Photos: "Tarnished Champagne" owned by Katy Bowen-Brazell
A Champagne horse must have at least one Champagne parent. Their foal coats are usually darker in color than their adult coats - the opposite of most other colors. Champagnes are born with bright pink skin and bright blue eyes that take a long time to change, but usually become hazel or amber by adulthood.* As adults, the skin may still retain its pumpkin-with-purple freckling, but other colors can mimic this, and some champagnes darken to fairly ordinary colored skin in adulthood.
Sometimes a horse looks like it might be a champagne but is really something else. A particularly confusing situation is when horses carry multiple types of dilutions, such as creme and silver dapples or dun and silver dapples.
http://www.champagnehorses.net/Pseudo-Champagnes/pseudo-champagnes.htm for photos and more discussion of champagne and champagne look-alikes
Champagne looks a lot like Palomino, Buckskin and Cremello, but differs in some definite ways.
CHAMPAGNE DILUTION Test For Horses
Animal Genetics Inc. will begin offering a new genetic DNA test for Champagne Dilution in horses. Our test will give individuals the ability to identify horses that carry a single copy of the mutation (Heterozygous or CH/ch) or two copies of the mutation (Homozygous CH/CH). We can also identify those horses, which do not carry the mutation (Homozygous negative ch/ch). Studies showed that unlike Cream Dilution the hair pigmentation in of horses with Champagne Dilution do not differ between heterozygous and homozygous.
Thus far, We have documented Champagne in Quarter Horse, Tennessee Walker, American Saddlebred, Missouri Fox Trotter as well as Miniature Horses.
Cost is $25.00 and results are generally available by email or through our site in 2-3 days.
For additional information please contact Animal Genetics at:
Toll Free: 1-866-922-6436
- from HORSE GENETICS by the late Ann T. Bowling
"Champagne foals are born a smoky gray with blue eyes and pinkish gray skin. As the foals age, the eyes darken to hazel or brown, but the skin and coat remain light and distinctive.
The color trait is inherited as a dominant. It resembles the palomino/ buckskin dilution effect but is probably due to a different gene. From its phenotype it does not seem to be an allele of dun or silver dapple, but those possibilities and their combinations with this gene remain to be identified. We also have no information about the color of homozygotes. Champagne may be the same color as globrunn in Icelandic horses and lilac dun in other ponies."
(HORSE GENETICS, copyright 1997 CAB International, ISBN# 0-85199-101-7) The above was written in 1997. A lot more is known now! Champagne is now a recognized gene that can be tested.
Draft Horse Classic, Grass Valley, CA, 2001
They occur in both Gold
Cream and Double Cream versions.
THE DILUTION GENES: