Sport Horse Nation Spotlight: Dappled Greys for Days

In the market for a new four-legged partner? You may find your unicorn on our sister site, Sport Horse Nation. To help with the search, we’re going to feature a selection of current listings here on EN. We include the ad copy provided; click the links for videos, pricing and contact information.

You know what dapple grey looks like. But do you know what causes this coat pattern, which is a unique sort of thumbprint to every dappled horse? And why are some horses are grey, anyway?

Despite the fact that I’ve owned at least two grey horses endowed with dapple patterning (side query: is “dapple grey” or “dappled grey” the correct nomenclature? I mean, heck, is it even “grey” or “gray”?!?) these deep questions have never before so much as crossed my mind, until today. So I did what any semi-fossilized old equestrian journalist living in the year of our Lord 2022 would do: 1) dig through veterinary journals, (2) experience feelings of exhaustion and overwhelm, and (3) consult Google.

According to a wide variety of reputable Internet sources, being born grey is largely a matter of genetics. The grey allele gene is dominant: “Grey mare + grey stallion = grey foal;” but also “non-grey mare + grey stallion (or vice versa) = foal with 50% chance of being grey if it carries the less dominant form of the grey gene;” and then “non-grey mare (yet is a carrier of the gene) + non-grey stallion (or vice versa) = the foal … could be grey?

And then there are the dapples, a result of mixed pigmentation in the hair. Yet-to-be-solved mysteries: why? What evolutionary purpose, if any, does dappling serve? It is, certainly, an ephemeral phenomenon: dapple gray horses will whiten at different rates, but most are nearly completely white by the age of 9.

Not unlike my hair by the time I get finished writing the intro to this otherwise straightforward article.

Here are four dapple grey (or is it dappled grey? please, if you have an opinion, enlighten me in the comments) horses currently featured on Sport Horse Nation that could be your next future sparkling white superstar.

Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

5 year old ISH gelding

Buzz is a 16.1 hand, 2017 imported Irish Sport Horse by Nazar. He is a nippy and athletic sort with tons of gallop and jump for the upper levels. He is well schooled and ready to begin his eventing career in the spring.

Located in Lovettsville, VA.

Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Sybil AB- beautiful talent and temperament in this imported ISH

Sybil AB- 2017 16.3 hand gray imported ISH mare by Nazar out of a Kings Master mare. This horse is the total package of brains and talent and it doesn’t hurt she’s beautiful too. She’s ready to continue her education with a jr or AA in a program. She will go far. She’s done two A rated hunter shows with an ammie and is entered at Majestic Oaks. No soundness or health issues or any special care requirements.

Located in Citra, FL.

Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Soft, Sweet, Safe

Excel Star No Diggity is a 16.2h grey Irish gelding by Dignified Van’t Zorgvliet out of Killinick Bounce (Grange Bouncer).

He has shown successfully through 1.25m and has schooled cross country. Born in 2016, he is super comfortable on the flat with a soft jump. Easy, sweet and safe he is perfect for a junior or amateur but with the talent for a professional.

He and others are available on

Located in Nottingham, PA.

Photo via Sport Horse Nation.

Super prospect with loads of talent and potential!

Clifton GS is a lovely 16.1h, 7 rising 8 year old gelding with talent to spare. He has three lovely gaits, a very balanced canter and a beautiful classic technique over fences. Clifton is very athletic, scopey and has a great mind, and would be fantastic for someone looking for a really nice quality prospect to bring along the levels. He has all the ability, and breeding backed behind him, to go all the way to the upper levels of this sport. Clifton has attended two jumper shows (Angelstone Tournaments and Ten Sixty Stables), has been to one event at Bronte Creek Horse Trials where he competed at Open Entry and won. He has also been off property schooling multiples times. Suited for a pro or amateur.
Clifton is currently in training with Olympian Jessica Phoenix.

Located in Cannington, ON.

Listings included in this article are randomly selected and not confirmed to be current and active before inclusion. Sport Horse Nation features user-generated content and therefore cannot verify or make any warranty as to the validity or reliability of information.