The Horse Colors Site

Bringing together the best information available today
for Identifying and Breeding Horses of Color.

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wpe25.jpg (27161 bytes)Bay (agouti A)

When the black gene is present, the agouti gene restricts the black color to the mane, tail and legs.  This creates the color we call "bay."

It is an extremely pervasive gene, and is dominant, so very few horses are free of it. This is why there are so few solid black horses.

At this time it is believed that its effect cannot be seen on a red horse; at any rate, a red horse has no black pigment for it to affect.

There is some speculation that it may affect the shade of red the horse appears (i.e. bright chestnut vs. liver chestnut).  More research needs to be done in this area.

A bay horse has a black gene plus a bay ("agouti") gene "A", which confines the black to the "points": the mane, tail and lower legs.  Some "sooty" bays look nearly black.  The "sooty" gene can also produce shading or dapples, as at left.  But these are still, basically, a red horse with black points.

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Tami - Owned by Denise. This bay mare is AQHA registered as Tamigo Jet.  She is 16 -17 years old in these pictures. She is the dam of a buckskin colt, Two T Mnt. Timber (bottom photo). The colt got one cream gene from his sire, "Fred".

Billies Bay Spirit, 1974 AQHA, last owned by Rev. J. Kostelnik.

 A mahogany bay (black shading on red body).

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Lauries Pegasus owned by Lisa.  Bay Thoroughbred mare by Launch A Pegasus and out of a daughter of Apalachee.  Note red body, black points -- beautiful bay coloring.  May be a "blood bay".

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Coweta Merlin, '98 bay gelding by Merlin.  Probably a mahogany bay.  Photo courtesy of Kat Lee, Carousel Quarter Horses.

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The red body color and black points are obvious on this example.  Kaskia Dancer, QH mare..



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