Winsdown Hi Octane's Gallery Of Stars
(Last updated 3/3/14)
The Ever Changing World Of Gray

A explanation in simple language·
Gray is NOT a color but a message to turn the colored hairs white. The older the animal the greater percentage of white hairs.
The message for the coat to turn gray is of singular dominant transmission. One parent MUST be gray to get gray. A normal gray horse will produce 50% gray foals to non-gray mates. A horse that results from the mating of two gray parents has a 1 in 4 chance of being Homozygous for gray- in simple language 100% of that horse's foals WILL turn gray. A non-gray resulting from two gray parents can NOT produce gray.
Roan is roan and Gray is gray. A True Roan is born with a certain percentage of white hair in their coat- that percentage does NOT change. A True Roan has few to no white hairs on their head and legs except for regular type white markings. True Roans are extremely rare in Saddlebreds The genetic transmission of true roan is of singular dominant transmission. One parent MUST be roan to get roan. A normal roan horse will produce 50% roan foals to non-roan mates.Now what is not nearly as clear cut as gray is.the horses that appear roan but are not really roan You can get this roan or some expression of roan from non-roan parents, this is what is common in Saddlebreds and though they look similar, this roan often linked with the Sabino gene, a good clue that you have a Sabino and not a roan or grey is Sabino almost always have bald faces or wide blazes along with high white socks. So if your horse has lots of white markings and does not have a grey parent figure you have a Sabino. Sabino can come in many discriptions from having only a few roan hairs on the flank to looking like a normal roan with white hairs all over the body. They can have minimual white markings like a normal blaze and white on the lower lip to half white heads and socks to the elbow and belly spots. The mode of transmission is is still being worked on. Email me private and I can tell you about horses that carry this Sabino roan. A gray is born with few to no white hairs in their coat, and keep you guessing for quite a while. Each time they shed they have a higher percentage of white hair in their coat. Look for the tell tail white whisker or eyelash where there are no actual white markings. Another clue is a smoky or dull hue to the coat.
Question? Which Foals are grey










Scroll to bottom of page for answer

Increasing the chances of a gray foal-
The non gray partner can be of any coat color; black, bay, chestnut, golden, buckskin etc and have no influence on the foal's chances of being gray. Regular heterozygous gray to non-gray results over a large number in 50% gray foals. Two regular grays bred together result in 3 foals who are gray and 1 non gray, though there is at present no test other than test breeding to determine which gray foal from this cross got the gray gene from both parents and thusly will only produce gray foals. This foal is referred to as homozygous and will produce 100% gray foals to non-gray mates.
The non-gray partner only has influence of the hue or appearance of the gray color while the horse is maturing. Not all grays turn gray at the same rate. Some appear light gray very early and are clearly gray as weanlings. Others will gray very slowly, as did Hi Octane who showed no tendency to gray until he was a yearling, and was registered as a chestnut. Ultimately they all go from a roan appearance of varying degrees, to the classic dapple that every one thinks of as gray (usually the ones who gray early enter this phase at 3-4 years and gradually turn white or flea bitten by 7-9years old). The slower to turn grays enter this phase at 5-6 years (as did Hi Octane) and gradually turn white or flea bitten by 12-14 years old. Old gray horses appear to be dark skinned white horses when seen from a distance.
Mane and tail color are dictated by the real color of the horse. The horse who would have been Golden had it not turned gray will have a pure white mane and tail. The horse that would have been black or bay will have a black mane and tail that very gradually gets lighter over time, and the chestnut horses will vary from white to black depending upon weather in a non gray state they would have been bright red chestnut with flax mane and tails or a dark liver with a matching darker mane and tail.
So you might have some idea if coat color or your foal should it not turn gray, Hi Octane would have been a liver chestnut, had he not turned gray.
Below we exhibit several gray horses from year of birth to maturity

Winsdown Hi Octane-- slow color change
At 3 days
As a yearling
At 2 years--Photo by Howie
At 7 years
At 11 years
At 14 Years in the Winter of 2006

Winsdown Carnegie- average color change
At 6 months old
As A Yearling
At 2 years old -- Photo by Jack Schatzberg
At 5 Years Old--

Winsdown Vulcan Steel-- rapid color change
At 2 weeks old-
At 5 months old-- Photo by Casey McBride
As a Yearling-- Photo by Casey McBride
As a 2 Year Old-- Photo by Casey McBride
Fully gray st 4 years old

Answer to question: ALL