swordwhale’s art class

What color was George Washington’s white horse is a loaded question; it probably was grey, but might have been cremello, perlino, a double dilute, an extreme pinto, a few spot Appaloosa or actually white. Just not albino, there are no albino genes in horses.


2 thoughts on “swordwhale’s art class

  1. What breed was his horse? Do you know?
    I remember learning in school albino genes exist in horses but the reason we never see albino horses is that this gene is lethal. So the fetus dies in the whom.


  2. Well, I found this… http://www.mountvernon.org/digital-encyclopedia/article/nelson-horse/ … which tells of Washington’s excellent horsemanship and his favorite, a chestnut (sorrel) named Nelson. It also mentions a more skittish horse named Blueskin, which to me, sounds like a grey (the dark skin would show through the white hair and look blueish). Nelson was tall and athletic and sounded rather Thoroughbred, though the article didn’t say.

    Everything I’ve read says “no albino gene in horses” (here’s an example: http://www.whitehorseproductions.com/white.html ). First paragraph explains how that works.

    The “lethal white” is this… (from the above link)

    “A lethal white overo (LWO) is produced when a foal is homozygous for the frame overo gene (meaning it carries 2 copies of the gene, one from each parent). It causes foals to be born with so extreme an overo pattern that they are entirely white or nearly so. Frame is dominant, like all other pinto patterns, but it is only lethal in its homozygous state. When this happens, the resulting foal is born white, but sadly, it has an incomplete digestive track, and it dies within 72 hours of birth.”


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