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About The Coloured Horse & Pony Society (UK)

The definition of a “coloured” horse or pony is one whose coat colour is either (piebald) or white and any other colour (skewbald), e.g. bay, roan, chestnut; with a patch of naturally occurring white coat. This white patch must be on the body above the level of the stifle or elbow, excluding any face markings. Any white marking below this does not qualify. Manes and tails may also be white or have white in them. Appaloosa animals with belly markings do not qualify. If there is any doubt as to whether an animal is classified as coloured, photographs showing all markings should be submitted to CHAPS (UK) Administration for referral to Council at the next available meeting. If further clarification is required a representative of CHAPS Council will be required to inspect the animal at a mutually agreed location. Should further verification prove necessary, DNA testing will be required for the presence of the “colour” gene. Animals with the fading colour gene, common with grey and whites, when colour definition is not apparent will be known as “historical” coloureds. It is at the discretion of the owner whether or not an animal which is historically coloured should be shown.
Within the categorisation of what is phenotypically (seen to be or looks) “coloured” CHAPS recognise the following: TOBIANO (Toh-bee-ah’no) appears to be white with large “spots” (or “patches”) of colour, often overlapping, on animals with a greater percentage of colour than white. Spots of colour, typically, originate from the head, chest, flank and buttuck, often including the tail. Legs are generally white, giving the appearance of a white horse with large or flowing spots of colour. Generally white crosses the centre of the back between the withers and tail.


OVERO (O-vairo) appears to be a coloured (where coloured is meant here to signify any other shade of coat than white) horse with white markings. The spots of white appear to be jagged and originate on the animal’s side or belly, spreading towards the neck, tail, legs and back. The colour (any other shade than white) appears to frame the white spots. An overo often has a dark tail, mane, legs and backline. Faces are often white. Some overos show dark legs with splashy white markings seemingly made up of round lacy white spots. The location of the white never crosses the backline.


Tobiano and Overo markings are also classified into six categories, as shown above. The category of markings is detailed at the end of your horse’s ID number of the passport, e.g. T2EG where T2 denotes the coat pattern (category of markings, in this case Tobiano type 2), E denotes the estimated adult height (see “Height Categories”) and G denotes the sex (in this case, gelding); or O3CS (which in this case O3 would be Overo pattern 3), C would be estimated adult height and S would denote stallion.
Height categories are denoted as follows (and are taken as being at maturity):
Not exceeding 128cms (0-12.2hh) = A.
Exceeding 128cms but not exceeding 138cms (exc 12.2hh but not exc 13.2hh) = B.
Exceeding 138cms but not exceeding 148cms (exc 13.2hh but not exc 14.2hh) = C.
Exceeding 148cms but not exceeding 158cms (exc 14.2hh but not exc 15.2hh) = D.
Exceeding 158cms but not exceeding 168cms (exc 15.2hh but not exc 16.2hh) = E.
Exceeding 168cms but not exceeding 178cms (exc 16.2hh but not exc 17.2hh) = F.
Exceeding 178cms (exc 17.2hh) = G.

These letters form part of each animal’s individual Basic Identity Number and follow the appropriate code for markings (e.g. T2E where “E” indicates the estimated adult height as shown above (older passport identification numbers would be shown as “/T2E/”) which will appear on the Passport.
For further information about CHAPS (UK) please refer to our Membership Page.

CHAPS Online Entries

CHAPS Winter Shows CHAPS News CHAPS UK Membership
The Showing Council
DEFRA Passport Guidelines
DEFRA Rules & Regulations
Foal Registration Guidelines
The Malvern Spring Sale

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Coloured Horse And Pony Society UK | Company Reg 3507868 | Vat Reg 752766700
Administration Office: CHAPS UK Admin, Ashgate House, Mole Drove, Gedney Hill, Peterborough PE12 0PA
Registered Office: Newton Red House, Mitford, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 3QW
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