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Birdcatcher Spots – A Rare Pattern on a Rare Horse

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Talo is special in so many ways, but the first thing most people notice about him is his Birdcatcher Spots. Some think he’s an Appaloosa, but he’s not. Talo is a KWPN horse, and he was actually born chestnut brown. Over the years, he developed tons of birdcatcher spots.

Seriously, if you look up Birdcatcher spots on Google or something, you’ll see plenty of pictures of horses with a few white spots on them. Talo, however, has them all over – from his neck to his butt. None on his belly, though. He’s got a few on his face, too.

Birdcatcher spots - Talo the horse

What are birdcatcher spots?

I was offered many “explanations” about Talo’s white markings – from copper deficiency to insect bites. It’s all nonsense. Birdcatcher spots are a rare genetic trait in horses. Birdcatcher spots are named for the Irish-born Thoroughbred stallion Birdcatcher (1833), who had these markings on his flank and above his tail. So, it’s basically a genetic thing, that randomly appears in horses of all kinds.


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