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True Dun in the Iberian Breeds

I have built and bred what I feel like is a phenomenal Iberian and Warlander breeding program in a short amount of time. A large part of what keeps my program successful and growing is the outproduction of the parents by each foal crop.

In order to do that I have to keep working to improve my herd so I do a lot of research, studying and reading about these breeds which means lots of online searches. I stumbled upon a picture on google while I was perusing the Iberian horse ads one night, almost 4 years ago now! I then found equally impressive video footage of a beautiful Lusitano stallion and his website. The bonus was that he came in the richest grulla shade I had ever seen. I found the owner of I-Don Malagueno, a red carrying homozygous Dun Smokey Grulla stallion, who was imported from Spain to Germany. I immediately reached out to his owner inquiring about the possibility of breeding options in the US. Eva, the owner, was amazing and she explained that it was very expensive and difficult to import semen to the US. Dun was still considered rare in the breed, but it was known and I started seeing more and more horses posted on social media and third party sales sites that I could tell were also dun. Eva and I stayed in contact and within another year she had everything in order to sell and ship breedings to the US!

We now have two I-Don Malagueno fillies and plans to continue using him for years to come. We are breeding an amazing Cruzador (Spanish/Portuguese) this year, with the possibility of being homozygous dun.

Smokey Grulla Warlander Filly
Dona Matiea SW, F1 Smokey Grulla 50% Lusitano 50% Friesian Warlander Filly

Dunalino, Palamino plus Dun, Lusitano Filly
Tzipora SW, 2023 APSL Dunalino Lusitano Filly

Dun Lusitanos Available at stud in the US!

We now have some great options for true Dun carriers here in the US and Canada. I-Don Malagueno is the only homozygous dun stallion that I am aware of, but there are now a handful of heterozygous duns available fresh and frozen. The best part is they are all quality and correct representations for their breed. These are proven, approved, working and competing stallions that are doing impressive things for our Iberian breeds. You could change their photos to black and white and still be equally as proud to use them in your programs.

I will list photos that link to websites for the stallions that I have used in my program. Please tell these wonderful Stallion owners that we sent you!

Contact Allison at Home | Lyric Dressage

True Dun in the PRE Andalusian Breed

After finding that the true dun modifier was still in the Lusitano breed, knowing that the PRE and Lusitano breed were created and then separated, I knew there had to be true dun in Andalusians as well. I spent many hours researching and studying this amazing breed that predominantly turns grey. After months, I found a mare that was advertised and inscribed as black. She belonged to a long time PRE breeder in California and I called to discuss her. Gold Coast Andalusian/Yeguada Marquez has been breeding PRE horses for close to two decades now and when Sergio and I talked he agreed that she was not a "typical" smokey black color. I purchased Ari and when she arrived I was certain she was grulla. Sergio sent me pictures of her when she was born and pictures of both of her parents. I immediately pulled hair to send to UC Davis and I posted pictures of her in the equine color groups on Facebook.

You can see from just a handful of the comments that the consensus was nd1, a color modifier responsible for primitive markings and typical dun countershading but not the true coat dilution for an actual dun horse. Some did argue that she was in fact Grulla(black horse carrying a copy of Dun) and that is what I knew she had to be.

Her test results came in and she was in fact true dun. A smokey grulla! Her dam was the only possible carrier. A beautiful dark shade 17h "buckskin" mare that was full of impressive Guardiola breeding.

Dunskin PRE mare
Barquita Marquez, Darker shade of dunskin, 17H Guardiola PRE Mare of Yeguada Marquez

I immediately let Sergio know that he had a dun carrier for sure in his herd. He sent color tests off for all the horses that were related to her and came back with a handful more true dun PRE Andalusians. I spent many, many hours researching, messaging and searching for her dun lines and others.

