Unknown & Extinct Colors
The existence of the following colors has not yet been proven to exist in the Chincoteague, or they no longer exist in the breed. If you have photographic evidence of Chincoteagues in these colors in the present or in the past please contact The Colorful Chincoteague!
Appaloosa (Ln/Patn) is famously known by its spots, but can be minimally expressed with only striped hooves and mottled skin. The appaloosa pattern or leopard complex can very greatly and genetically is quite complicated. The Appaloosa Project is currently working on mapping the appaloosa genome.
Brindle causes dark or white striping on a pony's body and is similar to what is found in cattle and dogs. Some brindles have textured hair. It is not known how brindle is inherited, however in some forms it is result of chimerism. Striping effects can also be found due to grey, dun, and roaning. For more information on brindle go to Brindle Horses.
Birdcatcher Spots are small white spots scattered throughout a pony's coat. The can appear or disappear as a horse ages. It is not yet known how birdcatcher spots are inherited.
Champagne (Ch) is a dilution gene. Champagnes have a metallic sheen to their coats and do not have any true black on their bodies. Champagnes are born with pink skin that darkens and has mottling. They are also born with blue eyes that darken to hazel. Champagnes often go through seasonal coat changes and as they age. Gold champagnes are chestnut with the champagne gene, they are often mistaken for palominos. Amber champagnes are bay with the champagne gene, and are often mistaken for buckskins. Classic champagne is black with the champagne gene, and are a mousey brown color. Sable champagne is seal brown/dark bay with the champagne gene, and are between amber and classic colored. Champagnes must have a champagne parent in order to be champagne. For champagne information go to International Champagne Horse Registry.
Roan, True Roan, or Dark Headed Roan (Rn) is where the pony's head and points retain the pony's base color. For a pony to be classic roan it must have a parent that is also classic roan. Any color can be roan as roan puts itself over the pony's base color. Roan was thought to be lethal in homozygous form, but this has since been disproved. Roans often go through seasonal changes and some roans darken with age. Foals will not appear roan until they are several months old.
Classic roan is extinct in the Chincoteague Pony with the death of the last known roan Chincoteague in 2008, the wild mare Rosie O' Grady. It may however still exist in the Maryland Assateague herd.
Dun (D) is a dilution gene that lightens both red and black on the body, but not the points. Dun is characterized by a distinctive dorsal stripe and leg barring. Duns can also have shoulder stripes or cobwebbing/spiderwebbing. In order to be dun a pony has to have a dun parent. Homozygous and heterozygous duns look the same. There is not a test to determine if dun is present, but there is a test to determine if it is homozygous or not.
True dun has not yet been found in Chincoteagues; past or present. Buckskin and dun are sometimes used interchangeably or mistaken for one another, this is incorrect as they are two different colors genetically. Other colors can also seemingly have dorsal stripes and leg barring, but this is due to countershading and they are genetically not dun. Foals are also often born with dorsal stripes that fade or disappear when the foal coat is shed. For more information on dun please see Dun Central Station.
Grey (G) is a modifier that depigments a horse's body color until it reaches near white. It is much like how human hair goes grey. Greys are born a color and through their lifetime "grey out", and subsequently go through many different graying phases. Greys must have a grey parent in order to be grey. Greys can have white spots called Chubari Spots, which are similar to Birdcatcher Spots. Blood markings on a grey are spots of color anywhere on the body that does not grey out. Fleabitten greys have small dark flecks on a white coat.
Frame (O), sometimes called frame overo or just overo, is a pinto pattern. It can occur on any color. Frames always have dark legs with the white patterns on the side of the pony and a white face. In order for a pony to be frame it must have a frame parent. Minimally expressed frames can have as little as a white blaze. Maximally expressed frames can be almost all white. Homozygous frames are born white and are known as lethal whites as they die soon after birth due to an incomplete lower colon. The genetic test for lethal white determines if frame is present.
Frame has apparently existed in the wild herd at some point in the past. It is no longer present in the breed.
Pearl (prl) is a dilution like cream and champagne that is known to exist in Quarter Horses and Spanish horse breeds. Pearl is recessive, meaning that a horse with one copy of pearl will not visually show that it is pearl. A homozygous pearl will dilute the coat color into similar colors that cream does. The skin of a pearl is pale. Pearl can interact with cream to create pseudo cream dilutes. For more information on pearl visit New Dilutions.
Rabicano (RB) or rabicano roan is a scattering of white hairs on the pony. The hairs are on the flank and can extend over the body. Rabicanos almost always have a white tailhead known as a skunk tail. In order for a pony to be rabicano roan it must have a parent that is rabicano. Rabicanos can be very minimally expressed or so extensive it could be mistaken for a classic roan.