This is the most famous Chincoteague pony after Misty…
My photo of Surfer at Pony Penning in years past…
He was named Surfer Dude, because, probably some kid, and blond hair, and …yeah, he looks like a tanned surfer dude.
He sired a bunch of similarly colored ponies over the years and passed away, into the west, sometime in the winter of 2014.
There was some uncertainty as to what color he actually was.
Waht??? you say.
I am a horse color genetics geek. Real horsemen pay attention to every other characteristic but color first… a good horse is never the wrong color. But I am also an artist, so there. I like the wild variety of color in horses.
Basically, horses have genes for red, and black, and a gazillion things to modify those.
Chestnut is the red gene. It can be modified with flaxen (the blond mane and tail), and be dark chocolate to brilliant red/orange. It can also be modified by cream (palomino, or cremello), champagne (gold champagne), dun, and a variety of white patterns like pinto and leopard complex (Appaloosa and other breeds).
Black can be modified by cream (smoky black or smoky cream, which appears white), dun (grulla) and silver.
Silver turns the black mane and tail silver or pale. The black coat can bleach to chocolate in the sun.
For a long time it was assumed that Surfer was a silver.
But now it appears I was right on my first impression, that he was a flaxen maned chestnut.
Flaxen chestnut on the north end of Assateague…
Flaxen chestnuts (one red, three dark) on north beach…
…note the pale lower legs, typical of this color.