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Dun on Black: Grulla

Shaila, a 3 YO (in these pics) AQHA/NFQHA Grulla mare - Tested Ee aa, neg cream, neg LWO, and is Dd, with year-round brindle pattern (see pics below). Photo contributed by Tara, www.risingmoonranch.com 

Grulla is the name for one or two dun genes on solid (non-bay) black.

It's a Spanish word, the name of a crane that's a mousy gray color like these horses often are.  It's pronounced "groo-ya", correctly, though not always. 

Because they are a dilution of true black, grullas will often be a "cooler" color (fewer yellow/ red/ orange tones) than other duns.  Their points will usually remain true black, as do their dun markings.  

Many say that a mostly-black head is a good indication of grulla.  Others go by a muted or dark body shade.  This page, however, is only showing genetically-proven (this is before the dun test) examples. 
A horse is a "proven grulla" if it tests to have at least one E (black based), aa (no agouti/bay) and no cream gene  ... plus it must have a dorsal stripe and leg markings on at least two legs (or a positive test for dun.)

By this method, we establish what a grulla *usually* looks like, and what a grulla *can* look like.

Grullas can be any body color from slate blue to brown to silvery to nearly black.  We don't know if this is due to variations in the dun genes, the base color (black), or both.


Study of "True Grulla" #1 -- "Shaila":

ShailaDunMarkings2.jpg (35561 bytes)

See Shaila's main photo at the top of this section. Click this small version to see a collage of Shaila's dorsal stripe, leg markings, ears, etc.

Shaila0204_1.jpg (28258 bytes)Shaila0304_4.jpg (38964 bytes)Shaila0804_1.jpg (33874 bytes)These three photos show some of the variation in color that she has at various seasons and different lighting.  This is a common characteristic of grulla: it looks so different in different lights, angles, seasons, and is, at its best, still difficult to describe.   

shaila_0605_dapples1.jpg (15296 bytes)

This photo of her body is included to show that duns without a cream gene can have dapples.  (She tested negative for cream.)

shaila_0605_brindle1.jpg (17395 bytes)

Tara sent us these pics as a "bonus"  ...  a very good example of brindling, also on Shaila. Some brindling is due to a genetic anomaly known as a "chimera"; other brindling appears to be related to dun.

Shaila0412_1.jpg (31087 bytes)

"True Grulla" #2, --Successful Outta The Blue 

Tested (aa Ee) true grulla Morgan mare

Owned and contributed by Nancy Nard  of  Ragtime Morgans



True Grulla #3 -- Im Half Show

This horse of Mary Hass' is a less expected color, yet did test true: E_aa, no cream!  http://www.haashorsefarm.com  

Im Half Show 6-26-05.JPG (26728 bytes)Im Half Showwalksfront.jpg (21059 bytes)Isa-Boo6-26-05.JPG (20085 bytes)Isawalkslft6-26-05.JPG (29835 bytes)Isaruns6-26-05.JPG (21383 bytes)Isarghtfrnt6-26-05.JPG (16664 bytes)IsaBoo6-26-05.JPG (23186 bytes)Im Half Show leftrun6-26-05.JPG (23249 bytes)


True Grulla #4 -- Silver Bullet

Diane Pinney, of Spanish Sage Ranch, writes, "Here is my Kiger Stallion, Silver Bullet, shown here about 3 years ago, age 4. I refer to him as a silver grulla because it best describes the color he is...until the sun bleaches him in the summer. He has been color tested and has no cream gene. I even asked them to run the test twice to be sure."


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