The panel of painted horses from the cave of Pech-Merle in France has caused considerable speculation as to its accuracy and intention. The approximately 25,000-year-old painting of The Dappled Horses of Pech-Merle depicts spotted horses on the walls of a cave in France remarkably similar to a pattern of overall spot markings known as "leopard" in modern horses such as Appaloosas.
Genetic analysis indicated that eighteen of the horses had been brown and seven were black. In six of the horses researchers found the LP genetic variant that corresponds to leopard like spotting in the coats of modern horses. Additionally, among ten 14,000 year old Western European horses, four had the LP genetic marker. These results suggest that at the time of the creation of the ancient cave paintings spotted horses could well have been observed in nature and copied in the cave paintings.