Equine Coat Color Genetics 101

Imagine the scenario: A horse owner breeds her bright bay mare to a dark bay stallion, hoping for another flashy bay to shine in the show ring. Instead, out pops a chestnut foal. The owner wonders, ‘How did this happen?’ The answer lies in coat color genetics.

At the 2013 University of Kentucky (UK) Equine Showcase, held Jan. 18 in Lexington, Ky., Kathryn Graves, PhD, the director of the UK Animal Genetic Testing and Research Laboratory, reviewed the basics of equine coat color genetics.

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