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Cream of the crop: a cremello foal is born in Wyoming

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A 3-week-old cremello foal butts up to his 18-year-old mother in Caitlin Tan’s backyard pasture in Pinedale on June 17. (Mike Koshmrl/WyoFile)
Mike Koshmrl with WyoFile, via the Wyoming News Exchange


The moment a Pinedale resident laid eyes on her new foal, she knew something was different.

Caitlin Tan wanted to breed her childhood horse, JP, because she’s been “amazing” — the type of animal any equestrian would be lucky to have once in a lifetime.

Having access to coveted bloodlines increased the allure. Via the Miller Ranch, she could pair her 18-year-old mare with a stud descendent of Playboy’s Buck Fever.

“If you’re in that world,” Tan said, “you know that horse.”

So Tan and JP went down the road of bringing a new foal into the world — a first-time experience for the mother and her human. After a couple of stressful weeks of checking in on JP every few hours, Tan’s black-maned mare went into labor early on a Sunday morning.      

“As soon as he came out, I thought he looked weird,” Tan said.

The minutes-old foal’s eyes were a striking light blue. The skin on his face was pink. His coloration was creamy, touching on completely white.

A true albino animal would have pink eyes, not blue. Still, clearly something different was going on.

“I’ve had a couple old timers come out here,” said Tan, who works as a reporter at Wyoming Public Radio. “Everyone has been like, ‘I’ve never seen a horse like this.’”

One of the Miller Ranch staff thought the youngster was a cremello. Tan’s vet agreed. A cremello horse, according to True West Magazine, is the result of two creme genes on a horse that would otherwise be red-colored.

Tan thought about selling her spunky new cremello foal, partly because he’s poorly suited to life in the high desert at over 7,000 feet, where the sun’s strong. She’s a little horse broke, too, and could probably fetch a handsome sum for such a unique-looking stud coming from such renowned bloodlines.

But Tan’s getting attached. For now, she’s just trying to think up what to call the now-month-old cremello foal. For a registered name, Playboy’s Key To My Heart is the frontrunner. As for the day-to-day moniker, Tan’s thinking something John Wayne-related — the animal and late actor share a birthday.

“I know he went by The Duke, but I don’t really like that,” Tan said. “Taking suggestions.”

WyoFile is an independent nonprofit news organization focused on Wyoming people, places and policy.

This story was posted on June 28, 2024

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