The Colour Appendix of the WABA Inc. may not be unique but our isolation and years of registering has given us a very clear understanding about Buckskin and Dun colouring. The WABA is a colour registry not a breed registry and even though we recognise respective breeds, our primary interest is in horses that carry the correct colour genetics required to be registered.
The WABA registry has for along time now relied on its own Registry, as allot of what has been written especially about Dun colouring has been conflicting. Now the WABA rely on its Registry and DNA genetic hair colour testing.
Most importantly we always try to have a clear perspective as we look at colour. Buckskins all carry one copy of the cream gene and are not Duns unless they carry the Dun gene as well.
Testing is now available for the cream gene in any horse and the dun gene as long as the parents can also be tested. Testing is now also available for the new variance of Agouti At. These tests are currently done at 3 different locations in the US. The WABA are also testing some Buckskin and Dun horses for homozygous and heterozygous black, BB or Bb, and/or homozygous and heterozygous Agouti AA or Aa, to hopefully understand better the influence of different combinations of the genetic colour code.
If you have any questions regarding colour please feel free to contact the Registrar.
Brown Buckskin vary from darker typical buckskin to near black (never true black). The Brown Buckskin is the same as any buckskin in its ability to pass on the cream gene (nCr) and therefore can produce a 'perlino or cremello' when crossed to another cream. The cream gene is a dominant gene and can not be carried recessively. The Brown Buckskin all carry 'brown agouti' which is represented by (At).
Black Buckskin vary from dark chocolate to near black (never true black). The Black Buckskin is the same as any buckskin in its ability to pass on the cream gene (nCr) and therefore can produce a 'perlino or cremello' when crossed to another cream. The cream gene is a dominant gene and can not be carried recessively. The Black Buckskin does not carry an Agouti allele which is represented by (aa). Black Buckskins generally require a colour test to confirm cream unless they are by a cremello or perlino.
The Buckskin/Dun (Dunskin in US) nCr, EE/Ee, AA/Aa, DD/Dd carrys one copy of the cream gene and one or two copies of the Dun Factor gene, one or two copy's of black, one or two copy's of agouti - except when the agouti is not carried (aa) hence a Black Buckskin/Dun (bottom right). The dorsal stripe is always the same colour as the mane & tail, usually black. Lighter frosting is apparent in the mane & tail which is typical of the cream gene.
The Red Dun showing a chestnut dorsal stripe, leg barring & shoulder stripe. Red Dun colt on the right has tested positive for the Dun gene, he is heterozygous Dun Dd, both parents are dun but he only inherited on copy of the gene. These horses don't carry a cream gene.
Different horses showing a typical dorsal stripe which will always be bay or brown, mane & tail black, notice the lightened hair either side of the dorsal stripe as it goes into the tail, is the same colour as the body coat, not frosted like a Buckskin/Dun, which carrys the cream gene.
Typical Black Dun can be carrying one or two copys of the Dun gene and black. It is always a dark slate colour, varying slightly in shades. The dorsal stripe typically is always black. It does not show lighter frosting and is not carrying the cream gene & the lightening in the top of the tail etc, should match the body coat. It should never be confused with a dun that may be carrying taffy/silver and has lightening in the mane & tail from that gene. Agouti is not carried by the Black Dun.
Black Dun showing colour change as he matures.
All Duns must carry Dun Factor primal markings: A clear and well defined Dorsal Stripe must be present. Leg Barring, Shoulder Stripe (transverse stripe over the wither) & ear tips are common. Neck Shadowing, Cobwebbing on forehead, Penciling around the eye and Face masking are less common. The more pronounced these maring are the better.
Below left, Perlino Dun, right Palomino Dun.