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Grade Pony Mare
©Equine Color

Splashed White is another white pattern that can look similar to Frame and Sabino, because of this it's also usually grouped in with those patterns and given the generic term, Overo. This pattern was thought to be harder to find in North American than Frame or Sabino, but as we begin to understand just how the pattern looks and how the genetics work it's becoming obvious that Splash is much more common than was previously thought we just haven't been identifying it correctly.

Facial markings on Splashed Whites are commonly bottom heavy and may involve just a snip. Larger markings tend to give the horse an "apron" marking.

Leg white tends to be crisp and may be more blunt than with other patterns. As with Sabino there really is no rule as to how many legs will be white but in general at least one will be and it's common for the hind legs to have marking while the front legs do not. The leg markings will range from small to large, a coronet to a high stocking.

Grade pony mare seen above.
©Equine Color
Miniature Horse
©Equine Color

Belly spots are common, even on horses that don't have very large facial markings or high leg markings.

If the body has white it occurs in a very unique pattern. It's as if the horse was dipped in paint, starting with the legs and nose. The horse is white from the bottom up, arranged in a horizontal pattern. When the body is marked like this it's not uncommon for the head to be extensively and sometimes completely white with just the ears having color. The line between the white and color is very sharp and crisp. Blue eyes are very common and thought of as the rule with this pattern.

As with all pinto patterns Splash does come in a minimal form, at times it could be as minimal as a small faint snip on the nose.

Grade Pony Mare
©Equine Color
Two Shameless - APHA
Courtesy of Pekola Ranch

Splash White occurs in Miniature Horses, Welsh Ponies, Quarter Horses, American Paints and Pintos, Icelandic Horses, American Saddlebreds and probably more breeds we're not aware of yet. There is even a line of Appaloosas that is know for it's Splashed White patterns. Splash can easily be confused with very cleanly marked Sabinos. The white spotting is similiar to Sabino in that it starts at the bottom of the horse and goes up. At times the differences between the Sabino and Splash patterns are very subtle. It's not unusual to find both patterns on the same horse.

Splash has been researched and has it has been determined that Splash is controled by an incomplete dominant. Meaning the physical expression will be different depending on the dosage of the gene. Heterozygous Splashed Whites have only one copy of the gene and will have minimal markings that do not extend as far up onto the body as with a homozygous individual. The horse at the top of the page is an example of a heterozygous Splashed White. Homozygous individuals are the ones that have the unique horizontal body pattern as can be seen below.

Duke - Missouri Foxtrotter
Photo Courtesty of
Wendy Normand
Damian - Missouri Foxtrotter
Photo Courtesty of
Wendy Normand

Duke and Damian have the same dam.

C Spots Rare Jewel
Miniature Horse
Courtesy of
C Spots Miniature Horses
YR Dreamin Out Loud
Miniature Horse
Uploaded to photo album by
Please feel free to submit photos of Splashed White horses to our photo album!
Updated December 2003
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