The death of the foal was due to lethal white gene. The lethal whites come from crossing two spotted horses that are both carriers of the lethal white gene.

The foals with lethal white gene have blue eyes and are completely or almost completely white. Horses at greatest risk of carrying the defective allele are overos, particularly of American Paint Horses and American Miniature Horses.

This condition is called overo lethal white syndrome (OLWS) or lethal white overo syndrome.

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