If you have never heard of the Camarillo White horse breed, you are not alone, but you are definitely missing out. This horse breed is extremely rare; however, it is undeniably stunning and unique.
The Camarillo White horse breed is unlike any you will ever hear about. Their existence is the result of a chance encounter, and this breed continues today only because a small group of people loves this breed so much.
Let’s learn more about the Camarillo White horse breed and what makes it so special.
The first Camarillo White horse was born around 1911 in California. In 1921, a man named Adolfo Camarillo bought this horse at a state fair.
The horse was called Sultan, and he would go on to compete successfully in stock competitions and also sire future generations of horses. These solid white horses became known as the Camarillo White horse.
For decades, the Camarillo family kept all these horses for themselves. However, they did share them with neighbors by riding them in local parades and horse events.
These stunning horses quickly became popular among locals because of their striking and elegant appearance.
Until 1987, the horse breed was almost entirely owned by the Camarillo family. That year, the Camarillo family sold all the remaining horses in the breed at a public auction.
Eventually, their new owners realized that the future of the horse breed depended on them and their horses. At the time, there were only 11 of these gorgeous horses left.
The owners established the Camarillo White Horse Association in 1992 to help encourage and support the future of the breed. The association keeps a record of all the sires and mares involved in breeding to prevent any future inbreeding.
Thanks to their efforts, in 2010, there were at least 20 Camarillo White horses alive.
Camarillo White horses stand somewhere between 14 and 17 hands tall at the shoulder. This equates to between 56 and 68 inches in height.
This makes them the perfect size for riding, which explains why many of their owners feel comfortable riding them in noisy parades.
Horses in this breed tend to weigh about 1,250 pounds. Their average weight, along with their height, places them slightly in both the light and large riding horse categories.
Either way, their weight is great for riders of many sizes. Most of these horses would have no issue carrying an adult weighing around 250 pounds.
Camarillo White horses are extremely unique by the fact that they are born white, not a darker color like many white horses are. Their skin underneath their coat is pink, which proves they are true solid white horses.
Their white color comes from the absence of pigmented cells. The Camarillo White gene is dominant, so if a horse possesses it, it will be solid white.
Camarillo White horses have compact, yet muscular builds. They have large eyes, strong necks, and athletic toplines.
Camarillo White horses have docile temperaments and tend to be easy to train. This explains why these horses perform so well in parades around tons of people and loud noises.
They do not spook easily, and they seem to cause little problem for their owners. Otherwise, their owners would not be so quick to keep the breed going.
Camarillo White horses participate in a variety of disciplines because they are so docile and easy to train. These horses perform well with pleasure riding as well as trail and endurance riding.
Many owners of these horses continue to ride them in parades, just like previous generations. They also excel at working on the farm when needed.
How Many Camarillo White Horses Are There?
As of 2017, there were only 21 Camarillo White horses in existence. The Camarillo White horse is so rare that most of them still reside in and around a single county in California.
Although that number may seem like bad news, it is actually good news. In the early 1990s, there were only eight to eleven Camarillo White horses alive, so the number has clearly improved.
Why Are There So Few Camarillo White Horses?
The number of horses in this breed continues to stay relatively low because of the nature of the Camarillo White gene. Camarillo White horses are only crossed with non-Camarillo White horses, and even then, there is only a one-in-two chance that the foal will carry the gene.
This means that although several rounds of breeding may occur, it does not always result in a Camarillo White horse. Female horses can only produce offspring a limited number of times throughout their lifetime. This means that there are not many chances for the breed to grow.
How Can The Camarillo Breed Grow?
Since the Camarillo White horse possesses a unique color gene, the only way to get more of them is to continue breeding the existing horses to produce more. If the horses are not bred or cannot breed for some reason or another, then the breed itself will not grow.
Owners of these horses helped found the Camarillo White Horse Association to monitor and support the growth and prosperity of the breed. The goal of the association is to make sure the breed does not disappear.
How Much Does a Camarillo White Horse Cost?
It is difficult to determine exactly how much a Camarillo White horse costs because it seems like they are seldom put up for sale.
Based on their rarity and the uniqueness of their color, their value could range anywhere from several thousand dollars to more than one hundred thousand dollars.
Where to Buy a Camarillo White Horse?
The best way to buy a Camarillo White horse is to travel to Ventura County in California. That is where most of these horses still live with their owners.
It will probably be extremely difficult to get someone to sell a Camarillo White horse, but if you can, it would be well worth the cost of the trip.
If you ever see one of these horses for sale, consider yourself lucky. It is not common since there are so few in existence today.
How to Know if Your White Horse is a Camarillo White Horse?
For horse owners that suspect their horse is a Camarillo White horse, there are two main ways to tell.
Check Your Horse’s Skin Color
If the horse’s skin color under its hair is dark, then it is not a Camarillo White horse. Camarillo White horses always have pink skin underneath their hair.
Have the Horse Tested
If you strongly feel like your horse could be a member of this breed, the best and most specific thing to do is have it tested for the Camarillo White gene. The UC Davis Veterinary Medicine department can test a blood sample to determine whether your horse is a Camarillo White horse or not.
The Camarillo White Horse breed is so rare and unique that it is amazing these horses still exist today. Hopefully, as the years progress, more Camarillo White horses will be born, bringing the breed numbers up substantially.
The Camarillo White Horse breed is a breed like no other and researching it was a real adventure. I used these sources to write this article.