Buckskin & Smoky Black Register

Dilutes Australia buckskin & smoky black register for studbook and non-studbook buckskin & smoky black horses and ponies

Registration and Membership Applications

Studbook Buckskin / Smoky Black Register: mares & stallions - must have 2 registered parents. Proof must be provided. Must PASS conformation standards.

Non-studbook Buckskin / Smoky Black Register: mares & stallions - either one or both parents are unknown / unregistered or unprovable. Must PASS conformation standards. These buckskins have full showing rights.

Gelding Register: may have either registered or unknown / unregistered / unprovable parentage. Must PASS conformation standards.

Ownership requirements

The owners of all buckskins and smoky blacks must be current financial members of the Association. Should an owner cease to be a financial member, the registration of all horses registered in his or her name will be suspended until such time as said owner rejoins the association, at which time the registration of all horses registered in his or her name will be reinstated

Smoky blacks and brown buckskins

All horses / ponies being presented for registration as either a smoky black or a brown buckskin will be required to undergo DNA testing for the cream factor if it is determined by the registrar that there is not sufficient physical evidence of dilution.

Sufficient evidence includes any one or more of the following criteria:

  • proof of double CREAM dilute parentage,
  • production of CREAM dilute progeny from non-cream dilute partners or double cream dilute progeny
  • obvious dilute foal colour (smoky black foals may be clearly dilutes but this may not be so apparent as they age)
  • obvious dilute characteristics.

Standard of Excellence

A buckskin or smoky black shall meet the standards of conformation (breed characteristics being irrelevant) prescribed by the Board. To be considered for BUCKSKIN / SMOKY BLACK STUDBOOK, NON-STUDBOOK or GELDING registration, a buckskin / smoky black must gain the required conformation marks prescribed by Board and fulfill the following:

  • Must be a black based horse or pony carrying one copy of the cream dilution modifier regardless of agouti status.  Horses and ponies carrying a second dilution modifier will be registered under that dilution for their primary registration but may also be registered as a composite dilute if they meet skin and eye colour requirements ie a buckskin dun will be registered as a dun first but owners can opt to have them registered as a buckskin as well (composite registration).
  • Have a body free from imperfections and free of white spots except those caused by accident.
  • Be permitted white markings on the face and legs only, the legs not to be white above the knees or hocks save for a continuous diminishing spear or stripe running above the knee or hock. NO buckskin or smoky black may have ANY white markings (ie belly splashes) other than those permitted under the Regulations of the Company. 
    Notwithstanding this, an owner may apply to have a horse or pony accepted for registration under the company's hardship clause which allows for small amounts of underbelly white.
  • Have a basic skin colour which is dark.
  • Have both eyes dark and the same colour. Wall eyes are not acceptable.

  • Not be bleached or dyed
  • Not exhibit any appaloosa characteristics. Solid horses and ponies with appaloosa/palouse/spotted pony parentage must be DNA'd for Lp and must return a negative result to be eligible for registration as a buckskin or smoky black.  Horses carrying Lp can be registered as DA Non Solid Dilutes. 

Acceptable shades of buckskin for Dilutes Australia registration

The shades of buckskin the company registers are:

CREAM BUCKSKIN - the palest shade of buckskin; a pale cream or buff colour with dark points.

STANDARD BUCKSKIN- a yellowish body colour. Mane, tail and legs are black. May be clear coated, dappled or sooty.

GOLDEN BUCKSKIN - a nice deep gold body colour. Some of the richer colours are hard to distinguish from the bays, particularly the copper bay, but they are lack the 'redness' that bays have. One of the most common ways of distinguishing between the two is by looking at the iridescence: a buckskin, like a palomino, will have gold or metallic silver iridescence whilst a bay will tend to exhibit copper or orange iridescence.

BURNT BUCKSKIN - also known as sooty buckskin. At one stage sooty buckskin was incorrectly known as brown grulla when it was thought that buckskin, dun and grulla were each controlled by the same genetic mechanism. However, it is now known that this is not the case.

BROWN BUCKSKIN - this is the darkest shade of burnt/sooty buckskin. Overall the horse appears to be a brown but the lighter yellow is in ill-defined areas, whereas the true brown is red or mealy only on the 'soft parts'. It has a more golden tint to it than brown. Please note that all horses / ponies being presented for registration as brown buckskins may be required to undergo DNA testing for the creme factor unless they have

  • have a double cream dilute parent OR
  • have produced double cream dilute progeny OR
  • have produced single cream dilute progeny to proven non-cream dilute partners.

SMOKY BLACK - this is the darkest shade and occurs on a base colour of black. This colour is also referred to as black buckskin and dilute black.  Smoky blacks registered with Dilutes Australia Ltd are eligible to be shown in classes for buckskins.

These horses and ponies do not carry agouti and breeders should be aware when using smoky blacks for breeding buckskins that the other parent must carry agouti if a standard or brown buckskin is the desired result.

Foals may be born a tan or fawn colour. These horses can be difficult to distinguish from ordinary black (or liver chestnut when in winter coat) but in the sunlight their coats will have a gold iridescence. Another giveaway is their often amber or lighter coloured eyes. Please note that all horses / ponies being presented for registration as smoky blacks may be required to undergo DNA testing for the creme factor unless they

  • have a double cream dilute parent OR
  • have produced double cream dilute progeny OR
  • have produced single cream dilute progeny to proven non-cream dilute partners.

Click here to see photos illustrating the various shades.


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