Located just two hours north of New York City and east of the Hudson River, Rockridge Stud is an idyllic Thoroughbred farm that celebrated a remarkable new arrival on January 24 when Pincesspatseattle foaled a rare white Thoroughbred colt. The leggy son of Honorable Dillon became an instant internet phenomenon when the farm released photos of the colt days after he was born.
America’s Best Racing took a trip to Rockridge Stud to meet the colt and his dam (the name for an equine mother) and talk to farm owner Lere Visagie about the pair.
Many Thoroughbreds are gray colored, but very few are registered as white. The difference is subtle: with a white Thoroughbred, the entire coat is predominantly made up of white hairs whereas with a gray the majority of the coat is a mixture of black and white hairs. Additionally, gray horses are born chestnut (an orange-red color) or nearly black and lighten to gray with age. Roan horses can grow more white hairs over the years but keep their bay (a brown color with black legs) or chestnut coloring throughout their lives.
Rick Bailey of the Jockey Club Registry explains that white Thoroughbreds are incredibly rare: in fact, the statistical likelihood of having a white Thoroughbred foal born is just 0.0095 percent. In history, only 170 white American Thoroughbreds have been registered with the Jockey Club. In New York, where Princesspatseattle gave birth, there have been only three: Arctic Storm Cat, Clarence Stewart, and White Flight.
Occasionally white and other unusually colored Thoroughbreds who have succeeded on the track; below are just a few examples of some very noticeable racehorses:
The two-week-old son of Honorable Dillon and Princesspatseattle has a long way to go before he begins his foray into the world of horse racing; for now, he is content to spend his days napping and playing on the rolling hills of Rockridge Stud under the watchful eye of his mother.