пятница, 17 августа 2007 г.


“Pretty is as pretty does” was more than just a cliché around Sommer Ranch. The magnificent Andalusian stallion, BRAVIO appeared to change like a chameleon, adapting to meet the challenges presented to him...fiery for parades and exhibitions; low key and level headed for trail and Western pleasure; yet naturally extended for Dressage and he “rose” to the occasion for Saddleseat and halter competition. Despite all this ability and flashy appearance, he was so kind and docile, newcomers found it hard to believe he was actually a stallion.

Bravio’s list of accomplishments appear endless, and far too numerous to list here; but a few of them established his position in the Andalusian history books. He was the 1st United States Andalusian to ever be awarded the prestigious “Best Movement’ trophy. And he was also the 1st Andalusian to ever win a Cross Country Trail Trial competition (against a field of 48 horses of all breeds!)

His National Championship titles included Hunt Seat, (Amateur & Open); Western Pleasure (Open); Country Pleasure Saddleseat (Amateur & Open) and Dressage (with a score of 71...his first time out!) Concurrent to performing in these various disciplines, Bravio also earned the honor of being high point halter stallion in 1993 (under the training and handling of his amateur owner, Scott Sommer).

Bravio has thrilled audiences at numerous exhibitions and events, including the world famous Rose Parade and the Volvo World Cup competition. He was one of the first U.S. Andalusians to be approved by the Cria Caballar in Spain as a top quality breeding stallion. And he has produced both pure and partbred offspring that are earning amazing titles and accomplishments in their own right.

One such son is our big, beautiful metallic bay stallion, Balitor. This magnificent son received a very rare and unique gene from his sire; the PEARL gene. Bravio made ‘genetic’ history by being one of only two known carriers of the newly isolated “Pearl” gene in the Andalusian horse. Originally nick named “The Bravio/Chica dilution gene” by the Champagne Registry...it was later isolated by UC Davis in October of 2006 and officially named “Pearl”. This gene in it’s singular form (on a solid colored horse of bay, chestnut or black), has no apparent physical manifestation. However, when combined with a single cream gene (such as in a Palomino, Buckskin or Smokey Black, it produces a horse that appears double dilute! These “pearl” horses are often also metallic in appearance.

UC Davis worked in conjunction with the New Dilutions group, and other contributors, including Sommer Ranch, to isolate this gene. We are currently waiting for UC Davis to publish their findings but it is believed that they will announce that this Pearl gene is also located on the same allele as the Cream gene. Thereby making it impossible for a double cream dilute horse to also carry a Pearl gene. As of the first of 2007, there are no confirmed double pearl Andalusians. Sommer Ranch is utilizing their unique Pearl stock (currently one Palomino Pearl - Guindaleza R - and two known carriers - Balitor and Luna de Bravio) in an effort to produce, what will hopefully prove to be the very first homozygous Pearl Andalusian in the United States.

We are currently testing other Bravio offspring located across the country to see just how many of them received this special gene...along with their sire’s tremendous athletic ability and eagerness to please. The legacy will continue...