When Karen Banister purchased Sacred Indian as an unregistered yearling in
1986, she didn’t know what she had exactly.
“I was just getting started in Paints,” recalled Banister. “So when they
registered him as a tobiano, I said, ‘All right, fine.’ I couldn’t tell the
difference between a tobiano and a tovero.”
But that tobiano designation wasn’t meant to last. Sired by Cherokee Indian, a
tobiano, and out of Sweet Spirit, a tobiano with an overo dam, Sacred Indian was
nearly all white, except for a seal brown medicine hat. Before the advent of
genetic testing, sometimes the only way to accurately classify a horse was
through his progeny. In the case of Sacred Indian, his true pattern was revealed
when he started siring tovero foals out of solid mares.