Splashed white (called Hjálmskjótt in icelandic) distinguishes itself from regular pintos with looks and genetics. Further down on this page you can also see some stallions that have the splash gene.
Splashed white horses often stand out. One way of describing the colour is to imagine an albino who has got paint poured over him. The horses are white on their stomach and legs, often with a white head and blue eyes. Most (if not all?) splashed white horses have a spot in the end of their tail. If the tail is white the spot is colored and if the tail is colored the spot is white.
The amount of white in each individual can vary from just a small white spot on the belly to almost a completely white horse. Below you can see the variety on the pictures.
Below are pictures of splashed white horses:
Like you can read about in the genetic chapter of this article (who is further down) the splash gene has to come from both sides of the pedigree so the horse can be a splashed white.
The horses carrying the splash gene often show it on their apperance. Common cues are for example; blazes, stars and/or snips and often with socks and/or blue eyes. But there are also known examples for horses who have the splash gene but do not show it in their appearance.
Below you can see horses who have the splash gene:
Splashed white does not inherit like regular pinto. Both parents do have to have the splash gene so the foal can be a splashed white. If both parents are splashed white; the offspring will always be a splashed white.
Below I will try to explain those genetics in a simplifyed way.
Note that we are only focusing on the splash gene. Not the base color, who can be any existing color.
↑ Explanations for the pictures below..
When breeding splashed white horses we have always pictured four genes (two from each parent) who decide which the foal will be splashed white or not. The foal gets only one gene from each parent.
The picture above shows the genes of the father (blue border) and the genes of the mother (green border).
When paired each parent will give one of their two genes to the foal, which here is presented as a blue gene from the father and green gene from the mother.
It is random which one will be passed on and the odds on each always 50%.
I have marked the parents genes with A, B, C og D for clarification.
In the example above we have a father with the splash gene (gene B) and a mother who does not carry a gene for splashed white.
Possible offsprings are the one to the left who has inherited gene A from the father and gen C or D from the mother (it does not matter which one from the mother because they are both not splash).
The foal to the right has got the splash gene (B) from the father and a normal gene from the mother.
Summed up: When one of the parents has one splash gene and the other parent has no splash; the odds are 50% that the offspring gets one splashed white gene.
If a splashed white horse is paired with a horse who has no splash gene you can only get one result. Because the splashed white parent will always give one splash gene and the non splash parent will give a no splash gene.
Summed up: If one parent is splashed white and the other does not carry splash the foal will always just have 1 splash gene.
Above we have two splash carrying parents. In that case there are three possible outcomes:
1) The offspring does not get any splash gene. If it gets gene A from the mother and C from the father. (25% odds).
2) The offspring carries one splash gene. Then it gets one splash from one parent and none from the other. (in this case the odds of a splash carrier are 50%)
3) The offspring is a splashed white. If it gets genes B and D (both splash genes) from the parents it will be a splashed white. When breeding together two splash carriers you have 25% odds of a splashed white foal.
Summed up: From two horses with the splash gene you have three possible foals; one who does not have the splash gene, one who has the gene or a splashed white.
Most likely (50%) is that you get a splash carrier. 25% odds are for splashed white or no splash at all.
As you can see from the examples above, the splashed white color can "travel" for generations before it "shows up" again.
Before this colour and his genetics were so well known it often came as a surprise and people did not understand how there could be born a "pinto" foal "out of the blue" from non pinto parents ..
When you pair a splashed white horse and one that has the splash gene you have a 50/50 chance to get a splashed white horse or a splash carrier.
The splashed white parent always passes on a splash gene so the color of the foal will determine by which gene the other parents gives. Splash or not splash.
And one simple in the end:
splashed white + splashed white = always splashed white.
How can you be certain that a horse has the splash gene?
The only way to be 100% sure is that one of the parents is a splashed white horse, or to get a DNA test result. The DNA testing is rather simple. You have to collect hair (with roots) from the mane or tail and send it to a lab that offers DNA testing for the splash gene. We have for example sent hair for testing to Germany and it was both cheaper than we suspected and did not take long to get the results.
Splash gene ancestors
Many of the best known icelandic stallions carry the splash gene. Below you can see some examples.
Glampi frá Vatnsleysu - is one of the most famous Icelandic horses. He has received 1st price for offsprings and is known for his unique leg action and impression. Fortunately he has inherited his qualities to many of his offsprings. Glampi has also been efficient in spreading the splash gene through his offsprings. He has given some splashed white offsprings like for an example the stallions; Strákur, Seðill and Hjálmar frá Vatnsleysu.
