New Zealand Golden Horse Society (Inc).

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Description of Colours

Description of Colours

  • Plaiting is allowed at A&P shows and shows run by other organizations,.  except in Mane and Tail classes.  Double Dilutes must still be shown in Natural condition.
  • Discreet makeup and hoof black allowed but not on double dilutes.

No plaiting at the NZ Golden Horse Society National Show and the Open Coloured Ribbon Day.



The Palomino has a golden body colour, ranging from pale cream to deep ochre. A Palomino is a chestnut horse with a single dilution factor which washes out the chestnut to gold. There are, however, many variations of Palomino ie: Sooty, Dappled and almost Chocolate, many of which show varying amounts of dark hair through the mane and/or tail. Although these are not preferable, they will still carry and show the dilution factor and are invaluable to the breeding of Palominos.


Showing standards for Palominos

Ideally the body colour must be as near as possible to that of a newly minted gold coin with a variance of three shades lighter or darker being permissible. The body coat should be of an even colour with no heavy dappling or dorsal stripe along the spine. Eyes must be dark brown, black or hazel. White markings are permitted on the face. White on the legs shall not extend above the knees or hocks. Pinto patches on the body are not permissable. Palominos may be shown plaited, except in manes and tails classes and at the NZGHS National Show. Individuals showing variations of these standards shall not be disqualified, but shall receive a lesser score where applicable. 

The Buckskin is a dilute colour with the body colour varying in shade from Cremello to Bay or Brown. Points (mane, tail and legs) can be dark brown or black. Buckskin is a self-colour and is free of any smuttiness. A Buckskin with dappling on the body colour is acceptable for Registration. Guard hairs grow through the body coat and over the base of the mane and tail. Guard hairs streaked through the mane and/or tail. Buckskins fall into the following categories:
Creamy with black points - Champagne - Golden - Burnt - Brown - Black and Standard.  Buckskins may be shown plaited, except in Mane and Tail classes and at the NZGHS National Show.


The use of colour enhancements and dyes are not permitted.


Cremello and Perlino

The Cremello The delicate cremello color is the result of the action of two cream genes on a red (chestnut/sorrel) horse.  Where one cream gene on a red produces a Palomino, two of them create the cremello!

The Perlino Perlino is the result of two cream genes on a bay base. One could also describe it as "the buckskin color with one more cream gene added".  These horses have cream colored body hair, and a darker yellow, tan, or orange cast to their manes & tails. The genetic abbreviation for the genes that make the perlino color isE_A_CrCr

 I have had some very handy information passed on to me from one of our members, so i have included it for all dilute breeders and those interested in breeding from a dilute to see.

The dilute that causes palomino and buckskin is called Cream (Ccr)....chocolate is another color - often caused by the silver gene i.e. rocky mountain horses.

Cremello (and Perlino, smoky cream etc) do not produce 100% cremello, they are homozygous and produce 100% cream dilute.

 I find this is the easiest to understand website for color explained simply.

Duns are NOT registered with our society as they do not carry the cream gene

The Dun is an intense colour with a hide that has an abundance of pigment in the hairs. Rarely will a Dun with lighter points or a mixture of light and dark hairs within the points be classified. The dorsal stripe, shoulder stripe and leg barring belong to the Dun and often ear tips, ear edging, face mask, mottling and cobwebbing may occur as well. Duns do vary in body shades. Generally leg barring, shoulder stripe and dorsal stripe are the same colour as the mane and tail. Horses eligible for Registration as a Dun must display a minimum of three Dun Factors - including the dorsal stripe. Duns fall into the following categories:
Timor Dun - Silver Dun - Red Dun - Grulla Dun - Brindle Dun and Dun.

Duns are NOT registered with our society as they do not carry the cream gene