National Quarter Horse Registry ~ Since 1956


Genetic Formula: E, aa, CC, dd, gg, ww, toto

Description: Jet black horses have pure black coloring aside from white markings. They do not have brown or gold coloring on there muzzle, and/or undersides. The black hairs on sunburned black horses can be lightened to cause a red or brown overtone generally on the sides and rump. So it is best to examine the horse in the winter or after being freshly shaved. A jet black horse's hair will not lighten in the summer like a sunburned blacks. All Black horses have dark skin and black eyes.

Black is Dominant

Black and red are the two most basic genetic colors on a horse.

Red is Recessive

A horse must inherit the "e" gene from both parents to be red. Thus it is impossible for a Homozygous Black to throw a red foal since there is no recessive Red gene to pass on. See Bay to learn how the Agouti gene can further affect black.

Markings* on Black base

Tobiano (paint) 



Blanket on hip  (Appy)     


Dilutes/Modifiers* on Black Base

Black + Champagne (Classic)

Champagne factor


Black + Double Creme (Smokey Creme)

Double cream (Called Smokey Cream)


Black + Dun (Grullo pronounced grew-yo)) 

Dun factor


Black + Roan (Blue Roan) 



Foal Coat SHADES *


*There are many, many more varieties


To read more technical color descriptions please visit UC Davis