Study finds all grey horses are related

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cretahillsgal

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Interesting


I have a grey mare that is one of my favorites. I hope she doesn't develop cancer! That would be devastating!


Also funny when I think that she may be related to the gray thoroughbred mare that we used to have.
 

mininik

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Definitely. My twenty two year old fleabitten grey Arab mare has a couple benign tumors. It's odd to think she might be related to my friend's flea bitten Shetland.
 
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Jill

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That is pretty neat!!!!!!

I have three greys, probably four (one not totally sure is grey) and already knew they are all related
(DunIT = brother of Blue, sire of Passion and Ducky... so they are all related).

That is cool though that the trait may go back to one common ancestor.

It's one of my favorite colors
 
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SunQuest

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Humm. This is interesting, and it does make some sense.

But I wonder... I found it interesting that the article said that "The research presented now demonstrates that all Grey horses carry exactly the same mutation which must have been inherited from a common ancestor that lived thousands of years ago."

Now I have to wonder, the article was specifically talking about horses that turned pure white. Most of these are a form of dapple gray in my experience. Flea Bitten grays seem to turn white much slower. Again, just my observation from having Arabs for many years.

What I would like to know, and what the article doesn't state clearly, is that all the different types of grays, including those that do not turn pure white, were examined and found to have the same mutation. From reading this article, I get the impression that it is the pure white horses that were studied.
 

Lisa Strass

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Interesting article...

I wonder if this means we're closer to having a DNA test for grey. We have a couple of very nice grey mares. One had a pretty bay filly, and the other had a black pinto colt, and I really hope they don't grey out! Neither foal has reverse eyeliner, yet.
 

Sandee

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Can't recall just where I read it but a few years back I read that all the silver dapple minis (sometimes erroneously called grey) were related to one shetland by the name of Orloff. Would be interesting to know if your study included ANY minis.
 

cretahillsgal

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Lisa, Can you describe what you mean by "reverse eyeliner"? I am still figuring out all of the ins and outs of the different colors.
 

Charlie Horse Acres

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That is interesting. I saw an article not to long ago that talked about how blue eyes in humans were a genetic mutation that also may be traced back to one family line. That would be strange to think that I was realted somehow to anyone I run into with Blue eyes!!!
 

Lewella

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I've read the whole reseach paper and it's going to have some very interesting implications in human cancer research IMO.

One notable item from the research paper - homozygous grays were more likely to develop cancer and those that were black based had an increased risk also.

They used horses from several different breeds but the bulk of the study was done using Lipizans. Nearly 800 horses were examined and tested.

Yes, this means a gray test should be on the market some time in the near future! Some of the researchers were also part of the team that developed the silver test and they were very good about getting the test for silver to the public very quickly.
 

Shari

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Interesting read. Glad they said it started thousands of years ago, because there are grey Icelandic's and they have been pure on Iceland for nigh on a thousand years.

My Grey mare Dyfra...at 9 years old still has color, at the rate she is greying out,,she will be 14 to 15 years old before she is nearly all white.

What is interesting in her,, is she is getting "Flea bites" but not the tiny ones you see on Arabs...she is getting pretty good sized ones. Will have to take a photo one of these days.

Too funny Songcatcher!! <LOL>
 

crponies

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Songcatcher, that is exactly what I was thinking but didn't post it. We should never be surprised when we find these kinds of relationships.
 

Lewella

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Icey's were one of the breeds used in the research.


One other interesting thing from the research - apparently the presence or absence of flea bites is a good indicator if the horse is heterozygous (flea bites) or homozygous (no flea bites) for gray.
 

Lisa Strass

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Lisa, Can you describe what you mean by "reverse eyeliner"? I am still figuring out all of the ins and outs of the different colors.
Reverse eyeliner is the term given when the hair right around a horse's eyes starts turning gray. It is usually (not always) one of the first visual indicators for gray. I don't have any pictures of it, but maybe someone else can post a picture.
If my memory is right, Jill has a good picture of her "Blue" with it.

One other interesting thing from the research - apparently the presence or absence of flea bites is a good indicator if the horse is heterozygous (flea bites) or homozygous (no flea bites) for gray.
Darn! This is not good news for my bay filly!
 

Jill

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Here is my gelding, Blue (a/k/a Erica’s Big City Blue By U), as a foal sporting his reverse eyeliner



Blue gets his grey from Egyptian King, back to whom all my greys can be traced
 
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targetsmom

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Thanks Jill - that is a great picture!

My grey mare traces to Blue Boy, so now I wonder how many grey minis trace to either Blue Boy or Egyptian King??? My mare (who is also LWO+) carries silver and turned grey very fast. She is homozygous for black (but not for grey); I will watch her closely for melanomas.
 
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