Thank you ihearthorses.com for allowing me to use this image! To learn more about Cremello horses, ihearthorses.com also has an outstanding article all about them!
Cremello horses are a rare and beautiful sight to see. This color is not commonly seen in horses and some breeds can’t even be registered as purebred if they are born cremello.
What Is Cremello?
Cremello is a rare horse coat color seen in only a few breeds around the world. This color is caused by two copies of a creme gene in a chestnut horse which dilutes the color immensely. These horses have a white mane and tail, a creme or golden-colored body, pink skin, and blue eyes. A cremello horse is not considered to be albino as there is still pigmentation in their skin and coat. This coat color is extremely rare and is primarily seen in Akhal-Teke horses. Cremello is a color, NOT a breed.
How Can I Tell The Difference Between Cremello & Palomino Horses?
Cremello and Palomino horses are really similar in the sense that they both carry creme genes and have the genetics of a chestnut horse. These horses can be told apart by a few things. These things are:
Though both of these horse coat colors will carry the creme gene, Palomino horses will only carry one copy of the creme gene while Cremello horses will carry two copies. Both of these horses will show the genetics for the chestnut coat color as well.
Both Palominos and Cremellos are golden in color and have a white mane and tail. The way that these horses differ in color is that the Cremello is a much lighter shade of gold than the Palomino.
The eyes of these horses actually differ in color. Cremello horses are typically seen with blue eyes while Palomino horses usually have brown eyes. Some Palominos may have blue eyes but this is really only seen if they have a white marking that falls over one or both of their eyes.
Palomino horses have black skin except where a white leg or facial marking falls. Cremello horses will always be seen with pink skin.
What Makes A Horse Cremello?
A horse can be officially considered Cremello only by looking at its genetics. If the horse has chestnut as its base color with two copies of creme genes diluting their color, it can officially be considered a Cremello. The reason genetic testing should be done is that some Palomino horses are really light in color and some albino horses can have a slight beige tint to their coat and can be mistaken for a Cremello horse.
How Can A Cremello Horse Be Identified? Traits & Genetics
Cremello horses can be identified through genetic testing by determining whether or not they have the proper Cremello genes. A true Cremello will have a chestnut base color and two copies of the creme gene.
Because of the two copies of the creme gene, the horse’s overall color is so diluted that even the eye color is affected. Cremello horses are mainly seen with blue eyes though white or other pale colored eyes can be seen as well.
Mane & Tail
Cremello horses can only be seen with a white mane and tail. These horses are sometimes confused with Perlino horses, but can be told apart by this trait. Cremellos have a white mane and tail while Perlinos will have an orange-red mane and tail.
Cremello horses have pink skin. This is why these horses are confused with albino horses as both of these horses have pink colored skin.
Cremello horses have a faint golden beige colored coat. Sometimes, the coats of these horses will be more gold, and other times they will be more creme, but regardless they will be a light color.
Can Cremello Horses Have White Markings?
Yes, Cremello horses can have any variety of white markings including both facial and leg markings:
- Interrupted Stripe
- White Face
- Half Pastern
- Half Cannon
- Below The Knee
- Over The Knee
Are Cremello Horses Rare?
Yes! Cremello horses are extremely rare and fall just after albino horses on the rarest horse color scale. There are only a few breeds that will even allow this coat co.or.
Horse Breeds That Can’t Be Cremello
There are several breeds that do not allow their horses to be Cremello. If one of these horses is Cremello they will not be allowed to be registered as a purebred. A few of these breeds are:
- Cleveland Bays
- Suffolk Punches
There are many many more breeds that cannot be cremello, but this is just a few that I know of!
Horse Breeds That Can Be Cremello
- American Cremes
- American Creme Draft Horses
- American Saddlebreds
- Czech Warmblood
Fun Fact: The American Quarter Horse Association shunned any and all Cremello Quarter Horses regardless of their bloodlines up until recently. Now, Cremello Quarter Horses are allowed, but they are extremely uncommon
Fun Fact: Akhal-Teke Horses carry the most Cremello horses of any breed
There are many more breeds that can be Cremello, but this is just a short list of the breeds that I know off the top of my head!
Famous Cremello Horses
Because of the rarity of this color, there aren’t many famous Cremello horses.
The most well known Cremello Horse stud in the UK is a stallion from Czech Warmblood decent. This warmblood stallion is known not only for his impressive coloring, but also for his jumping ability which made him stand out as a breeding stallion.
This horse doesn’t only jump, but he also competes in dressage and qualified for the Scottish Regional Finals at his second affiliated show at Dabbs Equestrian Centre. The color and talent of this horse is what makes him such a well known stallion.
Does The Cremello Coat Color Affect The Horse’s Health?
Sadly, yes. Cremello horses, becasue of the lack of pigmentation, are really prone to cancer, skin issues, and sun burn. This isn’t just Cremello horses that suffer from skin issues, all light colored horses can suffer from skin and health problems.
To keep a horse with this coat and skin color healthy, keeping them safe from the sun, on a healthy diet, and in frequent exercise is extremely important.
Fun Facts On The Cremello Coat Color
- Because these horses carry two creme genes, all of their offspring will have at least one creme gene. This means that if a chestnut is crossed with a Cremello, a palomino will be born and if a bay is crossed with a Cremello a Perlino will be born.
- Sunburn is a really common issue with these horses
- Blindness can occur in these horses much easier than in other colors because of the lack of pigmentation and protection of their eyes.
- Because of their coloration and the health issues that come with this color, the lifespan of these horses is only around 25 years of age (though this number can vary depending on the breed).
FAQs On Cremello Horses & Their Coloration
Are Cremello horses expensive?
Yes and no. Cremello horses are sought after because of their unique coat color, rarity, and beauty. These horses can be found for anywhere from $3,000 to $100,000 depending on the age, level of training, pedigree, and breed of the Cremello horse.