I have mentioned on the blog in the past that I just had a suspicion that Arrayan was homozygous roan, he comes from a stud that breeds specifically for Roan and although we only had five foals none of them disproved my theory. That said, homozygous roans are as rare as hens teeth, in fact it used to be thought they simply didn't exist, that they were not viable pregnancies.
A while back I saw a post on a Dales pony forum (yes, I spend too much time on the net!) about some roan ponies in France being tested, they proved to be heterozygous but their owner kindly passed on the details of the research being done at the University of California. I emailed them and asked if they would consider testing Arrayan...
We sent off hair samples from Arrayan and also from his two yearlings, Viscacha and Malambo and the results came back today...
I email regarding the roan testing of ARRAYAN NUMA and his offspring.
Based on our markers associated with roan, ARRAYAN NUMA appears to be homozygous for roan. We did have one marker with a result that was not typical for roan, however for the 2 roan offspring submitted Malambo inherited the standard roan marker and Vizcacha the atypical marker, lending support to the conclusion that the sire is homozygous for roan.
This is obviously very very exciting for us as it means no matter what mare Arrayan is bred to all his foals will be roan. He will not breed a solid foal.
It also leads to more questions, is he the first tested homozygous roan in the UK? Is he the only homozygous roan UK stallion? Need to do more research!