Camarillo White Horse Facts And Information – Breed Profile

Camarillo White Horses are most popular and unique for their fabulous white color. According to a well-researched international study, these horses are known to possess unique mutations of a specific gene. It is this gene, which attributes to its brilliant white coat color.

Did you know that this rare horse breed is less than a century old? It became popular because of its pure white color. The breeding of Camarillo White Horses was done in the United States of America around 100 years ago.

These horses also became famous for their elegant movements apart from their immaculate coats. Over the passing years, the Camarillo Horse has become incredibly popular. It is also a preferred option as a parade horse.

Camarillo White Horse


As mentioned before, these horses were created not many years ago unlike some other horse breeds. Their creation took place during the beginning of the 20th century. The development of this quaint breed started with a Spanish Mustang – a stud named Sultan who was 10-year-old.

A breeder called Adolfo Camarillo purchased the horse for 500 USD from the California State Fair, which was organized in Sacramento. The breeder mated Sultan with Morgan mares. The hope was to retain the pure white coat of horses in California’s Camarillo’s ranch.

It was an era when the Morgan horses become exceptionally popular as ranch horses. This was the reason why the Camarillo family decided to create the breed by mating with his stud. There was a continuation of this breeding until 1958. It was the year when the breeder passed away. Meanwhile, Sultan managed to develop a line of fresh horse breed and passed on its white color genetics.

Immediately after the death of Adolfo Camarillo, Carmen his daughter took over the responsibilities from his late father. She continued with breeding and also took her horses frequently at the horse parades. In 1987, Adolfo Camarillo’s daugher Carmen passed away and she left behind a will according to which, all these horses were sold off at a public auction.

It was unfortunate that although all her horses were sold off, the new horse breed almost became extinct. By the year 1991, only 11 of these horses were left in the entire world. It was indeed a deep crisis and the creation of an association for these horses took place. It was in 1992 these white horses were decided to be protected by the Association.

In recent years, private breeders have been taking care of these white horses. These breeders and horses live in Ventura County. All these private breeders have shown great diligence to make sure that the horse breed can be preserved. They are also taking these animals regularly to parades and horse shows. 

The official registry of this horse breed has created a special studbook to prevent possibilities of inbreeding. The studbook has made it compulsory that one of Camarillo’s parents has to belong to the original stock. However, its other parent can belong to distinct breeds such as the Andalusian, Standardbred, etc. The same registry also preserves an independent entry of all the non-white foals created from the above-mentioned bloodline.


Over the passing years, this horse breed has gained immense popularity for its unique white coat. Contrary to a gray horse, which is born dark. Its skin lightens as it grows older; the Camarillo Horses are white from birth. These horses remain this way all through their lives.

However, do not be under the misconception that these horses belong to a color breed. It is imperative to note that these horses feature defined physical traits as well. The horses have expressive faces, arched necks, and very strong limbs.

It is not an easy task to achieve true white color where horses are concerned. According to statistics, there is only a 50 percent likelihood of giving birth to living white foals from any given mating. The difficulty to achieve the true white color of a horse is because of the uncommon trait of a special white gene called “W”.

There is no doubt that it is a dominating gene, in case both parents are carrying it (WW). However, the offspring may pass away while in the mother’s womb itself. It also signifies that all actual white horses that are living are heterozygous for this gene. Every time a non-white or ww horse is bred to a white horse or Ww, there is a 50% chance of producing a horse that is not white.


The diet of these horses is similar to that of any other horse breed. Their diet includes grains, grass, hay, etc.

Breeding And Uses

If the two white horses with the genetic trait Ww are bred, there is a 50% likelihood of giving birth to a living white horse with Ww characteristics, as mentioned before. However, there is also a 1/4th possibility of giving birth to a dead foal (WW), and a 1/4th possibility of giving birth to a non-white horse with ww genetics.

You may notice that the W genetic trait is dominant here. When a horse carries this gene, its color will be white. On the other hand, when the horse is non-white, it signifies that the horse does not have the white gene.  It will fail to produce a white offspring in case it is bred to a non-white horse. That is because the statistical chance of a white foal remains the same and the risk of giving birth to a dead foal is not there.

Additionally, there is an involvement of different genetics involved. As a result, a Camarillo White Horse does not carry the genetic trait for Lethal white syndrome.


The average size of an adult Camarillo White Horse is between 14.2 and 17 hands. Its weight is around 1,250 pounds on average.

What Breeds Make Up These White Horses? 

All Camarillo White Horse have their origin in a single foundation called Sultan, a Spanish Mustang who was bred with Morgan mares in 1912.


This breed of horse is famous for its pure white coat. The color includes a delicate pink skin beneath their white hair coat.

Contrary to gray horses, which are born dark and their skin lightens while growing up. A Camarillo White horse is white from its birth. These horses retain their white color all through their lives.

What Do They Look Like?

These horses have a pure white coat right from its birth. It remains white all through its life. This unique white-colored coat is because of the dominant gene in them called W.

We mentioned earlier that breeding a horse with this white gene may be difficult when both parents carry it. The resulting fetus could be stillborn or not see term.  

What Are They Used For?

In recent years, these white horses are frequently used in parades. For instance, these horses have appeared in all Santa Barbara Fiesta parades ever since started in California in 1924.

These are also regarded as the official horse in Camarillo city. Camarillo White Horses are a warm-blooded horse breed that belongs to the Riding group of horses. These horses are also used for general purpose work, general riding, and riding.

These white horses also participate regularly in popular events such as the Roses Parade.

Where Do They Live?

Camarillo horses are found in California in the United States of America.

How Much Do They Cost?

These beautiful white horses may come with a price tag between 500 USD and 150,000 or even more than that. However, often, the color of a horse is a secondary factor.

The price of a horse is more frequently ascertained by other dominant factors such as family history, temperament, training, and breed.

Are They Good For Beginners?

These white horses are a coldblooded breed. As such these horses have a docile temperament and have a calmer disposition as compared to many lighter horse breeds. These horses have a willing and quiet disposition. These horses are willing to work and are extremely energetic making them good for beginners.

Conclusion / Summary 

We mentioned before how Camarillo White Horses were sold off at a public auction after the death of Carmen according to her will. In 1987, their numbers came down to just 11. The Camarillo White Horse Association was formed in the year 1992 so that inbreeding could be avoided. The registry features an open studbook and requires a minimum of one parent to belong to the original stock of Camarillo.

However, it enables the other horse parent to be from different breeds such as Standardbred and Andalusian bloodlines. The association also keeps a separate record of all non-white foals from such bloodlines. Last year (2020), there were around 20 living Camarillo White Horses in the entire world. 

A recent international study has concluded that the horse breed has a unique mutation of a particular type of gene, which creates is pure white coat shade. Breeding these horses can be risky as there is only a 50 percent possibility of creating a healthy and living foal. 

There’s a whole world of horse breeds out there to explore! Discover and find out more information by checking out our horse breed guides.