The American Paint Horse Association (APHA) will use the University of California, Davis, (UC Davis) exclusively for genetic testing as of Jan. 1, 2012. Working with the California-based lab, APHA will offer a variety of testing options to APHA members. The new testing packages are designed to increase member awareness of the genetic possibilities when breeding their American Paint Horses. Included in the testing options are a comprehensive coat color package, comprehensive disease diagnostic package, and selected individual tests.

The standard DNA genetic typing test is required for all breeding stallions (Paint, Quarter Horse, and Thoroughbred), mares bred using transported cooled or frozen semen, dams of horses intended to race, or donor mares in the embryo transfer, vitrified embryo, or oocyte program. Parentage verification is required on resulting foals from the above breeding methods, all cropout horses, and all race horses foaled on or after Jan. 1, 2000.

American Paint Horse owners can also test for certain diseases with the UC Davis Comprehensive Disease Diagnostic test or the Individual Disease Diagnostic test. The comprehensive test will screen for several genetically transferred diseases including hyperkalemic periodic paralysis (HYPP), overo lethal white syndrome (OLWS), hereditary equine regional dermal asthenia (HERDA), and glycogen branching enzyme deficiency (GBED). If an owner is interested in testing for just one or two of those diseases, they can utilize the individual test option and specify which test they choose.

Paint Horses are unique from most other breeds because of their spotted coat patterns. Although their base coat color can be the same as those of other breeds, superimposed over these colors are a variety of white spotting patterns which can make determining the horse's base color difficult. The ability to recognize these patterns and understand the genetics behind them is essential for Paint Horse breeders. The UC Davis Comprehensive Coat Color test offers a thorough screening of eleven coat colors, including tobiano and Sabino 1. Individual coat color tests can also be requested.

The DNA Hair Kit Order Form and complete fee schedule are available online at, by phone at 817/834-2742, ext. 777, or by mail through the APHA Field Services department. Fees range from $25-$110.

For additional information contact Cindy Grier, APHA field services managing director, at or by calling 817/834-APHA (2742).

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