Breed with confidence using APHA Genetic Testing

genetictest-fbKnowledge of Paint Horse genetics is rapidly evolving, and researchers are constantly unearthing new genes that impact our horses’ expression of color and their overall health. Breeders and owners can put the power of genetic testing to work with a quick and easy DNA test. 

Why Test?

  • Make smarter breeding decisions.

Knowing which color, pattern and disease genes your horse carries means you can make smarter breeding choices and prevent heartache down the road. Sidestep recessive genetic conditions by not breeding carriers together.

  • Reduces risk and might help improve chances for Regular Registry color.

Genetic testing helps take some inherent risk out of breeding Paints. You’ll be able to select a sire or dam based on genetic potential to pass along a “Paint” pattern gene, along with more tangible things like conformation, athleticism, temperament and more.

  • Testing is quick, easy and cost-effective.

Genetic testing is painless and easy for any horse owner—genetic testing uses DNA from hair roots to determine which genes your horse carries. No guesswork required!

Genetic Testing Options

APHA and our official genetics testing partner, the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the University of California–Davis, can help you find out exactly which colors and patterns are carried by your stallion or mare.

Comprehensive Coat Color Test: $110*
Tests for the presence of eight coat colors and nine pattern genes:

  • Coat Colors: red factor, agouti, cream, pearl, champagne, dun, silver and gray
  • Pattern Genes: Tobiano (TO), Frame Overo (O), Sabino 1 (SB1), Splash White 1, 2 and 3 (SW1, SW2, SW3), and Dominant White 5, 10 and 20 (W5, W10, W20)

Comprehensive Disease Diagnostic Test: $125*
Tests for the presence of six genes linked to genetic diseases:


*Fees cover costs of the DNA kit, laboratory testing and recording.


The Procedure

Genetic testing is a simple procedure, done with 30 to 50 hairs (with intact roots) from your horse. Mane hair is normally used to derive DNA. However, if a foal is being tested, it is necessary to pull tail hair as roots from a foal’s mane are too small.

The Results

Genetic testing results, sent by email, usually take seven to 10 business days. Results are sent to the horse owner and APHA; a copy of the test results may be sent to another organization per written request from the horse’s owner of record or agent.


To order genetic tests for your Paint, complete the DNA Hair Kit Order Form and mail or email the completed form to APHA’s MemberCare Department. 

DNA Hair Kit Order Form

APHA MemberCare



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About APHA

The American Paint Horse Association is the world’s second-largest international equine breed association, registering more than a million horses in 59 nations and territories since it was founded. APHA creates and maintains programs that increase the value of American Paint Horses and enriches members’ experiences with their horses.

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