PURE GRASS BEEF
WHITE GALLOWAY BULL, IVAN, AT 9 MONTHS (WITH SHORTHORN)
AT 2 YEARS
AT ALMOST 4 YEARS
D. Phillip Sponenberg, DVM, PhD Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine Virginia Tech Blacksburg, VA 24061 USA
The other main pattern of white spotting in the Galloway is the pattern called white park, from a cattle breed of that name. This pattern is actually widespread in cattle throughout the world (especially in landraces), and consists of a white coat with colored ears, eyerings, nose, and feet. This pattern is dominant, and is a very interesting pattern. The white park pattern is at one extreme of a group of patterns, and no one is really sure if these are all due to modifications of a single gene, or if the various patterns are caused by different but closely related genes. It is most likely that this is a single or a closely related groups of genes that cause a range of patterns. Understanding that there is a range to the pattern is important in explaining some surprises that can occur. The white park pattern is one extreme, and then the pattern goes through various speckled and roaned colorsided patterns, finally at the dark extreme to a linebacked pattern. A breed that has been selected for color at the dark end of the range is the English Longhorn, a beautiful brindle breed with lovely roan linebacks.
The white park pattern accounts for the white Galloway, and also for the riggitt Galloway. There is at least some tendency in many breeds for animals with two doses of the gene to be whiter than those with one, so that on average the riggitt animals are heterozygous (one dose) and the very white ones are (two doses). Within each breed there are also modifiers that shift the expression toward the dark end or the light end. The Galloway is shifted to the light end, the English Longhorn towards the dark end. This is accomplished following long selection for the right balance of modifiers