International Champagne Horse Registry

Champagne Colors
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The "Pure" Champagne Colors


chestnut/sorrel + champagne


bay + champagne


(seal) brown + champagne


solid black + champagne

This page has an overview of the four "pure Champagne" colors,
which result from the action of the Champagne gene
on chestnut, bay, brown, and black.
(See chart below or photographs above)

For details about each color, click on the photo, link, button or drawing representing that color.

Gold Amber Classic Sable Combinations

For "other Champagne colors" :  see "Combinations"

Effect of Champagne on the four simplest horse colors:

Base Color

These horses will have dark or black skin
in all pigmented areas.

With Champagne

These horses will have pink skin
with darker freckles in all pigmented areas.

Starting with a red  horse (a chestnut / sorrel) :



If the red-based horse has one or two champagne genes from one or both parents,
it's Gold.
(Occasionally a gold may have a red mane and/or tail.  We call this "dark Gold".)


ee, Ch_

Starting with a black horse with a bay (agouti) gene:


E_, A_

If the bay-based horse has one or two champagne genes from one or both parents, it's Amber.


E_, A_, Ch_

Starting with a black horse with a  (seal) brown (agouti-t) gene, and no bay gene:


E_, AtAt or Ata

If the brown-based horse has one or two champagne genes from one or both parents, it's Sable.


E_, AtAt or Ata, Ch_

Starting with a black horse without a brown or bay gene:


E_, aa

If the black-based horse has one or two champagne genes from one or both parents, it's Classic.


E_, aa, Ch_

Genetic notation used:  E = black,  e = red;  A = bay,  At = brown,  a = solid;  Ch = champagne, ch = non-champagne;   __ = any version of same gene

Links to DNA tests to identify your horse's base color and other modifiers are HERE.

The scientific specifics are here:

Depending upon which base colors and other color modifiers
are present in a horse with a Champagne gene, the appearance of the horse varies. 
Also, a lighter or darker shade of the "original" color will affect the horse's appearance.

Since the Champagne gene is believed to be a North American mutation, occurring once, sometime around 1890, a horse must have at least one ancestor (parent, great-grandparent, etc.) of North American bloodlines to be an genuine Champagne color. 
Click this link to read more.

For a crash course in horse color genetics, including Champagne, click here. 

Otherwise, continue learning about the Champagne Colors, below:

For in-depth help in determining whether a horse is champagne, see "Identification"

PO Box 4430
Paso Robles, CA 93447-4430

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You're invited to join our Yahoo Groups list, to share pictures and discuss champagne horse colors.

Champagne Colors
Champagne Article
Stallion Service
Color Genetics
DNA Color Tests
ICHR Owners

Legal information:  
ICHR was incorporated in the state of California in 2000.  It is a non-profit corporation. 
ICHR is not, and never was, connected with
any other Champagne organization.
Web & Graphics Design copyright 2015
by Barbara A Kostelnik (see )
Please remember that all graphics and text on this site, as on all of the WWW, are automatically copyrighted,  including the exhaustive
pedigree and color research 
that our president, Carolyn Shepard, has done.
If you'd like to use something from this site, 
please email us for permission.

Emailing ICHR:  Horse color questions will not be answered without the horse's breed and registered name, if any.  Due to the extensive research conducted by the ICHR, we are usually able to determine if a horse has champagne in its pedigree by recognizing the names of ancestors we have determined were champagne,
listed in the right column of each
entry in our
stud book.
ASK about "grade" horses,  please.

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