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Genetics 000
Dark Colors

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homozygous for red pigment (ee); may have any agouti genes.

A horse with red pigment only is a chestnut.  The color names chestnut and sorrel are used in different ways by different people. They are genetically the same color, red (ee). 

The shades of chestnut range from "blond", as in the American Belgian horse (at bottom) to "black chestnut", as shown by some of the Arabians on the web site http://www.PharaFarm.com .

A very dark chestnut may be called a "liver chestnut" or even a "black chestnut".  A chestnut may have a white, or flaxen, mane & tail.

Amir Halam, an Arabian, is registered as a chestnut.  His is the typical, bright-chestnut color.  The light-colored hair on his lower legs, clearly seen if you click this picture, are characteristic of many chestnut horses, and is commonly called "pangare" (pan-guh-RAY).  No one knows yet whether this is a separate gene, or how it's inherited. 

RD Chica, an extremely dark chestnut (DNA confirmed) Andalusian mare, currently owned by Spanish Springs Andalusians.



The Irish Empress by The Scarlet Irishman and her filly by Mr JB Dude.  These two are the lighter chestnut, sometimes called sorrel.  Owned at the time of this photo by Barbara Burton; sorry, this photo is actual size.


Skip The Holidays "Skippy"  ...as he aged, he became a solid rich brown color all over, making him a "liver chestnut".  Owned by Susan Prouty, Tanglewood Farms ...by Holidays Kricket and out of San Star Heidi. This photo is actual size.


wpe3E.jpg (12498 bytes)This colt looks like what some call "sorrel" in this early pic, left ... but it's just "foal leg color".  His legs were as dark as his body when he matured, all of the way down to his hooves.



Wimpyschoclatshodown, dark liver chestnut.
He was the IQPA representative. This photo is actual size. Submitted by:  LaDonna Foster, of the former International Quarter Pony Association.

To see some amazingly colored chestnut Arabian horses, check out http://www.PharaFarm.com



Click this thumbnail sized photo to see an American Belgian horse, which is an example of how light a horse can be without having any of the known body-dilution genes.  This color is commonly called "blond chestnut" or "blond sorrel".  This is also an example of a "flaxen chestnut".  Flaxen is considered a dilution gene but only dilutes the mane and tail.  Also, pangare is at work here... but the main body color is still a very light shade of chestnut.


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