Glampi frá Vatnsleysu, rider is Björn Friðrik Jónsson
Jarl frá Búðardal - is a chestnut with a blaze. His father is Kolfinnur frá Kjarnholtum and mother Rispa frá Búðardal, who was a chestnut with blaze and passed on her splash gene to Jarl.
Jarl was evaluated with a total score of 8,10 including 8,47 for riding abilities. He has over 200 offsprings and some of them have a very good breeding evaluation. Jarl will spread the splash gene through his many offsprings.
Jarl was sold abroad to Sweden.
Jarl frá Búðardal
Orion frá Litla-Bergi - is a son of Rökkvi frá Kirkjubæ and Blika frá Vallanesi. He got a total score of 8,09; there of 8,29 for riding abilities who include a 9 for tölt.
Orion has given many good offsprings and there are listed over 400 offsprings in Worldfengur.
Orion frá Litla-Bergi
Hróður frá Refsstöðum - Hróður has received honorary price for his offsprings. He will have a very big influence in spreading the splash gene through many of his great offsprings.
Hróður frá Refsstöðum, rider is Mette Mannseth
Hjálmar frá Vatnsleysu - is a chestnut splashed white son of Glampi frá Vatnsleysu and Nýjung frá Vatnsleysu. He has been sold abroad to Germany but leaves many offsprings here in Iceland.
Hjálmar frá Vatnsleysu
Ægir frá Móbergi - is one of few splash carriers that show no signs of it on his appearance. He is black with no white marks.
Ægir has given splashed white offsprings and many with blazes and blue eyes. Himself was evaluated with a total score of: 8,06
Ægir has been sold abroad, and is now in the Netherlands.
Ægir frá Móbergi, rider is Ragnheiður Haraldsdóttir
Djáknar frá Hvammi - is a son of Jarl frá Búðardal and Djásn frá Heiði. He is a chestnut with light mane & tail, a blaze and socks.
At a breeding show Djáknar was evaluated with a total score of 8,46. There of 8,68 for riding abilities including 9,5 for pace. He also got 9,5 for mane and tail.
Djáknar was sold to Germany but leaves good offsprings here in Iceland.
Djáknar frá Hvammi
Glotti frá Sveinatungu - is a chestnut with a blaze and light mane and tail. His father is Gustur frá Hóli and mother is Sonnetta frá Sveinatungu. Sonnetta has passed her splash gene to Glotti and she gets it from her father Mars frá Litla-Bergi, who has the same mother as Orion frá Litla-Bergi, who also is a known splash carrier.
Glotti received a great evaluation: 8,24 for conformation, 8,90 for riding abilities and a total score of 8,64. Including 9,5 for hooves, pace and spirit and 9 for tölt, trot and back & croup.
Glotti has been sold to Denmark but leaves many offsprings in Iceland and some very highly judged who are likely to pass on the splash gene.
Glotti frá Sveinatungu. Rider is Jakob Svavar Sigurðsson
Kvistur frá Skagaströnd - is black with a star, snip and white fetlock on his hind leg.
He has received 1st price for offsprings and also given some splashed white offsprings.
Kvistur received 9 for tölt, trot and pace in his breeding assessment.
Conformation: 8,28 Riding abilities: 8,79 Total score: 8,58
Kvistur was sold abroad in 2020.
Kvistur frá Skagaströnd, rider is Erlingur Erlingsson
Ölnir frá Akranesi - is a chestnut with ligh mane & tail, blaze and blue eyes. His father is Glotti frá Sveinatungu and very likely that Ölnir got his splashgene from him. Dam is Örk frá Akranesi.
Ölnis breeding assessment includes: 9,5 for spirit and 9 for tölt, trot, gallop and form under rider.
Conformation: 8,39 Riding abilities: 8,93 Total score: 8,71
In 2020 Ölnir received 1st price for his offsprings.
Ölnir was sold abroad and left Iceland in 2021.
Ölnir frá Akranesi. Rider on the left picture is Daníel Jónsson and on the right it is Jakob Svavar Sigurðsson who is riding Ölnir.
Splash gene stallions in Iceland
Note that those are only a few examples! There are others.
Skjanni frá Nýjabæ - Skjanni is a black splashed white stallion. He was evaluated as a 1st price stallion at the young age of 4 years.
