Blue Nugget P.
at 2 years of age
Montana's Blue Nugget P. V-98
We first found Nugget on the internet at the web
page for the Peterson's in Montana. We had been looking
for a stallion prospect to act as a cross out stallion
for our breeding program and wanted to incorporate
some other old Missouri Foxtrotter lines of Foundation
stock at the same time.
We liked the look of Nugget and his pedigree pretty
well and felt he would add some refinement to the
heads and necks of some of our horses plus bring in
a bit of color. He had a good hip and nice shoulder
as well as a long forearm that we like to see. He
was not as strong in the bone and joint as Toy Boy
but we felt it worth exploring to produce fillies
from him to take back to Toy.
As it happened the Petersons had relatives that
lived quite near us so transporting was not a problem.
We made the purchase and waited anxiously for Nugget
One of the first photos
we saw of Nugget
It was winter when he came and he had more hair
on him than a good coated bear! My what a gob of fur
he had. His coat was woolly and deep and long but
it was also rather dull and brittle looking.
Petersons had wormed Nugget just prior to shipping
but wormers are not as affective as they once were
so we figured we needed to really purge this kid.
We wormed him and it was utterly disgusting what came
out of him! No wonder his coat was brittle and coarse!
We waited ten days and wormed him again and once
again he passed so many worms I'm amazed he didn't
suffer a blockage! We waited ten days and wormed him
STILL he was passing absolutely cups
full of worms.
Next we double dosed him with Ivermectin. EEGADS!!!!
That poor colt passed every kind of worm you could
think of and in mass quantities. AND he was still
loaded with long worms. We just could not seem to
get him cleaned out! This was before the advent of
daily wormer so what to do?
We called the vet and had her run a fecal on him.
She was very concerned because she knew we had been
worming him every ten days and yet he was still packing
a load. She recommended we do a five day Panacur worming.
We did. Every day he passed more and more worms.
When he arrived, Nugget
was woolly as a bear and dull coates as well as somewhat
pot bellied from a monster worm load!
After that cycle we waited ten days which is the
average life cycle of the parasites and then we wormed
him with a double does of Ivermectin again! AND again
we still got piles of worms. I mean it was just terrible!
He passed more worms than stool!
All this while Nugget seemed perfectly healthy
and happy. He ate well and had good energy. He played
and was active and didn't seem to be affected by the
terrible infestation he was harboring at all!
When the five day and double dose follow up with
Ivermectin didn't work we called the vet again! She
came out and this time she tube wormed him. She lived
just around the corner from us and had seen what we
had been getting out of this poor horse. She couldn't
believe it herself. She really could not believe he
could harbor that many worms and still not have a
We had contacted Petersons to warn them that they
may have the same problem with others of their horses.
It would have been remiss of us not to do so.
As a yearling he was
upright and developing well though small.
To make a gross and long story short, Nugget got
wormed every 10 days for a year before we finally
got ONE pile that didn't have worms in it. We celebrated
when we finally got him cleaned out! But we were then
concerned he'd be immune to the wormers.
Our fears were unfounded when after several months
he was still clear and never seemed to get a load
of any parasites afterward with just normal rotational
Nugget slicked off in the spring to a lovely mellow
yellow tone that was very iridescent and smooth. We
noticed however that his skin was pink! His eyes were
a deep moss green with gold flecks in them.
The skin on his muzzle was silver gray but the
skin around his eyes was nearly black. How odd that
he would have pink skin everywhere else
ears, under the tail, genitals etc yet have dark skin
around the eyes!
Like so many other things we just thought it was
a novel and just a "Nugget" thing.
By 18 months he was showing
signs of being a real pretty horse!
I called Mrs. Peterson and asked
Nugget was born did you notice anything unusual about
him?" Instantly she replied " Why yes! He
had the most brilliant blue eyes you ever saw!"
A short time later the champagne gene was identified.
Some of the clues to champagne prior to there being
a test for it, was foals were born with bright blue
eyes that turned either amber or green and their skin
I sent pictures of Nuggets eyes and skin to Dr.
Sponenberg who felt Nugget qualified as being champagne
but by then there was also a champagne registry that
had sprung up and they refused Nugget because the
skin around his eyes was dark.
Nugget was a very active horse yet not hyper.
He was gentle as a kitten yet he had the spirit of
eagles. He performed many gaits in pasture but spent
most of his time galloping. He worked his body like
a stock horse and was so fast he would toss mud clear
over the top of the barn when he took off racing.
I mean totally over the barn! He was agile and quick
on his feet as a little fox and loved to do quick
stops and turns just for sport.
Nugget at 18 months had
the presense and style we liked to see.
In my opinion his active nature was an inherited
trait from Mack K's Yankee. He was a pretty boy with
a lot of go but he didn't take too kindly to being
penned up. He wanted to MOVE!
Nugget was very respectful and quick to learn.
He never, ever challenged my authority and he never
once showed temper or tried to dominate me. He was
just a very friendly, relaxed sort of colt that liked
When Nugget became old enough to breed we put
him to the test. He was not a very big horse and he
had some problems reaching taller mares but he got
his job done all the same.
