colours and primitive markings

Colours and Markings

At he annual General Meeting of Norges Fjordhestlag in 1980, it was agreed and decided that following five colours shall be acknowledged as the genuine and typical colours of the Fjord Horse : brown dun, red dun, grey (blue dun), uls dun and yellow dun.

The brown dun („brunblakk" in Norwegian) is the most common colour. It can be found in lighter or darker shades. The darker stripe of hair in the middle of the mane, forelock and tail are black or dark brown. The mane is covered with white hairs on both sides of the mid-section and so is the forelock and tail. The eel-stripe is dark brown or distinct darker then the coat colour. The light coloured horses have whiter forelocks and whiter hairs on the manes outside.

The red dun's („rødblakk" in Norwegian) body-colour is pale red-yellowish, and can also be seen in lighter or darker shades. On the red duns, the darker stripe of hair in the middle of the mane, eel stripe and the darker hair in the middle of the tail are red or red- brownish, always darker than the colour of the body, but never black. Mane and tail are mostly very light or yellowish. On the lighter shades of red duns, the forelock, mane and tail can be completely white. When they are foaled, the red duns can have light hooves, but the hooves may darken as they grow older.

The greys or blue duns („grå" in Norwegian) have a body-colour, which can vary from light silver grey to dark slate grey. The darker stripe of hair in the middle of the mane, eel stripe and the darker hair in the middle of the tail are black or darker than the main colour. Forelock and muzzle area is darker in contrast to the brown and red duns who mostly have a light forelock and muzzle area. On the darkest individuals, the mane and tail can be very dark.

Uls dun ("ulsblakk" in Norwegian) is a variety of the brown dun colour caused by a dilution factor, which reduces the production of hair colour. The colour of the body is almost white or yellowish-white. The darker stripe of hair in the middle of the mane, eel stripe and the darker hair in the middle of the tail are black. Mane and tail have a lighter shade than the body.

Yellow dun ("gulblakk" in Norwegian) is the rarest of the Fjord Horse-colours. It is a variation of red dun caused by the same factor as mentioned under “uls” dun. The colour of the body is yellowish-white. The darker stripe of hair in the middle of the mane, eel stripe and the darker hair in the middle of the tail are darker yellowish than the colour of the body. Fore- lock, mane and tail can be completely white, and on such individuals the eel stripe can be in- distinct.

Dilution factor: Greys too can have the dilution factor mentioned under ‘Uls dun’ and ‘Yellow dun’, but as they have the same appearance as light greys without this factor the ‘colour’ has no specific name.

 



Mating horses with the dilution factor results in 25% white and foals with blue eyes.
As this colour is not accepted on Fjord Horses it is recommended
not to mate uls duns, yellow duns and greys with dilution factor with each other.
If a grey has a yellow dun or uls dun father or mother then there is 50% risk that it has dilution factor.
If a grey has yellow dun or uls dun offspring mated with brown dun or red dun it has for sure the dilution factor.£
If a grey mated with another grey has yellow dun offspring there too is a high risk for dilution factor.


 

Breeders, if you are looking for the right sire for your mare and
you have questions regarding the colours and possible dilution factors
in both pedigrees:
don’t hesitate to contact the stud-book secretary£
and ask for information.


Primitive markings
: An important part of the description and identification of a Fjord Horse, are the so-called primitive markings. These are the dark mid-section in the forelock, mane and tail, dorsal stripe and zebra stripes, the dark horizontal stripes on the legs, especially on the forelegs. Some individuals can also have one or more dark stripes across the withers („grep" = shoulder cross). This last marking is very seldom seen. Some individuals can have small brown spots on their body, for instance on their thigh or cheek. The last one is called "Njåls-merke" (Mark of Njål) after the founding father of the modern Fjord Horse, the stallion Njål 166, foaled 1891, who had such spots on his cheeks. The zebra stripes have the same colour as the darker stripe of hair in the middle of the mane and the other markings, but are often of a lighter shade. They are most prominent in the horse's summer coat. Foals lack zebra stripes when they are foaled, but the stripes will appear by the first shedding of the foal-coat. In some cases, the zebra stripes are lacking. On these, the legs can be of the same colour as the body, or they can be dark up to and including the knee and up to the hock.

Other markings : White, or flesh-coloured markings, are very seldom seen on the Fjord Horse, but a white star on the forehead have existed as far back as we have written records. The white markings are inherited as a recessive gene, meaning that the genes can be carried hidden, and that both parents must have these genes if the offspring shall exhibit visible markings. White stars are only accepted on mares, but flesh-coloured marks are accepted on the penis of the stallions. Both light and dark soles are accepted. Faint white stripes may appear on the hooves of older Fjords and are not to be confused with true white markings.

"The Fjord Horse International Handbook"