Skjanni frá Nýjabæ, 4.years old. Rider is Agnar Þór Magnússon
Eldur frá Torfunesi - is a chestnut with blaze and fetlocks. His father is Máttur frá Torfunesi and mother is Elding frá Torfunesi, who is a daughter of Djáknar frá Hvammi.
Eldur has already given a splashed white offspring and many have blazes, stars, snips and/or socks.
Eldur got a very good evaluation at the young age of 4 years when he scored 8,37 in total.
One year later (when he was five) he was shown again and raised his notes to a total score of 8,60.
8,61 for conformation and 8,59 for riding abilities.
Including; 10 for mane and tail, 9,5 for trot and 9 for tölt, willingness, form under rider, neck/withers/shoulders and legs.
Eldur frá Torfunesi and Mette Mannseth.
Hringur frá Gunnarsstöðum - is black with a star and blue eye. He has inherited the splash gene from his father, who is Hróður frá Refsstöðum.
Hringur got a really good judgement at the age of 4 years and received four times 9 in his riding abilities assessment, shown as a fourgaiter.
At the age of 5 years Hringur improved his scores to four times 9 and also one 9,5 for trot in his riding abilities. His total score is 8,30.
Hringur frá Gunnarsstöðum, rider is Þórarinn Ragnarsson.
Lexus frá Vatnsleysu- is a faded black with a star, snip, socks and blue eyes.
He was evaluated at the age of 5 years and received four times 9 in his riding abilities assessment. Lexus is shown as a fourgaiter.
It is also worth mentioning that Lexus is a son of the famous Lydía frá Vatnsleysu, who won the tölt and became second in B-flokkur in Landsmót 2004.
Lexus frá Vatnsleysu, rider is Ævar Örn Guðjónsson
Splashed white horses with 1st price
Skjanni frá Nýjabæ - Skjanni got 1st price at a breeding show when he was only 4 years old.
He is a black splashed white stallion. Sired by Hróður frá Refsstöðum and Þóra frá Nýjabæ.
Skjanni frá Nýjabæ, 4 years old. Shown by Agnar Þór Magnússon
Seðill frá Vatnsleysu - was evaluated as a 1st price stallion at the age of 9 years.
He is a black splashed white. Sired by Glampi frá Vatnsleysu and Sonata frá Vatnsleysu (1st price mare sired by Jarl frá Búðardal). Seðill is now in Austria.
Seðill frá Vatnsleysu, shown by Þórður Þorgeirsson
Undrun frá Akranesi - is a black splashed white mare sired by Glampi frá Vatnsleysu and Maístjarna frá Akranesi. She was shown by Jóhann Skúlason in 2008, when she was 6 years old.
Undrun is now in Denmark.
Undrun frá Akranesi
Hörgull frá Steðja - was shown in 2003, when he was 8 years old.
He is a chestnut splashed white stallion, sired by Undri frá Bergi and Alúð frá Steðja.
Hörgull is now in Sweden.
Hörgull frá Steðja, shown by Bergur Jónsson
Glámur frá Hofsósi -was evaluated with 7,98, not 1st price, but so close.
He is a chestnut splashed white stallion, sired by Njörður frá Vatnsleysu (son of Glampi) and Vera frá Kópavogi (1st price daughter of Hnokki frá Steðja). Glámur was shown at a breeding show in 2004, then 8 years old. His rider was Mette Manseth.
Glámur passed away in 2013.
Glámur frá Hofsósi, shown by Mette Manseth (above). Rider on the picture below is Halldór Svansson.
Glanni frá Þingholti - is a son of Glotti frá Sveinatungu and Ása frá Keflavík. Ása is a daughter of Orion frá Litla-Bergi.
Glanni was exported to Germany as a foal. He was shown at the age of 6 years and got a total score of 8,15.
Glanni frá Þingholti
Heljar frá Brekknakoti - was born in 2012. He is a son of Eldur frá Torfunesi and Kara frá Akureyri (F: Ægir frá Móbergi).
Heljar left Iceland when he was 2 years old and got his 1st price evaluation at the age of 6.
Thank you for reading !
I am always happy to get comments for improvement and if you own a splashed white horse or horse with the splash gene you can also send us pictures to publish in this collection. The pictures must show the colour well and have decent quality.
If you want to read more about splashed white horses, you can read about our splashed white breeding here.