Smoky black

Smoky black (or creamy black) is a horse’s coat color that is not visually identifiable—the horse appears black. Smoky Black is produced by the action of a heterozygous (single copy) Creme gene on an underlying black coat color. Therefore, Smoky Black belongs to the cream family of coat color dilutions and is found in horse populations that have other colors based on cream genes, such as palomino, buckskin, perlino, cremello, and smoked cream. All Smoky Blacks must have at least one parent with the Creme gene, and a Smoky Black can only be verified through DNA or parentage testing. A smoked black horse usually appears to be a black horse and the dilution gene dilution factor is not visible. Coat discoloration previously attributed to the presence of cream in the black is now known to be the result of nd1, a mutation in the dun gene found in horses that can sometimes lead to mild thinning and possible primitiveness. Conversely, the mere fact that a black horse can wither in the sun does not necessarily prove or disprove that it is a smoking black horse. Sun bleaching, perspiration bleaching, nutritional balance/imbalance, normal hue variations can also account for different “blacks”. Two copies of the cream gene in a black base produce a smoky cream, a cream horse that is difficult to distinguish visually from a perlino or cremello but can be identified with DNA testing.