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The Royal Hanoverian Creams

Or Hanoverian Royal Creams.  Your choice.

This page is in progress. It was last updated  January 20, 2011.  
I do not disable right click; I find it annoying, rude, and a waste of effort. 
(Anyone with half a brain can work around it!)
Please give the appropriate credit if you quote or copy anything from here.

This page was originally an attempt at tracing the
origins of the Champagne color gene. 
Now it's simply a collection of some references to
golden-colored horses through the past few centuries
in Europe and the U.S., including
many references to the Royal Hanoverian Creams.

NOTICE: There was a farm in the US advertising Royal Hanoverian Creams for sale.  The breed is, however, extinct, and THOSE HORSES ARE NOT ROYAL HANOVERIAN CREAMS, but are American Cream Draft Horses and crosses.  There is no known direct link between the two breeds, and it's unlikely they are related at all.

Most recent additions:

January 20, 2011 --
I've found a page with many details I've never seen anywhere else, including a few that contradict some of what I've learned elsewhere: etc.

I'm trying to contact its author/owner to see if I can get permission to duplicate it here.  She is Kathryn Kane, an "historian with a particular interest the English Regency era".

12:50 am Feb 1, 2010 --
I found a directory to the Royal Academy of Art.

One portion is: "1820. 133. Portraits of old carriage horses in his late Majesty's stud at Windsor. " 

I see that the painting is by Richard Barrett Davis, and apparently 1820 is its date, so they very well may be Creams.
But sadly, it does not appear to have any reproductions in it, only text listings.

"The Coronation procession of William IV", shown (far above) in thumbnail size only, is by the same painter.

Added later in 2010:

Sidney's Illustrated The Book of the Horse, 1875

Jennifer Brown scanned and sent these pages from Sidney's Illustrated The Book of the Horse, 1875 (a reprint). Click them to enlarge and read them.  If anyone cares to transcribe their text, I would be happy to put it on here, in that form.

Thanks to Jennifer, also for being the most recent person to call this painting to my attention:

She noted, as I did the last time I saw a copy of this painting, that this horse appears to have blue or green eyes, and so may very well be a double cream dilute. Also note that the muzzle skin is a clear pink, seemingly free of the freckling of champagne or pearl.
This is assuming that the painting is an accurate reproduction.  Of course, it may have been idealized, or artistic license otherwise taken.
Bear in mind that, as noted below, authors from these horses' time stated that these horses bred true to color unless outcrossed, so they must have been homozygous for whatever dilution gene was causing their cream color.
Neither homozygous (cream free) champagne horses, nor homozygous pearl horses, have green or blue eyes as adults.

My own research on this subject...

      ...began in 1999, when I emailed Dorothy Beardsley-Smith, an American Cream Draft Horse breeder in California (since deceased), to ask her to help us to determine whether that breed was basically gold champagne in color. She replied to me that some of their breeders speculated that the breed - and thus color - might have derived from the now-extinct Hanoverian Cream.

We later determined through many photographs, and my visit to Cream Acres in 2001, that the breed is indeed, almost all Gold [champagne], with a few cream genes in the pool.  Also, it later become apparent that it is highly unlikely that the RHC is the source of the champagne gene today.

But, in 1999, when I heard of the "Hanoverian Creams" as a possible source of the ACDH's (champagne) color, I immediately contacted everyone I could find who might have more information on this. 

Only a few sources had any input at all!

Dr. Philip Sponenberg said that he thought the color of the ACDH's came through a Mustang of Spanish southwestern U.S. descent. 

The Hanoverian registry, that year, said that they had never heard of such a thing, and that the color surely would have been considered undesirable.  (I believe they have since learned more about it.)

Then, in August 2001, Carolyn Shepard, an online friend and horse color expert, found, and emailed to me, an excerpt from a 1949 book, which mentioned the Hanoverian Royal Creams (below).

Around that same time, Julia Lord, another online horse color expert/friend, was emailing me excerpts from old books she had read, about the colors of dun, palomino and champagne (also below).  We shared the Hanoverian Cream information with her, and she sic'd an historian friend of hers on it.  Soon, she was sending me links, which I then followed to others, many mentioning "the Creams" and the British royal family.

But the coup de grace was when a British online friend of Julia's suggested a particular book which mentioned "the Creams" quite a lot, scattered throughout it.  She was kind enough to tell me the title, and I (and Carolyn and she) promptly ordered used copies online.   It's called The Royal Office of Master of the HorseI have found it to be an incredible treasure trove of information and pictures.

