Arctic White turned four years old in 2003 and became the only Jockey Club registered white Thoroughbred stallion in North America. Thursday, he moved from Oregon to Kentucky to stand at Lexington's newest Thoroughbred farm, Shadow Mountain Stallions.
Shadow Mountain Stallions is located in the prestigious "hunt club" region of Lexington. The farm owner and trainer, Jan Robbins, says Arctic White is the oldest of 15 white siblings from the same sire, Airdrie Apache, who stands at Painted Desert Farm in eastern Oregon. "His sire was originally from the Airdrie Stud Farm," she said. "We are delighted to bring this great line of reproducible white Thoroughbreds back to the bluegrass."Robbins purchased Arctic White from Painted Desert in 2003.
According to the Jockey Club, there have been 36 Thoroughbreds registered as white in history. Many of Shadow Mountain Stallions' Thoroughbreds are double registered with the American Paint Horse Association, who reported only 40 Thoroughbreds as of 2003. "We have a full brother and sister to Arctic White, which are spectacularly patterned white and chestnut as if someone took a paint brush and splashed color on them," says Robbins.
Arctic White is also the living symbol of the White Horse Award, presented by the Race Track Chaplaincy of America each year at the Breeder's Cup. Although Arctic White primarily breeds for color and show prospects, some young foals have shown promise for racing. So far, two-thirds of the Thoroughbreds that have bred to Arctic White had foals that were white.
"You have the best chance (for white) when the mare carries the sabino gene," Robbins explained. The sabino white Thoroughbred, unlike overo paints, is not susceptible to Overo Lethal White Syndrome and is not albino. Arctic White's mares and foals are currently under study by researchers at the University of Kentucky. "They are very close to publishing results on the sabino gene," said Robbins, who added, "This will help make it possible to select white as a color choice in Thoroughbreds."
Shadow Mountain Stallions welcomes visitors to see the white and paint Thoroughbreds by appointment.