gene is a dominant dilution gene, first documented worldwide in 1996
by Dr. Philip Sponenberg, Ph.D., and Dr. Ann Bowling, Ph.D. While
the champagne gene did exist prior to this, it was often
misidentified. Many champagnes were mistakenly called
"pumpkin-skinned palominos" due to their mottled skin and golden
coloration. However, the champagne gene is distinctly separate from
the cream gene (palomino, buckskin, etc.) and the dun gene (grullo,
were mistakenly called "albinos" because their bright blue eyes and
pink skin at birth. However, albinism is not common in horses. In
fact, there has never been a documented case of a true albino horse.
In addition to
the bright blue eyes that later change to hazel or gold, and the
pink skin that mottles with age, the champagne gene effects the coat
color pigments. The gene causes red pigment to be diluted to gold,
and black pigment to be diluted to chocolate.
See our "research"
section for more information and articles published about the gene
and horses carrying it.
researchers at the University of Kentucky successfully mapped the
champagne gene. A genetic test is now available!