The Palomino, which made its debut at the 1952 ARBA Convention in Portland, OR, was bred and developed by Mark Youngs of Coulee Dam in Washington State. Mr Youngs, who had been involved in the rabbit hobby since 1910, had an intense desire to create a "new" breed of rabbit. He coined the term "Color Blend Breeding" when describing his process in development of the breed.
During the course of time while developing the Palomino, Mr Youngs would save fryers initially destined for processing.
The majority of these original rabbits were mostly black or brown in color. In time, these rabbits, or "sports" as Mr Youngs referred to them, were bred to sports he obtained from various sources. Occasionally a "buckskin" or tawny rabbit would result from breedings made from the original sports. When these tawny rabbits were bred, kits were saved that also bore the tawny or golden color. As these gold-colored rabbits were bred to others of like color, the percentage of tawny kits in each litter would progressively increase. Matings of various color shades were accomplished following a combination of line breeding, in-breeding, as well as out crossing. Over the course of time, Mr Youngs began seeing litters with 100% of a light gold-colored (or beige) offspring.
In 1952 Mark Youngs began refering to these "beige" rabbits as the "American Beige". In some of the early litters, off-colored sports began to appear with a smokey or "sooty white" color with dark eyes. Future generations developed into a more golden shade and the breed was renamed the "Washingtonian" (for the state in which they were developed). After continued breeding, a variation of the gold color began appearing, which Mr Youngs referred to as "fawn". These different colored offspring were saved and soon 100% of these fawn-colored rabbits were appearing in litters. It was at this point (1953) that the current name of "Palomino" was adopted. In 1955, the name Fawn Palomino was dropped in favor of the name, Lynx Palomino upon the recommendation of the ARBA Standards Committee since it was felt this name was more descriptive of the lilac tint present in the fur.
The Palomino rabbit leveled off into its two distinctive varieties - Lynx and Golden (the Lynx being the first variety of the newly recognized Palomino breed in 1957 and the Golden following with its official recognition as the second variety in 1958). By the late 1960's the Palomino, being a relatively new breed, was actually breeding truer than many older more established breeds. This was due to the dedication of Mark Youngs and those early breed supportors in promoting and continuing the advancement of the Palomino
breed. The Palomino Rabbit Co-Breeders Association - established in 1955, even before the Palomino's official acceptance, has been commited to continued improvement and support of those who breed and exhibit the Palomino in the spirit of cooperation to all who express a sincere interest in this beautiful and utilitarian rabbit.
Interested in learning more about 'Pals'? Consider becoming a member of the Palomino Rabbit Co-Breeders Association and download a membership application. Check out our Members Directory, to locate a 'Pal' breeder near you and...