OUR STALLIONS & BREEDING SERVICES
Here at Sommer Ranch we know that color should just be the 'icing on the cake'! First and foremost our horses are bred for temperament with a strong emphasis on conformation and movement. A good horse must be a complete package. Color alone would not have us going strong after more than two decades of breeding and sales of our beloved Iberian horses. Sommer Ranch was officially established in 1989!
Sommer Ranch was the home to the legendary copper bay PRE stallion, BRAVIO. We salute his accomplishments, as well as the accomplishments of his amazing offspring. His passing in August of 2003 has left us with a large hole in our hearts that no one can ever fill. But we look forward to continuing his legacy with his sons, daughters and granddaughters. BRAVIO earned incredible honors during his career as our showing, breeding and exhibition stallion. But most of all, we will always remember him for the loving family member that he was to each of us.
We offer breedings to his mirror image son, BALITOR, the 16.3h metallic red/bay stallion who made history in his own right when he became the very first Andalusian stallion in the world to be a confirmed carrier of the newly isolated PEARL gene by UC Davis. A gene we know he inherited from his famous sire. Balitor now resides with his family in Burbank, CA.
We also offer breedings to the stunning cremello Lusitano stallion, DANTE DOURADO, located in Oregon. He was the result of breeding from two PSL horses that we imported from Brazil, XEROX HM and Zebra HM. There is currently a limited supply of frozen semen available for the Smokey Cream (single gray gene) Lusitano stallion, XEROX HM. He is now competing in open dressage with his new owner and we look forward to watching his progress.
We are currently standing ORIUNDO VG, one of the first approved Smokey Black PRE stallions imported into the United States from Spain. Smokey Black (sometimes referred to as Black Buckskin in other countries) is just as likely to produce cream babies (i.e. Buckskins or Palominos) as a Buckskin or Palomino stallion. We have nicknamed this incredible stallion "OREO" since he is dark chocolate on the outside with a hidden 'creamy' center! But despite his unique color genes, we offer up this stallion for breeding based on his overall type, quality and movement. The unique color and the strong possibility of Buckskin foals is just a bonus.
OUR HISTORY IN COLOR ** The PEARL GENE
Sommer Ranch was established in 1989. Since that time Sommer Ranch made genetic history when BRAVIO (the copper bay stallion) produced what appeared to be perlino and cremello babies when bred to Palomino and Buckskin mares. These first babies arrived in the early to mid-90's and were the result of breeding to outcross mares and....to say the least.....they were a complete surprise!! These babies broke all the then known rule books on color breeding. Bay to Buckskin or Palomino should NOT have produced a double dilute looking horse!?!
Unfortunately the technology of the time was not ready for our unusual little foals and it took almost a decade before we could even think about getting any answers to our many questions. During that time period, an unrelated chestnut Andalusian mare surfaced that could also produce foals that looked double dilute. At first their unique foals were said to have inherited the Bravio/Chica mutation gene. This drew the interest of several very affluent individuals in the 'color world' and we were finally able to work in conjunction with a Geneticist and UC Davis. Based on her hypothesis that there was another gene residing on the same allele as the cream gene....UC Davis went to work and the PEARL gene was officially discovered. It was also determined that this gene was the same rare and unique gene found in a handful of Quarter Horses and then known as the Barlink gene. A gene originally passed down from their Spanish ancestors and now collectively known as PEARL.
Although there is no set standard and variations can be observed, through my personal experience with homozygous creams, homozygous pearls and cream/pearl combinations in our Iberian horses, I have observed that the double creams tend to be much lighter with little to no color change between their bodies and their manes & tails. The cream/pearl horses continue to have the lighter bodies, but their manes, tails and legs have a much deeper bronze hue to them; and the double pearls are bronze all over with eyes that are more green than blue. Many of the Pearl horses also seem to have an unusually brilliant shine to them.
The PEARL gene is recessive. A horse with a single Pearl gene and no cream, will have no outward color effect. That horse, like our BRAVIO, would have to be DNA tested in order to determine if he/she carries the PEARL gene. But this secret treasure hidden inside can open up a world to many new color combinations including Buckskin Pearl (like PATINA - see Mares/Foals page & photo gallery), Palomino Pearl (like the mare, Guindaleza - see Mares Page) and Smokey Black Pearl - like Oso de Oro (2014 colt sired by Oreo and out of Arista). And when crossed with another PEARL carrier, can produce a stunning homozygous PEARL like our 2011 colt Gensis (now proudly owned by Ramona DeJong). This colt, to the best of our knowledge was the very first homozygous PEARL Andalusian bred and born in the United States. Just as we believe that PATINA was the first Buckskin Pearl PRE filly bred and born in the United States....also in 2011. BRAVIO'S legacy lives on in our breeding program and we couldn't be more proud of the result.