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The rare polka dot pony roaming Dartmoor

The long nose, curved tail, and neat little hooves are all equine. But its coat is pure Dalmatian.

This young man leisurely crossing the lawn in Devon with his mother looks like a rather impossible mix of species.

He is, in fact, an English spotted pony – born from a chocolate brown mare but with a father just like him.

Nature And Wildlife Tv | The Rare Polka Dot Pony Roaming Dartmoor

The pony, rather predictably named Spotty, came to the world just a week ago at Wembury Point, near Plymouth.

His family used to live and graze in Dartmoor but were moved to Wembury Point to help munch down the scrub.

The land is owned by the National Trust and the week-old foal was born to a mother who often grazed wild on nearby Dartmoor.

Local Sheriff Lorna said: ‘On Easter Monday, a wonderful pony with white fur and black spots was born on the cliff.

‘We’ve nicknamed him Spotty. He looks like a big dalmatian. It is very unusual to see a pony with his colorings.

‘Most of the Dartmoor ponies we have out grazing are lovely cream color or chocolate brown.

Nature And Wildlife Tv | The Rare Polka Dot Pony Roaming Dartmoor

‘He will return to Dartmoor on Friday to join the rest of the herd until he is a little older to come back and graze here. ”

The Dartmoor ponies roamed the moor freely but were moved to Wembury Point to help manage the landscape by keeping scrub down and allowing native plants and wildflowers to thrive.

The foal was born last week, but its owner said its real name is Pongo. His mother is a Dartmoor, but his father is an English Spotted horse.

They come in a wide range of colors, including ‘blanket’ colors, where the animal has a simple base coat with a blanket of white spots on its quarters and back.

There is also a ‘snowflake’ where the creature has white spots on its dark coat. Others are called ‘few spot’ and hardly have any points.

Pongo is a ‘leopard spot’ because he has colored spots on his white coat.

Spotted ponies were once wild in Great Britain, the UK, and hair patterns were a natural camouflage as they roamed the woodlands and forests of ancient England.

Stone Age humans painted pictures of spotted horses on cave walls, and they appeared in many ancient manuscripts and drawings.

During Roman times, essential officers were given spotted horses as a sign of power. There are around 170 spotted ponies born in the UK each year.

Source: https://natureandwildlife.tv/the-rare-polka-dot-pony-roaming-dartmoor/