I've attempted to report the essence of all of the above information, below.


Excerpt which Carolyn Shepard emailed me, from The Palomino Horse, by Doreen Norton, published in 1949;  page 223, about the Royal Creams:

"Hanoverian Royal Creams are sometimes mentioned in connection with Palominos, although any close association is now doubtful. The Hanoverian Royal Creams were brought to England from Prussia by George I in 1714, but it is generally believed they originated in Spain. (Although John Lawrence, writing in 1809, says these animals 'may not improbably be of Persian origin'). Some say Prussian nobles received such horses for services in the Spanish army."

"Hanoverian Royal Creams were a coach breed, more buff or ivory than golden, with light but not white mane and tail. They had pink skins and eyes with white irises and red pupils, and often had coarse heads with Roman noses, so would not be admired by modern Palomino breeders."

"From 1724 to 1921, with few exceptions, these horses were always used on State occasions, such as the opening of Parliament. They were bred at the royal stables at Hampton Court. They dwindled in numbers until in 1921 the remaining Royal Creams were sold, and no longer used by British royalty. Most of the animals went to circuses, but a few were purchased by Sir Hugh Garrard Tyrwhitt-Drake, who is trying to preserve the strain."


Julia Lord's notes from the book "America's Horses and Ponies", published in 1969:

Under "Color Breeds" they have "Albino", "Palomino", and "Buckskin".

Here is a quote Julia sent from the book:

"There is another kind of Palomino, and although the PHBA does not register it, the PHA does. The difference between the two is that the second kind has a pink or yellow skin instead of black. The coat of the light-skinned palomino stays gold the year around, with the winter coat slightly darker, but the dark-skinned palomino's coat may turn cream or white in the winter, only regaining its golden sheen when the winter coat sheds out."

(Webmaster's note: this is a very good comparison of gold champagne to cream-gene-based Palomino)

Another quote from the same book, this one about the American Cream Draft Horse:

"To get the proper shade of cream each time, only horses with pink skins are used, for dark-skinned creams have changeable coat colors. The eyes are amber, an unusual color and a shade peculiar to the American Cream.  The young foal's eyes are almost white, but as the animal matures they gradually darken until a deep honey color is reached."

(Again, my note:  I have found this to be true of the ACDH's I have seen and learned about, and also of all gold champagne horses.)

This, plus photos and information from Chris Ertl, my visit to Carol Pshigoda's Cream Acres, and other reading, convinced me that the ideal ACDH was, and is, a true gold champagne.  But that's for another page. 

This search took another turn here, as I looked to see whether the Hanoverian Royal Creams were the origins of the American Cream Draft Horse.  The timing was almost right; the creams were dispersed around 1920, and Old Granny, the foundation mare of the ACDH breed, appeared in Iowa around 1911.

The Hanoverian Royal Creams

First, the book recommended by Julia Lord's British friend:

The Royal Office of Master of the Horse

by M. M. Reese
Threshold Books, London, 1976 (out of print) 

All graphics and information (not direct quotes) in this box are from that book.  Click on the thumbnail pictures to see the full sized ones.

page204.jpg (159258 bytes) How Hanoverian Creams got to England in the 18th century; some horse color lore; and how they came from Spain to Hanover, as "Isabels", in the 15th century.
czar&adalbert.jpg (52702 bytes)  The caption from the book says a lot.  Look closely to see the rumps continue all the way down the row of stalls.  They all matched, and they bred true to color.
beauty.jpg (98197 bytes) George III used this "Cream" as his personal charger when it turned out to be not strong enough for coach work.  Why "not strong enough"?  Look at this quote:  "The eight specially-trained horses needed to pull the four-ton coach... "
"Pistachio", "a Cream stallion".  Photo taken at the Royal Mews (stables).
ROMOH_p309.jpg (70951 bytes) What became of "the creams"?  Here is all we know so far.  This happened around 1920.


<= The event pictured at left, her Diamond Jubilee (with "eight creams"), is described by Queen Victoria in her diary, excerpts of which were online at one time.  Another diary entry of Queen Victoria's, mentioning "six creams", WAS HERE:

The diaries appear to have been completely removed from the official British royal site.  I should have copied them.  I've tried many times, and many ways, to find them again, but have never received an answer to any of my emails about them, nor found them.  I'm learning to not link to others' info, but instead, to make my own copy for safekeeping!
<= Julia Lord sent a link which had this photo at the bottom, of George III being pulled by Creams (click thumbnail at left to see full size).  The whole web site on which these pictures and information were located is now gone, so I have removed the link to the page.  The picture is clickable to enlarge it somewhat.