When his first foals were born we were surprised
to see most of them born with brilliant blue eyes
and odd tones to their hair coats. There was Foxvangen's
Aysha and Foxvangen's Royal Paisley in the first group
of foals and both were born with blue eyes. Aysha's
eyes were the shade of periwinkles but within a few
days turned silver like sterling
very odd and
ghostly looking. By time she was 18 months old her
eyes began to darken and eventually turned a lovely
Nugget grew longer and
began developing at 20 months but was still under
Paisley's eyes were born cobalt blue but turned
dark amber at maturity but the oddest thing is both
these fillies had skin that was nearly white! It could
not even be termed pink by any standards because the
skin was the color of chalk!
Paisley's hair coat at birth was dark coffee brown
until you got her in the sunlight. Then it looked
bright yellow like someone had wrapped her in yellow
cellophane. Aysha's coat was a peachy gold and basically
normal for a palomino but more to the pink /peachy
shade than most.
Once we knew we were moving to Arkansas, we had
to make a tough decision. We could only keep one stallion.
Which would it be? Eventually we chose to keep Toy
Boy because he has the superior conformation, frame,
feet and has no lateral motion in him.
Nugget was a good cross out choice but he was
very small. He never topped 14.2 and he was very slight
in body mass. He did not have enough joint or bone
size to improve on our mares and he had so much trouble
reaching the taller mares we felt it was too difficult
Nugget had a lovely head
with a slight dished face and a pretty soft eye.
We opted to breed all our mares to Nugget and
then sell him. We found a loving home where he was
adored and eventually gelded. Meantime he produced
7 more fillies! And 1 colt. Each one was born with
blue eyes and dilute skin save one.
In our group we produced Foxvangen's Belle Lyra,
Foxvangen's Que Se Ra, Foxvangen's Lady Rosebud, and
Mysti who was a half Arab cross.
Lyra is a palomino with dark amber eyes and dilute
skin. Que looks chestnut but with an odd tone. She
has amber eyes and dilute skin. Rosie is a chestnut
that has dark amber eyes and dilute skin. Mysti, the
half Arab cross is a buckskin and has dark amber eyes
and dilute skin.
When a test was developed for champagne, we tested
these horses. They all tested negative! Dr. Sponenberg
suggested we test them for Pearl so we did. They all
tested negative. Yet they all have dilute eyes and
skin even the chestnut appearing ones.
Nugget was a very active
young stallion. He seemed to always be on the move!
What is more, Nugget's offspring produce more
of the same! Aysha has produced two colts by a solid
chestnut stallion ( Foxvangen's Braveheart Two) Aries
was born with brilliant blue eyes and kept pink skin.
Lyra produced Foxvangen's Solaris who was born
with blue eyes that turned amber. Solaris has dilute
Que Se Ra has produced three foals from three
different sires yet all three were born with brilliant
blue eyes and grew up to have dilute skin and amber
or green eyes. Her latest foal was actually born with
eyes that looked pure white and then turned to bright
blue before deepening to gray and then to green. His
skin is pink at the age of 3 months.
Foxvangen's Solaris, Grandson to Nugget has produced
so far, four foals. Three are colts and one is a filly.
Three are palomino and the filly is a flaxen, golden
chestnut. All four were born with blue eyes and have
At 3 Nugget was still
growing and developing. He was gentle and kind.
Whatever it is that causes this dilution has not
been identified as yet but we do know that at least
in our group, Nugget was the progenitor. We cannot
get detailed enough information on his parents to
see if one of them had light skin or amber eyes but
we do know that his grandsire, Gold Exchange had amber
eyes. His great grandsire, Golden Governor was said
to have dark skin and dark eyes
that is recorded
on his papers however things can be relevant. Some
amber eyed horses look like they have brown eyes unless
very careful scrutiny is paid to them. Some horses
with dilute skin may have gray skin that is fairly
dark, just not black as it should be.
None the less, in the horses we have produced
from Nugget's line the dilution is fairly easy to
see on the skin, feet and eyes. The lighter the base
the easier it is to see the dilution but even in the
black based buckskin it is clear that she has dilute
eyes and skin and feet.
At this posting it is January 2010. We are expecting
four Nugget great-grandchildren sired by Foxvangen's
Solaris this fall. Perhaps those foals will give us
another clue as to what they are.
Nugget at age 4 at his
new home. He was gelded shortly afterward and became
a riding horse.
According to Dr. Sponenberg, a color geneticist,
believes we have a single dilution going on and is
currently exploring the possibility of getting a researcher
to locate the genetic marker for what causes this
dilution. He has asked to see what this does on a
black base so we have bred our dark bay mare to Solaris
to see if that foal is born with it.
Nugget was a joy to own and produced very pretty
heads and necks on his offspring. He produced a nice
big, soft eye on them as well and all his offspring
had good energy although not the over abundance Nugget
had himself. They are very people oriented, affectionate
horses and they are all nicely gaited. He produced
a broader range of gait than we prefer but he didn't
produce any offspring that preferred to pace. All
his offspring default to foxtrot.
He did a nice job and we appreciated him greatly.
None of the photos above do Nugget justice for his
beauty. He was like a little Dresden figurine. He
passed his quality on to his offspring and always
put a kind nature on them.
Here are some of his offspring as they are today.
Nugget and Gambler's Jasmine
Foxvangen's Belle Lyra....Nugget
and Miss Molly Fox
Foxvangen's Que Se Ra....Nugget
and Chief's Magic Ribbon
Foxvangen's Royal Paisley....Nugget
and Casey Ann Kay
Foxvangen's Lady Rosebud...Nugget
and Fire's Strawberry Wine
Mysti... Nugget and Bay
B Doll ...Half Arab cross out that gaits at Foxtrot
and flat walk beautifully!