Splashed White (SW), also known as splash or splash overo, is a pinto pattern. Heterozygous splashed whites appear to have normal white markings and in rare cases no markings at all. Homozygous splashes have a distinct look to them and look like the pony was dipped feet first in white. In the absence of testing the appearance of a distinctive homozygous splashed white is used to confirm the existence of splash.
Splashed wites frequently have one or two blue eyes. Homozygous splashes have two blue eyes. Heterozygous splashes often only have one, a partial blue eye, or do not have them at all. Splash is the common source of blue eyes in (non double dilute) Chincoteagues. No independent blue eyed gene has been identified in horses.
There is a test available for six versions of splash. Splashed White 1 (SW1) is found in many breeds and is the one found in Chincoteagues. A granddaughter of Surfer Dude, Suplee's Little Angel, tested positive for SW1 which confirmed it in Chincoteagues. SW1 has also been found in Misty family. The SW1 mutation is located on the MITF gene.
The other versions are less common and are from specific breeds and bloodlines. There are likely other version of splash that have not yet been found as obviously splash appearing horses have tested negative for the five known versions.
Splashed White 2 (SW2) is found in Quarter Horses/Paints, Norikers, and Lipizzaners. It is believed to be a homozygous lethal. The SW2 mutation is located on the PAX3 gene. SW2 horses may be deaf.
Splashed White 3 (SW3) is the TD Kid line of Paints. It appears to cause problems in its homozygous state. The SW3 mutation is located on the MITF gene.
Splashed White 4 (SW4) originated with a Freiberger gelding who had no offspring. The SW4 mutation was located on the MITF gene.
Splashed White 5 (SW5) is from a line of Appaloosas and only produces minimal white. The SW5 mutation is located on the PAX3 gene.
Splashed White 6 (SW6) originated in the Quarter Horse and Paint Horse stallion Urge. SW6 is located on the MITF gene.
The first known photographic evidence of obvious splashes is from the 1960s. It is likely that splash was introduced into Chincoteagues during the outcrossing that brought in tobiano. Splash is found in both the Virginia and Maryland feral herds. Numerous Misty family ponies show minimal expressions of splash and Misty may have had splash based on her skewed blaze.
Dark flaxen chestnut heterozygous splash. Splash expression is limited to four white feet, blaze and lips, and one blue eye. Surfer Dude, 2007 & 2010, Picture by Amanda Geci.
Chestnut homozygous splash and bay tobiano heterozygous splash. Foal was born in 2001 and was sired by Surfer Dude out of Island Breeze. Foal had a similarly marked full sibling in 2002, below. 2001 Filly, Picture by Amanda Geci.
Chestnut homozygous splash. Foal was born in 2002 and was sired by Surfer Dude out of Island Breeze. Foal had a similarly marked full sibling in 2001, above. Sea Breeze Blue, Picture from Teager, Life on Chincoteague & Assateague Islands by Charles N Showard and Kevin N. Moore.
Chestnut homozygous splash and chestnut tobiano heterozygous splash dam. Sired by Surfer Dude. Surfer's Rouge Wave and Thetis, 2010. Picture by Amanda Geci.
Dark flaxen chestnut heterozygous splash as a 2 year old and as a 5 year old. Son of Surfer Dude, full sibling to Soul Surfer. Surfer Dude's Riptide, 2011 and 2014, Picture by Amanda Geci.
Splash with one blue eye. Note her dipped in paint appearance. Daughter of Surfer Dude. Surfer Girl, Picture courtesy of Kim Porter.
Chestnut heterozygous splash with blue eyes. Son of Surfer Dude, full sibling to Surfer Dude's Riptide. Soul Surfer, 2014, Picture by Amanda Geci.
Chestnut minimal splash with a blue eye. Diamond's Jewel, Picture by Amanda Geci.
Dark flaxen chestnut splash. Son of Surfer Dude. Phantom of the Waves, 2014, Picture by Amanda Geci.
Dark chestnut homozygous splashed white. Filly out of Unforgettable, 2021, Pictures by Amanda Geci.
Chestnut minimal splash foal with a blue eye. Note the skewed blaze. Maddox, Picture by Amanda Geci.
Flaxen chestnut splash from the Maryland herd. Photos from postcards.
Black splashed white with sunfaded coats. CLG Surfer's Blue Moon, 2016 and 2018, Pictures by Amanda Geci.
Solid bay heterozygous splash with blue eyes. Feral filly, 1996, Picture by Amanda Geci.
A likely homozygous splash mare with her heterozygous splash foal. Historical reference. Feral mare and foal, 1977, Picture by Joseph Spies from Wild Ponies of Chincoteague.
Chestnut splash foal. Historical reference. Feral mare and foal, 1970s/1980s, Picture from an old postcard.
Bay homozygous splash. Historical reference. Feral pony, 1967, Screen shot from a Wild Kingdom episode.