Catch A Bird
Thoroughbred Stallion in Australia. Photo is from an ad posted in Cavalletti Classifieds
While Catch A Bird outwardly appears to be brindle (phenotypically brindle), he has had approximately 40 foals of which none have had his pattern. However, several supposedly roan foals (4) have been produced, indicating he is a possible mosaic or chimera of roan and non-roan. If he is a mosaic or chimera, some sections of Catch A Bird's coat have been activated for roan, other sections for non-roan, producing a streaked appearance which resembles brindling. However, when his sperm cells are made, they contain either roan or non-roan, but not both together. This accounts for his producing either non-roan or roan foals, and points to the likelyhood that he might be an example of a mosaic or chimera.
In addition, his production of roan offspring with dark faces and points similar to those resulting from the Rn gene is unusual. What is normally referred to as roan in Thoroughbreds is not really roan, but is actually a form of gray (much to the confusion of most people, and not consistent with current genetic theory). However, pictures of Catch A Bird's roan foals indicate they are not this type of gray/roan, but are indeed some sort of Roan similar to the Rn gene. However, it's not known at this time if it's the same as Rn, or may be a variation of roan unique to him. This alone makes breeding to him desirable, as establishing a line of true roans in Thoroughbreds would be unique.
In some horses, even if the brindle pattern is the result of mosaicism or chimerism and is not reproduceable from a specific gene per se, the pattern might be reproduceable if the mosaic or chimeric condition can be duplicated. For example, in female tortiseshell cats, there is no gene for tortiseshell - the female cat is the result of a mosaic or chimeric condition of black and red, and she only passes either red or black. If she is mated to a black cat, any female offspring that got the black from her and the black from the tom will be black. But the female offspring that got the red from her and the black from the tom, will appear tortiseshell. Thus, the pattern can be duplicated, even though it is not the result of a specific gene per se. While it is not known if this is also possible in horses, it will be important to follow offspring of possible mosaic or chimeric horses keeping this in mind. If you breed to this stallion, I would appreciate an update on the resulting foal's color and pattern.
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