Grulla, Smokey Grulla, Dunskin, Bay Dun PRE Andalusian Horses
Dun PRE Andalusian Herd of Soul Wind Horses

I figured out that the dun gene came from the sire of Ari's dam. He was imported to the US from Yeguada IPA in Spain and renamed Canelo de Trujillo when Yeguada Trujillo purchased him. Yeguada IPA believes the dun gene came from Pinturero XXXV, a stallion he purchased from the Paco Marti program in Spain, and a grey son to well known Paco Marti Stallion Carmelo II. I have spoken with the US sales team at Paco Marti many times and they are not able to recognize or confirm any others remaining in their program. They are very focused on double dilute and double pearl. I then found Yeguada Manriquez, a beautiful family-owned ranch in Nipomo CA where Canelo had been for the last 6 years. I purchased two other dun mares in early 2022 and started talking to his owner about breeding and purchasing him that spring. I flew over to meet Yeguada Marquez, Canelo and more of his offspring at the end of that summer.

Canelo de Trujillo Dunskin PRE Stallion in the late summer of 2022 while at Rancho Manriquez in Nipomo California

Dunskin Andalusian Stallion
Canelo's dun expression is very typical, you can see in this picture his ear bars and dark low mask are very prominent against his light buttermilk coat.

It is extremely important to me that the horses I have and produce in my program (dun or not) are not bred for color. Health, longevity, temperament, conformation, type, and correct representations of their strict breed standards are still my top priorities.

So far, I have found another Stallion from the same sire that also is dunskin and was sold to the New Zealand breeder, Five Hawks Stud. There are, to my knowledge, two breeding age Stallions, three breeding age mares, and a few young offspring from those horses confirmed true dun in France. They all have Talisman V in their lineage, a stallion going back to the old, well known Carthusian lines that all turned grey.

There are quite a few Canelo offspring in California that also inherited his dun. I have found and color tested many and met quite a few in person. Unfortunately, there were a number that I found that did not pass Revision for breeding approval. I feel fortunate that I found the ones that I have and have built the relationships I have with these wonderful California Breeders. I have a son from Canelo that is tested Dunskin and revised, a grandson that is tested Grulla and carrying pearl. I am anxiously waiting for the grandson to reach the appropriate age for revision. Additionally I've brought 3 PRE mares and 1 Warlander mare who are all descendants of Canelo.

Gold Coast Andalusians has now successfully bred even more dun carriers and has some third-generation offspring expected this year. Sergio has a full brother to my PRE mare, Ari. His name is Fanfarron Marquez, a Smokey Cream Dun, and he is stunning. He passed his revision last year with fantastic feedback from the judges and is standing to the public this year. I am excited to see my Fanfarron offspring.

I have now tested nearly 100 other PRE horses and have not been able to locate another non related line here in the US. I have found one line in France recently, but the stallion carries two copies of grey and is not shipping semen to the US.

I would encourage owners who have suspicion to test, especially if the horse in question is grey, buckskin or double dilute. As you can see in Fanfarron, a double dilute will hide the dun markings, in grey they will fade quickly because of the hyperpigmentation. If you have had foals born that you thought looked suspiciously dun, I would test them. Grulla and Bay Dun are the easiest to recognize in my experience, dunskin and double dilutes carrying dun are very difficult.

Bay Dun PRE Mare
Bay Dun PRE Mare Hada JAM of Soul Wind Horses EEAAD/nd2

True Dun in the Warlander Breed

We have the benefit here of being able to use both PRE and Lusitanos when breeding our Warlanders. Rancho Manriquez has bred at least 3 PRE/Friesian F2 Warlanders that inherited dun. Elegancia is a beautiful bay dun mare in my herd and she has two Grulla brothers that I know of. There very well could be more.

We had the first F1 Lusitano/ Friesian Smokey Grulla Warlander filly known born in 2023.

Grulla Warlander Filly
Excellent Example of a Grulla Foal, Dona Matiea SW Smokey Grulla Lusitano Friesian Warlander

We have two foals expected for the 2024 foaling season that have the possibility of inheriting dun. 1 PRE and 1 APSL Lusitano.

The true dun color modifying genes most likely originated from the Sorraia breed influence used in creating our beloved breeds. Dun is believed to be one of the oldest original colors in existence and is referenced in prehistoric times. It would make sense that these lines are going back to some of the oldest, most desired Carthusian Andalusian horses.

If you have any questions, have found your own dun carriers, or need assistance color testing your horses, please feel free to reach out!


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