Colour & Pattern

Speckle Park are genetically black with varying amounts of white in specific patterns. The speckle pattern is preferred but the other patterns are very much accepted.

  •  The classic speckle pattern is predominantly black with a white top line and underline, with speckled hips, and sometimes shoulders, and with a black or black roan face.
  •  The leopard pattern shows more white than the speckle pattern. On the leopard pattern the black sides of the speckle pattern are broken into a series of definite black spots. The number and size of the spots varies greatly from animal to animal. Some leopards have predominantly white sides with only a few black spots on their sides. The leopard also has a white top line and underline. In genetic terms the classic speckle pattern and the leopard pattern appear to be the same with the difference being only in the number of spots as determined by unidentified modifiers.
  •  The third color pattern is the white with black points. Animals with this pattern are predominantly white on the body and face but always have black points, that is to say, the ears, nose, skin around the eyes, muzzle and the lower portions of the legs including the hooves are black. These same points are black on all of the patterns as are the teats.
  •  Some Speckle Park are solid black.

 

Inheritance of the Colour Patterns
Here are presented six combinations of the Speckle Park patterns for breeding. For these purposes speckle and leopard are in effect genetically the same with only a variation in the frequency of spots.

 

Summary

  1.  White with points is incompletely dominant. The solid colour pattern is recessive.
  2.  Speckled is the result when an individual has both the white with points gene and the solid gene. The inheritance of speckled pattern appears to be similar to the inheritance of the roan in Shorthorn cattle (one gene with two alleles) and the palomino colour in horses (two genes).
  3.  Speckled and leopard are genetically the same except for varying degrees of spotting.
  4.  Solid coloured calves probably can never be eliminated from the breed.
  5.  Speckled red, white with red points and even solid red calves do occur because some SP with black colour patterns also carry a recessive gene for red. Both parents have to carry the red gene for their calf to be red.
  6.  Speckle Park bred to white faced cattle produces a grey face or a white face. The nose, eye rims and ears are black on the first cross.
  7.  When Speckle Park are bred on belted cattle the calves can retain the belt over top of the other speckled patterns.