Horse Color: BAY

A bay is defined as a red horse with black points (mane, tail, lower legs, eartips).

Bay is created by the Agouti gene. This gene restricts black pigment to the points and leaves the rest of the body a reddish color.
A black horse (Ee or EE) carrying one or two Agouti genes will have its black pigment restricted to the points, resulting in a bay horse.

Ollie- QH/grade mix. Owned by Ray Todd.

Since this gene is dominant, obviously a black horse can never carry it. Any black horse carrying the gene will not be black, it will be turned bay. There has been speculation about a 'dominant black' gene, which would be a form of black dominant over Agouti-- this would mean dominant black x black could produce bay-- but a breeding like that has never been confirmed.

The body colors of bays can range from a blood-red to an almost golden or yellow body. Most commonly, however, they are a plain red with dark points.
Bay is a very common color, seen in many breeds throughout the world.

Folklore has portrayed bays as being easy-going, mild, and dependable.
Bay mares were highly prized by the Bedouins of Arabia for war mounts, and all-around horses.
Bay was thought to be the hardiest color.

The Cleveland Bay is a breed of horse that is appropriately named-- the only color they come in is bay.

There are many different terms for different shades, depending on how bright or dark the horse is. Here are some terms generally used when describing bays:

Salto, Hanoverian stallion
Owned by Barbara ODay .

Standard Bay: Red body with black points; body does not have any black or smutty coloration.

Blood Bay: Dark blood-red color, sometimes almost purple.

Mahogany bay: Brown red, with some black mixed into coat.

Copper bay: Orange-red body.

Golden bay: Yellowish body.

A Wild bay; Note the black on the legs is restricted and is only visible around the coronet and on the fetlocks.

Wild Bay: a bay with minimal black points; usually black on legs only comes up to fetlocks. Sometimes called a "faded" bay.


Seal brown horses are actually caused by the Agouti gene, too, but are considered a different color than bay, because the gene is a different allele than that which causes regular bay (although some breed registries lump seal brown in with bay).



Bay Horse Photos:

Baileys in Command, AQHA filly owner: KIM MONTGOMERY


Crinoline's Regal Flaire , Morgan gelding
Owned by Mary Ellen Holcomb

Two bays that are an orangy-red shade.


Owned by Danelle Griffin.

A yellowy bay that has some sunfading.

Bulldog Dilly, Thoroughbred gelding
Owned by Fairplay Horse and Mule

This is a very unusual colored bay. In fact, he could easily be mistaken for a sooty buckskin, but the cream gene is very rare in Thoroughbreds, and I've seen other photos of him when he isn't so golden and looks like a regular bay; in this photo he is sunfaded.

Infinate Wisdom, Freisian/Arab cross colt

Ulrik's Valley Showgirl, Freisian/American Saddlebred filly
Owned by Holly Zech.




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