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Spanish Horse Colours

We have a great interest in the dilute PRE colours, but not at the expense of temperament, type or conformation.


There was a time when you could get a Spanish horse in any colour - as long as it was grey, bay or black!  But in 2002, after 32 years of restricting the colours, the Spanish Ministry made a dramatic u-turn regarding this ruling. After spending so many years trying to eliminate all other colours from the breed, they subsequently accepted them back into the studbook.

Although apart from chestnut, the other accepted colours are in fact dilutes.


Previously, foals that had been born an unaccepted colour like chestnut, were sold off cheaply without papers. The arrival of a chestnut foal was always a breeder’s worst nightmare!

Because these unaccepted colours were almost eradicated from the breed they are now quite rare, so the chestnut and dilute foals that were almost worthless less than ten years ago are now much sought after and worth rather a lot more. Although buckskins have never actually been banned from the studbook as they are bay based, they had previously not been very desirable. Because palominos are chestnut based, these could not be registered prior to 2002 so these are the rarest of the cream dilutes and command a much higher price.


Thankfully these wonderful rare colours have been preserved, albeit hidden by the predominantly grey coat modifier. Previously, many breeders would simply wait until the foal greyed before registering it, as Spain (incorrectly) classes grey as a colour. There are now studs in Spain that are dedicated to bringing back these old colours using stock that carry cream, dun, chestnut and rabicano, along with the recently discovered and rare pearl gene.


We are gradually seeing more of these stunning and original colours of the PRE appearing. You only have to look at some of the old masters paintings to see the wonderful array of colourful Spanish horses that used to exist. These also included spotted Spanish horses, something that is very close to our heart (see our Spanish Spotted Saddle Horses page). Although we are aware of some spotted PREs in Spain, these are not currently registerable and are being kept hidden by their breeders.

We feel very fortunate to have two buckskin mares as well as a stallion, a palomino mare, plus a rare cream pearl mare & a perlino (double cream) mare in our PRE breeding programme. Along with our PRE partbreds which include cream, Lp PATN1 (spotted), champagne and the rare silver gene.

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