The Inheritance of the Spotted Coat Pattern

It is not completely understood and it is difficult to predict the markings of any unborn foal even from the same matings carried out year from year. All spotted ponies (except genuine genetic fewspots) are heterozygous and carry a solid colour gene and a spotted gene. Consequently, even if both parents are loudly marked, they can still both throw their solid coloured gene into the mating and the subsequent foal may then be born solid coloured (no spots). Theoretically, from four maings between the same spotted stallion and mare, you have a 25% chance of breeding a fewspot, a 50% chance of breeding a spotted of some kind and a 25% chance of breeding a solid coloured foal. The only exception to this is if one of the parents is a 'genuine' Fewspot as both of their genes are spotted so their foal will almost certainly inherit a spotted coat pattern.


Breed Profile


Head: Full of quality and true pony character. Big bold eyes, set well apart. Ears should be well palced, small, neat and in proportion to the head. Prominent pen nostrils. Clean well defined throat.

A course head and Roman nose is discouraged.


Neck: Should have good length and be well carried. Moderately lean in mares but inclined to be more cresty in stallons. Slightly heavier neck is allowable in the cob type.


Shoulders: Good strong, sloping and well laid back. Withers should be well defined but not 'knifey'.


Forelegs: Should be square and true. Not tied-in at the elbow. Long strong forearms with well developed knees. Short flat bone below the knee. Pasterns of proportionate length and slope. Well shaped dense hooves. The cob type should have a greater abundance of bone without coarseness and a moderate quantity of fine feather when in the rough.


Hindquarters: Lengthy, strong, well muscled, not ragged or dropping with well set on tail.


Hind Legs: Well let down hocks, large flat clean bone, prominent points. The hock not to be set behind a line from the point of quarter to fetlock joint. No sickle or cow hocks. Pasterns to be of proportionate length and slope. Hooves well shaped and dense.


Action: Low, straight, from the shoulder. Free flowing. Hocks well flexed with straight action coming well under the body. The cob type may show more knee action.

General Character

A quality pony with adequate bone and substance, hardy and active and real pony character of miniature, riding or cob type up to and including 14.2hh.


Breed Characteristics

All ponies must display some or all of the following:


White Sclera around the eye.

Mottled Skin - this part-dark, part-pink skin is uually most evident around the genitals, lips, muzzle, eyes and inside the ears.

Striped hooves.





                                         Leopard: Spots of any colour on a white or lightly coloured background.


                                         Near Leopard: is very similar but the pony will usually have a darker head, neck and                

                                         legs with the remainder of it's body being similar to that of the leopard.





                                        Few Spot Leopard: White base colour with only a few spots. Strong characteristics

                                         often accompained by varnish marks (groupings of dark hairs within an area- usually

                                         nose, cheek bones, stifle, gaskin and knee).






                                        Snowflake: White spots on a dark base coat.







                                          Blanket: An area of white over the hips and hindquarters with or without spots. Any

                                          base colour. The blanket can extend over the entire back and shoulders. The latter

                                          must display strong breed characteristics.





                                          Mottled pattern: The coat is most often irregularly ticked with white, having also

                                          large or small roan spots, their outlines rather blurred. Sometimes also a coat looking

                                          like an ordinary roan but in which dark blots (varnish marks) appear.




                                         Solid Colour: is a pony bred from spotted parents but which does not display the        

                                         the spotted coat pattern. Interestingly some ponies born solid colour can and        

                                         very often do develop spots as they get older.Solid colours are eligible for a seperate  

                                         register but must be of proven spotted breeding and preferably show some breed



Please Note: Piebald and Skewbald markings of any kind are not eligible for registration. Also breeding to greys is highly discouraged as this dilutes the colour and can introduce the greying (fading) gene. A fader foal could be born beutifully covered in spots but over time and years the spots start to fade until you are left with a grey. Highly dissapointing for anyone who is not aware of this.

few spot
leopard spot

The British Spotted Pony Society


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