Pinto horses come in all shapes and sizes from miniature ponies to 16.2 Warmblood horses and found in all parts of the world. Pinto is an old Spanish term that literally means "mottled". The coat patterns you will see most often in New Zealand and around the world are the Tobiano pattern (most common) and the Overo pattern which is less common but still significant.
Many horses have evolved to carry one of the coloured genes through various mixed breedings across the generations. Standardbred horses (trotters and pacers) are known for carrying a coloured gene and occasionally that gene is expressed in the coat, Wilkie's Wonder springs to mind as a New Zealand pinto coloured standardbred. Exceptionally rare is a full thoroughbred (TB) horse with a pinto coat. A pinto TB eligible for registration with the UK Jockey Club was born from 2 TB parents in Britain a few years ago.
Pinto marked horses are well known for their calm and even temperament making them ideal for training as sporthorses. You will see plenty of pintos competing all over the grounds in differing equestrian disciplines over the course of the HOY week.
Most owners are more than happy to talk about their horses and you will find them very approachable if you have a question or two.
Enjoy your time at HOY and come see the pintos in the Showing area on Friday.
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