Double Dilute
































Double dilutes have two copies of the cream dilution (CRCR). The cream dilution mutation is found on the MATP gene. Double dilutes are homozygous for the cream gene so they will always pass the cream dilution on to their offspring. Cream is an incomplete dominant, meaning a homozygous such as a double dilute looks different than a heterozygous such as a palomino/buckskin/smoky black. A double dilute's sire and dam must both be some form of cream dilute. What type of double dilute the pony is depends on what other colors the parents carry. Double dilutes always have blue eyes and pink skin. There is a genetic test available for the cream dilution.

Cremello is a chestnut with two copies of the cream dilution.

Perlino is a bay or brown with two copies of the cream dilution.

Smoky cream is a black with two copies of the cream dilution.

The three double dilutes all look identical and must usually be tested for to see which one they are. A double dilute from two palominos will always be a cremello. Perlinos and smoky creams occasionally retain more color in the areas that should have been black.

It is not known when the cream dilution was first introduced into Chincoteagues. The palomino Misty was foaled in 1946 so it would have been at some point prior to that year. It may have existed early in the breed as there are a few accounts describing ponies as dun. Dun is traditionally used to describe buckskins and the term is still used today in parts of Europe. A 1891 article in the New York City newspaper The Sun stated that the ponies "are most frequently black, gray, sorrel, or dun." Additionally the 1910 Pittsburgh Times stated that "White and dun-colored ponies are exceedingly rare." A 1923 St. Petersburg Times article described the ponies as "bay, gray, dun, black, and sorrel". Conversely Leonard D. Sale wrote in 1896 in The Horse Review of Chicago that, "I have never yet seen a grey, piebald, dun, or yellow purely bred island pony."


Cremello. Both of her parents are palomino. Misty's Icicle, 2007 & 2011, Picture by Amanda Geci.


Perlino. She produced buckskins with chestnut stallions. Blonde, 2001, Picture by Amanda Geci.


Double dilute foal. Feral foal, Picture from Teager, Life on Chincoteague & Assateague Islands by Charles N Showard and Kevin N. Moore.


Perlino. Both of her parents are buckskins. MCC's Scottish Princess, 2010 and 2020, Foal picture courtesy of Susan Mueller, Adult picture courtesy of Rebekah Hart.


Perlino. Spook, Picture by Amanda Geci.


Perlino tobiano. Sire is a smokey black tobiano, dam is a buckskin tobiano. Misty's Honeymoon, 2019 and 2020, Foal picture courtesy of Matt DesJardins, Adult picture by Amanda Geci.


Double dilute. Historical reference. Wild pony, Picture from an undated postcard


Double dilute. Historical reference. The King of Assateague, Picture from The King of Assateague by Talmage S. Wilchcher