is a regular registry Paint and has a copy of the cream gene, so it's rather fun to anticipate what her foal would look like when paired with different stallions. Even if I found a gorgeous bay QH, I could potentially have myself a buckskin or palomino Paint. So while I'm not looking to breed for a specific color, I could do so quite easily, and not have to compromise the quality of the stallion.
If I sent some money to UC Davis and asked them to DNA test Lilly to determine exactly what she is as far as color goes, here's what they would send me:
ee - homozygous for red
aa - homozygous for the agouti deletion, meaning black is evenly distributed
n/Cr - heterozygous for the cream gene
n/T - heterozygous for Tobiano
I haven't actually had her tested, but because of what is expressed in her color, and because she's registered, I can look up the colors in her pedigree, so I'm fairly certain. Her sire side is nothing but sorrel Paint horses, so he's easy. Her dam side is a bit more colorful, though, and all Quarter Horses. In her three generation pedigree she has palominos, sorrels, duns, a red roan, a bay, and even a gray. A smorgasbord of color if you will, assuming they were all registered correctly. Her dam was a very sweet, very old, palomino.
So, what would I want in a stallion? Well, first I would think about what I'd want in a foal, and kind of work backwards. Essentially, I'd want a carbon copy of Lilly. She's the perfect height, has a wonderful temperament, is easy on the eyes, and is athletic enough to do everything I'm interested in. I used to say I'd want a stallion with nice hooves because Lilly's were so bad off, but it's clear to me now that hers would have been fine if I had given them a chance. And while Lilly isn't ever going to be a halter champion, she doesn't have any major conformation flaws that I'd need a stallion to try and correct. At least I don't think so... I'm sure someone else might have a different opinion on that one. Maybe by the time I'm ready for a foal, they'll just be able to clone her!
I've known for a long time which stallion I'd breed to if I ever decided to take the risk. I met him many years ago when I lived in Virginia. I had met his owner a few years prior to that through work, being mutual horse folk and all, but after I got out of the Marines we lost touch. Then, when I was selling my house in Virginia, low and behold, who shows up to look at it? She did! She ended up buying a different place, but we kept in touch and when I needed somewhere to board Lilly and AJ, she offered up some space at her place.
Lilly went into a pasture with some other mares, and AJ went into a pasture with another gelding, a yearling colt, and two stallions. Yes, two stallions. I was a little nervous about AJ living with two stallions but as it turned out, the whole group of boys got along famously. AJ was actually the boss... he ran that pasture with an iron hoof. I always found that to be quite amusing.
Lilly's potential future baby daddy is one of the stallions AJ used to beat up on. His name is Hunter Bay Creek, or Hunter for short, and he's a very handsome dun Quarter Horse. He's registered with the AQHA, the IBHA (International Buckskin Horse Association), and the NFQHA (National Foundation Quarter Horse Association). He was born in 1997, is built like the old school QHs, and has a personality that would pair perfectly with Lilly. They're both easy going and laid back. I think a horse like Hunter would give me the best shot at having a foal that has Lilly's temperament and personality. His owner has bred him quite a few times since I moved from Virginia, so I have only been able to see his recent foals through pictures. They're really nice... they're just like him and super smart. The fact that he is a dun is just icing on the cake.
|Sadly, the only picture I have of Hunter.|
Since Hunter would make an awesome stallion, and Lilly would make a fantastic broodmare, it's time to play with color. What possible colors could I get from Lilly and Hunter? After guessing the specifics of Hunter's color, I plugged it all into one of those fancy coat color calculators, and here's what it spit out:
6.25% Dunalino Solid or 6.25% Dunalino Tobiano
6.25% Sorrel Solid or 6.25% Sorrel Tobiano
6.25% Palomino Solid or 6.25% Palomino Tobiano
6.25% Red Dun Solid or 6.25% Red Dun Tobiano
3.13% Smoky Black Solid or 3.13% Smoky Black Tobiano
3.13% Bay Dun Solid or 3.13% Bay Dun Tobiano
3.13% Bay Solid or 3.13% Bay Tobiano
3.13% Black Solid or 3.13% Black Tobiano
3.13% Smoky Grullo Solid or 3.13% Smoky Grullo Tobiano
3.13% Dunskin Solid or 3.13% Dunskin Tobiano
3.13% Grullo Solid or 3.13% Grullo Tobiano
3.13% Buckskin Solid or 3.13% Buckskin Tobiano
Unfortunately, dunalino, smokey black, smokey grullo, and dunskin aren't colors recognized by the APHA. They would also call a bay dun, just dun. So if any of those colors came out, the foal would just be registered palomino, black, grullo or dun.
In a perfect world, Lilly would give me a Tobiano filly with ANY of those colors except sorrel or bay. So, because that's what I want, Lilly would give birth to a solid, sorrel or bay colt that could only registered as a breeding stock Paint (SBP). Not that there's anything wrong with sorrel or bay, of course (AJ is a sorrel!), it's just not what I would want if I could choose any color for the world's most perfect baby horse.
I don't have a name picked out yet, but it would have something to do with money and gin, and possibly the color blue. I'd like to work in the Tanquery Gin name and maybe tie it in with gambling so it relates to cash. Then I could use the barn name Rummy (as in the card game), which would work well for a filly or a colt.
Maybe in a few years I'll consider it. I'm way too busy now, and Lilly and I are finally going to have a full, uninterrupted, super awesome show season. I'm very excited to see how we do this year and next as her training progresses. She'll only be 13 this year, so we still have plenty of time to have fun together before I even start thinking about cute, adorable, fuzzy muzzle foals.