William IV

<= "The Coronation procession of William IV (detail of the frieze by Richard Barrett Davis on display in the Royal Mews)." Not clickable -- So sorry, a larger size is no longer available to us.  Anyone having a copy of this, or knowing of a link to it, please let me know.

<= The coronation of Edward VII (again, this picture is only available slightly larger if you click on it.)  We're not sure if these horses (pulling the coach) are the Creams or later grays, but they certainly look like the Creams.  Need a date for the event.  Someone wrote to me with this date.  Please write again, your information was somehow lost. 

Trivia: The earliest reference I can find to the color name "champagne" in Europe, so far, was  applied by a queen of England to the color of the FJORDS, which do not carry the actual champagne gene.

Trivia:  there is a possible Appaloosa connection.  Not sure if we'll get more into that, but the first graphic of text from the Masters of the Horse book, above, says that "some of the creams from Hanover were bred to certain tiger-coloured horses, apparently creams with darker spots."



<= The Queen Mum's coach, from "Queens Elizabeth the Queen Mother: Chronicle of a Remarkable Life 1900--2000" (Hardcover) by DK Publishing (Author).   Sorry, not clickable.

<= The coronation of George V, coach pulled by "creams", from a postcard, image provided by Carolyn Shepard.  Click to enlarge.


The following excerpt is from this page: 
Thank goodness I quoted it here and did not merely link to it, as this web site is now gone, too!  Thanks to Gwendolyn Gregorio for pointing it out.

"Elector Ernest Augustus (1629 - 1698) adopted the white horse for his coat of arms. The Electress Sophia began the development of the famous white or cream Hanoverian coach horses. A long tradition already existed in preference for white German horses. The Hanoverian Creams, also known as Isabellas, were used in British royal processions from the reign of George I to George V, when they were replaced by the Windsor Greys.

Note added 31 Mar 2011: Evidence has since come to my attention that the whites were sabino-type white horses (they evidently existed in Germany before the Creams were developed.)

Notice these interesting excerpts from the

Palomino Horse Association History

"The Palomino Horse Association is the Original Palomino Registry incorporated in 1936. Today's Palomino Horse Association is the continuation of the registry which officially began in California in 1935, when Dick Halliday registered the golden stallion El Rey de Los Reyes to begin the records of his envisioned true Palomino Breed.  Mr. Halliday researched the golden horses for many years. He started writing magazine articles that brought the Palomino into public attention. His articles created a great deal of interest in the Palomino, and within a few years, hundreds of breeders were specializing in the production of this color."

"The Palomino has come down through the pages of history. There are stories of the Golden Ones linked to the Crusades; the mail-clad Crusaders saw them on the battlefield when they fought the desert chiefs of Saladin who rode them. You will find stories about them among the Arabs and the Moors. During the days of the Crusades the Emir Saladin presented Richard-Coeur-de-Lion with two splendid war horses, one was a gray and the other a Golden Palomino. The place of origin of the Palomino probably never will be conclusively determined. Myths and legends of various countries shroud the beginnings of the golden horse which is no modern phenomenon. The golden horse with ivory-colored mane and tail appears in ancient tapestries and paintings of Europe and Asia, as well in Japenese and Chinese art of past centuries."

"Nowhere has the history of the Palomino been recorded, but most horsemen agree that all light bodied horses have descended from the Arab and the Barb."

"These splendid golden horses were favored by her Majesty Ysabella de-Bourbon, that beloved queen who pawned her jewels that the expenses of the expedition which discovered the New World might be paid. In the Remuda Real of Spain, Queen Ysabella kept a full hundred of these animals and as the chosen favorites of the crown, only the members of the royal family and the nobles of the household were permitted to ride them. A commoner might not even own one. It is recorded that Queen Ysabella sent a Palomino stallion and five mares to her Viceroy in New Spain, which is to say Mexico, to perpetuate the golden horse in the New World. From this nucleus, the blood spread into Texas plains, and from Texas it came to California."

