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A horse is considered a roan when it has white hairs fully intermixed with any other color. The overall effect is that the animal is a completley different color than either base hair. A roan is not splotchy like a pinto, but is solid.

The most common roans are:
blue roan: black hairs interspersed with white.
strawberry roan: red, copper, chestnut hairs mixed with the white. (Mane/tail can be a mix, red, or white.)
bay roan: bay coloring and white, leading to unusual points and markings on the horse due to the color gradient in the bay. (Mane and tail are usually dark.)

Return to horse coloration

Roan (?), a. [F. rouan; cf. Sp. roano, ruano, It. rovano, roano.]


Having a bay, chestnut, brown, or black color, with gray or white thickly interspersed; -- said of a horse.

Give my roan a drench. Shak.


Made of the leather called roan; as, roan binding.

Roan antelope Zool., a very large South African antelope (Hippotragus equinus). It has long sharp horns and a stiff bright brown mane. Called also mahnya, equine antelope, and bastard gemsbok.


© Webster 1913.

Roan, n.


The color of a roan horse; a roan color.


A roan horse.


A kind of leather used for slippers, bookbinding, etc., made from sheepskin, tanned with sumac and colored to imitate ungrained morocco.


Roan tree. Bot. See Rowan tree.


© Webster 1913.

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