Blood marks On Horses

Blood marks are rare markings that occur in some flea bitten grey horses.


A flea bitten grey is a rare recessive form of grey that causes flecks of the horse’s base colour to appear in the horse’s coat as it ages. All greys get lighter as they age, but flea bittens begin to get flecks of colour that return to the body. When these ‘fleabites’ appear in one area, they may create a patch known as a Blood mark.

Bay and chestnut based greys will have red markings, hence the name ‘blood mark’. Black based horses will have black blood marks. It would be assumed that palomino and buckskin based flea bitten horses would have yellow coloured markings, but as these are extremely rare I have not been able to find any photos or instances of blood marks on these horses.


Symbolik, Arabian stallion, photos show his blood marks progression – as a foal, a young graying horse, and finally turned grey… “Symbolik was born Chestnut but as you can see the bloodstain was showing through when he was just three months old.

As he lightened the bloodstain became more obvious.

We were concerned that the marking would go against him in the show ring, but that so far has not to be. As a colt he took the major ribbon at all the highest acclaimed shows throughout Australia.”



“The roan patch on her shoulder has faded now that she is in her 30s but the spots on her neck and jaw are as bright as ever. These spots are solid with no white hairs in them”


Lord Oxford’s Bloody-Shouldered Arabian, painted by John Wootton in 1724 Edward Lord Harley, said of the horse by the age of six the marking was “now much wore out, but when I bought him was as red as blood.” Generally blood marks should increase with age.


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