I’m sure most of you have heard of the Sphynx cats:
and Chinese Crested dogs:
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that is a hairless horse. And this little filly isn’t the only one! There have been sporadic reported cases over the years. Records of this phenomena appear to go as far back as 1871, then there was Blue Bell in 1872 and finally Harry made it into the papers in 2003 (the Q&A with Harry’s owner that we linked to, by the way, is amazing – we love to read about people who love their horses as much as this woman did Harry). We tried to find more information from other sources on the so called “world wide web” however, google let us down this time. The only sites we found that appeared even remotely credible were ultimatehorsesite.com (where we found Harry!) which had a page with an email from an Akhal-Teke breeder – which eventually got us here. Apparently the above filly is actually an Akhal-Teke. This breed is known to suffer from something called Hairless Foal Syndrome – it ain’t pretty (and we don’t just mean that aesthetically, it’s a lethal and painful disease)
It’s interesting to note that the Akhal-Teke breeder and Harry’s owner both talked about inbreeding. Is hairlessness really the result of a recessive gene as suggested here, or perhaps a faulty gene (see 3rd paragraph here for info on faulty genes) brought on by inbreeding? The British royals stopped inbreeding a while ago. If it’s good enough for the British, it’s good enough for the horses! We’re just sayin’, 3 eyes happen y’all…
Here’s a pic of Harry – isn’t he adorable?