Take a look at these foals, all of them are by Ecuador Skødstrup out of various warmblood mares.
Gandalf born in 2007 currently lives in Montana with Andria Manecke.
Theoden was the Best in Show at his inspection in 2009, he is currently owned by Maureane Hoffman of Durham NC.
Then in 2010 we get
Effet de Neige by Ecuador out of a SWANA registered mare named BeeBe by Briar.
Owner/Breeder: Nicole Davison.
If you can breed a foal of this quality here in the USA, just by leasing or borrowing a good quality warmblood mare and using frozen semen from Ecuador,(or one of the other FS stallions we have available here), why on earth would someone wanting to breed sport type Knabstruppers be doing anything else.
Why use Appaloosa or Draft cross mares, and have all the angst of not having a main stud book foal, when you could so easily be producing superior quality riding horses, with good color and eligible for main stud book. With the current recession there are plenty of good quality warmblood mares available for lease or at very reasonable prices, why continue breeding with undesirable mares
It’s understandable why in the past this was done. At the beginning there was only one stallion, Apollon, who was a leopard spot. Liz Hall who brought him in, did the right thing, she bred him to good quality warmblood mares, but the problem is that he had a lot of solid colored babies. Particularly out of solid colored warmblood mares. So to counteract that people bred him to appaloosa mares to get the color genes.
The KNN (mother registry of the Knabstrupper) heard about this and objected, they did not want Apploosa genes mixed in, so they said no Appaloosa mares were allowed. There was some bad feeling about this, as some folks (including me) had invested in Appaloosa mares in order to start a breeding program. The KNN have since compromised and established an Appendix registry for horses by Knabstrupper stallions out of undesirable mares. Horses with one registered and approved Knabstrupper parent can be inspected and scored, and if they score high enough they can be accepted into this Appendix registry. (But they do have to be inspected and scored first). The offspring of these appendix horses by approved sires can also be registered as Knabstuppers and after 3 generations of approved breeding the progeny can be put into the main stud book.
Now that we understand more about the inheritance of color the high percentage of solid offspring is also understandable. The nose-to-toes leopard color is the product of not one but two (or more) genes, one of which, LP has to be the heterozygote (LP/lp) and other(s) PATN1 and PATN(2-5) can be either homozygote or heterozygote.
The analogy that Sheila Archer uses is the PATN genes are like a white cat in the dark, the LP gene is the flashlight that allows you to see the white cat. If you have a white cat but no flashlight, you can’t see the cat. If you have a flashlight but no cat then you still can’t see the cat, you have to have both present.
Furthermore, the white cat can be large (PATN1) and give you nose-to-toes color, or it can be small (PATN2-5) and give you varying degrees of color from a small patchy blanket to a large blanket looking almost like a full PATN1 leopard. If the horse has the homozygote LP/LP then it is ‘white born’ and you can’t tell what kind of ‘cat’ it has. If it has lp/lp then it is solid colored (no flashlight) and you still can’t tell what kind of cat it has BUT if you breed the solid offpring of two leopards (likely to have inherited PATN since both parents have it) to a Few Spot ( LP/LP) then you will get LP/lp (enough flashlight but not too much) and then the PATN genes can be seen.
Thus we know that Apollon was LP/lp (since he was leopard spotted) and it appears that he carries PATN1/patn1 since 50% of his offspring did not inherit PATN1. This I know because I have a daughter of Apollon from a solid (lp/lp) mare, who is LP/lp but who does not have PATN1, as in, she shows LP characteristics but no spots. Hence Apollon was only going to throw LP 50% of the time and PATN1 50% of the time and the chances of getting LP and PATN1 in the same offspring was 50% of 50% or 25%, which is pretty much what he threw out of solid colored mares.
So what we needed was LP/LP PATN1/PATN1 stallions around to breed those Apollon daughters to, to get spotted foals. At first there weren’t any, so people used mares with LP/PATN in them to maximize the chances. But that has changed now, there are now 5 few spot/white born stallions available in the USA and shortly there will be a 6th, so the need for using mares of Appaloosa parentage in order to get the LP /PATN genes is no longer a valid argument. Of these 5 few spot stallions, at least 2 of which appear to have PATN1/PATN1 ( high number of full leopard foals out of solid mares). By using one of these several FS stallions we now have available on good quality warmblood mares we can get the spotting pattern as well as good movement and conformation.
Once you have that cross, any daughters can be bred back to a leopard spotted stallion, of which there are now several, and thus we can keep the quality without losing the white color.
For the record the FS (LP/LP) stallions we have available here are:
Ecuador Skrødstrup (may well be PATN1 homozygous as well).
Ravaldi (may also be PATN1 as well PATN2-5)
Pegasus (unclear about his PATN status at this point but he is certainly heterozygous for it).
Halifax Middelsom (no foals yet so to early to tell).
Hussar of Independance (also unclear with regard to PATN)
Xhogun Middelsom (is for sure heterozygous for PATN1 but only 1 foal here so far), but very limited semen availability.