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Two New Paint Pattern Discoveries Help Keep Color in the Breed

Filed under: Health & Training |     

PHJ release by: Jessica Hein

Two new white-spotting patterns—W31 and W32—were discovered in 2021 and confirmed present in the Paint Horse breed. The discovery was made by researchers at APHA partner lab Etalon Diagnostics and published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Heredity.

These pattern genes, along with more than 12 other white-spotting patterns commonly found in Paints, can be used to help preserve the beloved white markings in the Paint breed and help Paints earn Regular Registry designation. The January/February 2022 Paint Horse Journal has more information about the discovery of W31 and W32.

W31- Cookin Merada. APHA photo


  • Typically includes white markings with jagged borders distributed across the head, lower legs, belly and ventral body; some might be completely white with areas of pigmented coat/skin on the sheath, mane, ears and face, especially when combined with other white spotting pattern genes.
  • Confirmed in the Cookin Merada family; broader distribution is unknown.

    W31- Peptos Smart Cookie (photo: Rachel Griffin Photography)

    W31- RWS Silken Merada (photo: Courtesy Laura Hoelscher)

W32- Small Town Scandal (photo: Lori Gardner, courtesy Alison Umberger)


  • Typically includes white markings on the limbs, belly spots and face
  • Confirmed in the Small Town Scandal family; appears to be found in several lines of Paints and Quarter Horses, and other breeds.

W32- The Double Standard, Photo: Stephanie Reed, courtesy Alison Umberger

Individual testing for the W31 and W32 pattern can be ordered via Etalon Diagnostics.

Learn more about RG-070.E (genetics-based) status changes for your Paint.

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