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Imperial Heritage Horse







Imperial Heritage Horse

In order to be eligible for the Imperial Book:
    All horses must have pedigrees that document the patterned parents lineage.

    All horses must be HYPP negative (tested or by pedigree).


These horses must be DNA tested and be verified to their Friesian lineage,

and must a minimum of 25% Friesian.


"Pattern" means an Appaloosa or Knabstrupper-type spotted pattern. These horses are not required to be any particular percentage of these breeds, but they must have documented "patterned" or "Lp" heritage, with at least a 3 generation pedigree.


Horses who have Lp characteristics, with or without an obvious pattern, can enter the Imperial book.

Horses who have a gray color modifier are not allowed into the Imperial book. Gray eventually conceals all color and patterns. Horses from a parent who is a known, or suspected, gray carrier, must be color tested for gray, before they can be accepted into the Imperial book. Any horse who is found to have a gray color modifier will be removed from the Imperial book and placed into the Heritage Horse book.  


Sabino, splash or other pinto genes are not desirable and are discouraged in the Imperial book. Pinto genes act as amplifiers of the white pattern in the Lp patterned horse, which makes true patterns less discernible.

Horses may be no more than 25% draft blood.

Horses that are born solid, with no visible pattern or lp characteristics, can be entered into the Imperial Book after the completion of DNA color testing that confirms they carry at least one copy of PATN or Lp. It is preferred that as at least one parent has a large spotted blanket pattern, or is a full or near leopard patterned horse. The PATN1 test was released by UC Davis on March 10, 2015.


Horse who are few spot & near few spot horses and are homozygous for Lp have night blindness. Congenital Stationary Night Blindness (CSNB) which is the inability to see in low to no-light conditions. Knowing if horses are homozygous for leopard complex spotting can help to inform management decisions." Homozygous LP horses

NOT always appear as few spots and can have very minimal LP appearance.


Identification Tips:
●  A leopard horse is born white from head to hooves with colored spots the size of a quarter or larger. Leopard horses are born with the leopard pattern
clearly evident.  Horses do not ever "turn into leopards" as they mature.

●  A "false" leopard horse is not born with a full white pattern. Lp roaning causes the leopard like appearance.
●  A near leopard horse is born mostly white with colored spots the size of a quarter or larger, but has some colored parts on its body (mostly head and legs). Near leopard horses are born with the leopard pattern clearly evident.  Horses do not ever "turn into near leopards" as they mature.
●  A few spot horse is born white with only a few spots of color on its entire body.
●  A near few spot horse is born with a large pattern of white, covering most of the body, with a few spots. The head and legs may be colored.
●  A Lp roaned horse is born mostly solid colored and then turns whiter as it ages, some of these horses may exhibit a leopard-like pattern, that develops later in life, usually after the age of 2. However, these horses are not leopards, and do not have the genes to produce true leopards, by themselves. Most Lp roaned horses have colored hairs in the white of their body coat.
●  Thin mane and tail hair is common in horses that carry the Lp gene, especially in black based horses. This lack of hair is caused by the Lp pattern gene and is not caused by breed. Breeding lp horses to Friesians will not necessarily increase the amount of hair in the offspring, if the offspring inherits Lp. The Lp gene has the greatest effect on the horses color/patern after the horse is over one year of age, and change
can continue for many years after.




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