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Locus Information: CH locus

Inheritance: autosomal-dominant

→ Horses with one or two copies of this variant (Ch/n or Ch/Ch) will have a diluted coat color.

General Information:

  • This mutation will cause coat, mane and tail to be lighter in color than usual (dilution) because the melanocytes produce less pigment.
  • Different shades of the Champagne dilution are possible, depending on the base color of a horse: Classic Champagne (black base color), Gold Champagne (chestnut base color), Amber Champagne (bay base color).
  • Champagne may occur in combination with other dilution factors, such as Cream, and is sometimes confused with the Cream dilution. However, foals with the champagne dilution have pink or “pumpkin” colored skin, and often show mottling or freckles around the eyes and muzzle.
  • Champagne is a relatively “new” mutation that originates in North America.  It is therefore mainly found in American breeds (e.g. Quarter Horses, Tennessee Walking Horses, Saddlebreds, etc.).  It is only found in breeds of non-American origin through cross-breeding.

Possible Genotypes:

Genotype: Effect:
n/n No Champagne dilution.
Ch/n One copy of the Ch-variant → the horse shows the diluted coat color. Depending on the base color, the horse will be Classic Champagne, Gold Champagne or Amber Champagne.
Ch/Ch Two copies of the Ch-variant → the horse shows the same phenotype as horses with only one copy of the variant.


Test information: This tests detects the single basepair change in Exon 2 of the SLC36A1 gene.

Cook, D., Brooks, S., Bellone, R., Bailey, E.: Missense mutation in exon 2 of SLC36A1 responsible for champange dilution in horses. PLoS Genet 4:e1000195, 2008. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000195

Further information is available at Online Mendelian Inheritance in Animals.

The champagne dilution gives horses a very shiny coat, and  distinctive pink/pumpkin skin and freckling/mottling on the skin around the eyes and muzzle .

Test #: H201

Samples: Blood, Hair

Price: 35 € (net)

Time required: 10-14 days

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