Please be patient while this page loads

Photos copyright Ambrosia Designs

P.R.E Pura Raza Espanola Accepted Colors


According to Juan Llamas, in his book This is the Spanish Horse, in 1765, the Spanish registry contained approx. 73% greys, with the remainder primarily bay and black.� The Royal Stud maintained a preference for grey until the French invasion, at which point the fashion for the bay color was preferred� over grey. In 1928, the Stud Book showed a mere 19% grey horses.�


Tracking back to the 1700s, blacks were more common in the past, according to Juan Carlos Altamirano. His Book �History of the Carthusian Horses� states that the registry of the Carthusian stud in Jerez contained 30% blacks in 1747.� Roughly fifty years later, about 16% were black, a decline thought to have been related to the fact that black horses were mainly used to pull funeral processions.


Presently in Spain, grey represents about 70% of the PREs. In the USA, the number is closer to 80% grey, 15% bay and 5% black.�


The color chestnut was until very recently, not accepted in the Spanish Stud Book and had been a disqualification for over 30 years. Then in 2002, Cria Caballar agreed to allow chestnuts into the registry.


All solid colors, including buckskin and dilutes, are now accepted in the stud book although still quite rare.�


Grey Coat Color

Technically grey its not a color gene, but a masking agent that acts upon and is dominant over every other color. Any horse that carries the grey factor will eventually become grey. A horse can be heterozygous or homozygous, carrying either one or two grey factors.


A grey horse is born with a base coat color of black, bay, chestnut, buckskin, etc. The horse will exhibit white hairs that may appear at birth around the eyes, face, top of the tail or legs. It is also possible that the white hairs may not appear until many months later.


Eventually, the coat becomes grey to white and may transform anywhere from 3 to 15 years. A variety of shading affects are seen, from a rose grey, slate or silver; to a dirty color with different patches and shaded areas. The mane and tail may go yellow or brown, and the coat may or may go through a dapple phase with either light dapples on a black background or dark dapples on a white background.� Dapples may be accompanied by black points, mane and tail or a white mane/tail.


DNA Gray Testing Now Available

There is now for the first time a commercially available DNA color test for the grey factor. Animal Genetics offers DNA testing and detection of the gene mutation responsible for Gray and the determination of Gray zygosity.� See the Animal Genetics website at


The genetic mutation that produces graying in horses was located in 2008 by researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden. The gray mutation is caused by a 4.6-kb duplication in intron 6 of STX17.

Rosengren Pielberg G, Golovko A, Sundstr�m E, Curik I, Lennartsson J, (More Authors)
A cis-acting regulatory mutation causes premature hair graying and susceptibility to melanoma in the horse. Nature Genetics. 2008 Aug;40(8):1004-9. Epub 2008 Jul 20.

L: Avatar M, honey bay yearling with a reflective metallic sheen that glows gold in direct sunlight.� His younger brother Templar was born the same color,� by age 3, had darkened to almost black.


R:�� Bayo, buckskin colt at SICAB


Color� Capa

Grey� Tordo







Black Coat Color


Black Andalusians are never born black. They are likely to be a mousy color (above left) or sometimes fawn colored at birth with light legs.� They eventually shed out their foal coats at 4-6 months depending on the time of year and black. Some lines of Andalusians will not go fully black until they are 4-6 years old and are mistaken for a black bay. The coat may easily sun fade with a reddish or golden cast, darkening each year until the horse is obviously black.� There are different variations of the black coat color. Nutrition particularly minerals can also play a part in the shade of black, a deficiency may cause a black to fade to reddish. The black gene can be DNA tested.





Bay coats and on the rare occasion blacks may have roaning with white hairs dispersed in clusters appearing on the body coat, or frosted in the mane and tail�called rabicano. This feature also may appear on the head, around the eyes and face, unlike a typical roan horse of other breeds.

Andalusian Accepted Colors

Bay Coat Color

Bay comes in a variety of shades and genetically contains the agouti factor that suppresses black to the points. Bay is dominant over black. A bay foal is born with a black mane and tail & legs the same as the body coat or lighter.� Once the foal coat sheds out, black legs will appear.


Body coloring may vary from a light chestnut shade to very dark or from a distance can even appear black. It may be copper, reddish mahogany, dull brown or golden like rich honey. Black bay is almost indistin-guishable from black from a distance. They will typically have brown shading behind the eye, around the muzzle, behind the elbow or in the groin area.


On rare occasions, a bay coat may have a reflective metallic sheen that glows in the direct sunlight.� This is reportedly very rare and sought after in Spain. DNA testing is available for the agouti factor which produces the bay coat color.

Black foals are mousy colored at birth, with a silvery or cream tint, never red. Gradually they shed out their foal coat to black, typically at 6 months up to 2 years. Toltec M shown at 2 months old far left and at 5 months old.

Dilute Genes:��� Perlino, Cremello, Champagne, Buckskin, Palomino, Grulla


Before 2002, a PRE born in Spain carrying the dilute factor could not be registered as breeding stock. They were often sold at a diminished price or given away. It was thought that these colors were coming from the influence of other breeds mixed with Spanish genes and thus were undesirable.� Once the rule change, they were registerable and became the rarest colors in the breed.� It should be noted that many traditional breeders consider the grey horse to be more exemplary of the breed and closest to the original type, and are not proponents of breeding for rare colors.



See� photos of SICAB for more examples of PREs with dilute genes.

PRE Breed Standard

Lusitano Breed Standard

Andalusian History

PRE Accepted Colors

Inscription & Revision

Spanish Terminology

Nutrition & Health

SICAB Past Champions

PRE in the Olympics

Airs Above the Ground

Alta Escuela

HOME������� SITE INDEX������� CULTURE������� BREED INFO������ STALLIONS������� MARES������� FOALS������� SALES����