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What is "Chrome" in Horses?

Have you ever heard someone say a horse "has a lot of chrome" and wondered what it meant?


The word "chrome" is used to describe horses that have a lot of white markings, such as a blaze and stockings. A star and a single sock are not an example of chrome; chrome is flashy and bright.

How do horses get chrome?

A study conducted on Franche-Montagne horses in 2013 found that white markings are genetic. “Our analysis indicated that there are three major genes involved and that the complex interaction of these three genes determines the extent of white markings,” said Bianca Haase, PhD, a genetics researcher at the University of Sydney and lead author of the study. (BloodHorse)

According to D. Phillip Sponenberg, DVM, PhD, chrome is most extensive in chestnuts, least extensive on blacks, and intermediate on bays. 

Examples of Racehorses with chrome:

  • California Chrome

  • Talismanic

  • Get Stormy

  • Honor A.P.

  • Will Take Charge

  • Honor Code

  • Maximus Mischief

  • Improbable

  • Jack Christopher

  • Violence

  • Union Rags

[Video: This video shows the chromed Talismanic]


About: Champions of the Track works to create new fans of horse racing through entertaining, engaging, and informative content. Made by fans of horse racing, for fans of horse racing. Powered by KPB Media.

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