"The word 'Palomino' is a Spanish surname. Many feel that Palomino is only a color and not a breed, which is true in that the color of Palomino comes in all breeds, but the Palomino of Spanish times, the Golden Dorado, was as close to being a breed as any strain of horse. The Dorado was of Arabic-Moorish-Spanish blood and breeding, closely akin to the Arabian and the Moorish Barb.  The Palomino of Spanish times was not bred by being crossed with sorrels. The Spanish had many shades of golden horses, and when they did use 'Corral Breeding', a light color Palomino mare would be mated with a very dark-colored Palomino stallion. This point has been noted in an old book and printed in Barcelona in 1774."


Note this next web page's references to Hanoverian Creams and Ysabellas:  

Also known as Golden Horse, Buttermilk Horse, Golden Horse of the West, Cafe-au-Lait in France, Royal Hanoverian Cream, Hanoverian Cream in England, Isabella, Y'sabella and Golden Horse of the Queen
The ancient golden palomino colouring occurs in a variety of horses and ponies - the Palomino is therefore registered as a type, as opposed to a breed
The Spanish brought the palomino colouring to America which is the only place where the horses are recognized as a breed
The American Palomino Horse Association registers horses measuring between 14.1 and 16 hands high. To qualify for registration, one parent must be registered and the other must be Quarter Horse, Arab or Thoroughbred
The name of this horse may derive from a Spanish don, Juan de Palomino or a golden Spanish grape
This horses origins are likely to come from ancient China. History tells stories of early Chinese emperors riding golden horses. However, as mentioned they came to American from Spain
When the Spanish were defeated the Palominos escaped and joined wild mustang bands. They became a popular mount for cowboys.
The Palomino was developed by Queen Isabella of Spain in the 15th century for her personal use
The mane and tail are silvery white and should not contain more than 15% dark hair
Eyes are dark or hazel and both same color
There may be white markings on face
An alert, curious horse who despite being fiery, works well with people
Popular Uses: Riding, parades, stock work, driving and pleasure

Received August 26, 2004 from Julia Lord:

>From another list:
Subject: Notice in Virginia Gazette (year 1737!)

Hi (list member),

As you were compiling a list of imported horses to England I thought you might be interested in an item from the Virginia Gazette of 8 July 1737, reporting on news from London.

"On Saturday last, about Two o'Clock, his Majesty, attended by his Grace the Duke of Richmond, the Lord in Waiting, and Sir Robert Walpole, went in a Chair to the Royal Stables in the Meuse at Charing-Cross, and viewed the Eight beautiful Horses which were landed at the Tower on Friday last, Four of which were Mouse-color'd, and the other Dun and somewhat Cream-colour'd; and according to their appearance, and their being so finely moulded, the Gentlemen skilled in Horsemanship are of the Opinion, that they are the best they ever saw bred in Germany."  (this webmaster's emphasis)


Someone else has written (not I) :

"King George I of Hanover brought 'the famous cream horses' from his homeland into England during his reign from 1714 - 1727. They pulled the royal state coaches until 1920 when the herd was dispersed for economic reasons. The paintings and photos all show apparent black-based champagnes."  (in that person's opinion)

This webmaster has seen one older shipping document (about one of the Creams being dispersed) referring to the color of one of the RHC mares as "dun".  Of course, we do not believe the color was "dun" as the term is commonly used by horse color experts, but rather, the "dictionary definition", a mousey gray-tan.



Napoleon was said by one writer to have procured some Hanoverian Creams to pull his coach, as well, which greatly upset the British royals.  Here is some of what I've found about Napoleon's coach horses:

Silk scarf prints of Napoleon's coach & horses.  Click to enlarge.  From

  A postcard I own, depicting Napoleon's coach and advertising bouillon cubes!  Click these thumbnails to see the quite large scans I made of its front and back.  The back describes the carriage and its escort, etc. which roughly translated is:

"Any external luxury is banished on this simple 'barouche' style carriage, whose imperial eagle is the only ornament making it possible to recognize the occupant. It was in this modest car that the emperor, escorted by his red lancers, used to go to inspect the fields, and it was also this which drew him to the battle fields until the time when he would mount his famous white horse to direct the battle."

Watercolor-and-ink of carriage horses from Napoleon's coronation and marriage. 

 I've lost the link, will try to find it. 

 Again, note the light, even skin color. Accurate or idealized?

An eBay PRINT of Napoleon's coach and horses. 

These just look like two grays and two bays, though.

Anyone who wants to help, please contact me at .  Thanks, and I hope you enjoyed this page!

Coronation of WIlliam IV -- This is not the picture of this title for which I'm looking, but:


Pearl Other Dun HanoverianCream Light Black Other Mushroom DNA Tests "Barlink"?

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