Acceptable colours & Markings



The principle colours are black, brown, bay and chestnut. Where there is any doubt as to the colour, the muzzle and eyelids should be carefully examined for guidance.


Where black pigment is general throughout the coat, limbs, mane and tail, with no pattern factor present other than white markings. Black ponies are born a charcoal colour ranging from pale ash to blueish grey. Foals which are born jet black will turn grey.


Where there is a mixture of black and brown pigment in the coat, with black limbs, mane and tail, except in the soft parts, i.e. around the muzzle and eyes, behind the elbows, in the flank, and sometimes between the hind legs, where the hair is of a lighter colour. These may look black apart from the pigmented soft parts.


Bay varies considerably in shade from dull red approaching brown, to yellowish colour approaching chestnut, but it can be distinguished from the chestnut by the fact that the bay has a black mane and tail and almost invariably black on at least the bottom of the limbs. The ears have a black line around them. Bay horses are born with dark skin, unlike chestnuts.

The lighter shades can sometimes be misidentified as “buckskin” or “dun”. Unless the pony has a dilute parent, whether the dilution is caused by the cream, dun or taffy dilution it cannot be buckskin, dun or taffy.


Produced by the action of the cream gene (Ccr) on a bay or brown base, buckskin may be cream, yellow, gold, sooty. The mane and tail are predominantly black or brown but may contain white hair.
Dilute Black – (previously known as Black Buckskin) Occurs on a black base animal which carries a single dilute cream gene. Is usually very difficult, if not impossible, to visually distinguish from black.


This colour consists of yellow coloured hair in different degrees of intensity, which may be noted if thought desirable. The mane & tail of a chestnut may not necessarily be the same colour as it’s body and can range in colour from silver, through flaxen, salt & pepper to dark liver. Chestnuts have no black hairs on their limbs or in their manes & tails although the liver colouring can be mistaken for such. Chestnuts are born with salmon coloured skin which rapidly darkens to black within a few days.


(previously referred to as Taffy or Silver Dapple) is another dilution and it affects only black pigment; it has no effect on chestnut. It acts on a black / brown/bay horse to produce colour known as black/brown or bay silver which may or may not have dapples. The body colour varies from almost bay to almost black with the mane and tail usually being creamy white or streaky and the black points diluted to a washed out colour. Silver will only be recorded with the WPCS upon presentation of a DNA colour test result proving the presence of the Silver Gene.


(previously referred to as Cream)– A coat colour ranging from pale cream to dark gold with dark skin. Sometimes the coat shows dark hairs (smutting). The mane and tail are white or cream but may contain black or chestnut hairs. Produced by the action of the cream gene (Ccr) on a chestnut base. Can be mistaken for a silver if the cream dilution gene is working over a very dark chestnut base coat colour.


Pale cream cololur with pink skin and pale glass-blue eyes and a white or pale ivory coloured mane and tail. If one or both parents are grey they may also be genetically, grey: in this case, any progeny may inherit the gene for grey and those that do will eventually grey out to become a stark white colour. Cremello is produced when the cream gene (Ccr) is doubled on a chestnut base, and can also mask roan and the progeny of a genetic Cremello / roan may also be roan.


Pale cream colour with pink skin and blue eyes like the Cremello, but the points, mane and tail may show a shade darker. Perlino is produced when the cream gene (Ccr) is doubled on a black, bay or brown base.


Where the body coat is a varying mosaic of black and white hairs, with the skin black. With increasing age the coat grows lighter in colour. As there are many variations according to age and season, all of them should be described by the general term ‘grey’. It is important to always note the birth colour of a grey.


A Roan must have a roan parent or one which was born roan but on which the action of the greying or cream gene has masked the roan. Roan are distinguished by the base colour, which is permanent and should be described as ‘bay roan’, ‘black roan’, ‘chestnut roan’, ‘brown roan’, ‘buckskin roan’ etc. A roan has an admixture of white hairs and the base colour on the body, but the head and legs remain the base colour. Generally a roan foal is born a solid colour with the roan pattern becoming evident with the first change of coat. Roans may occur on any colour including dilutes, palomino and buckskin. When roan occurs on cremello, perlino & grey it is masked and so is impossible to visually distinguish. Palomino and buckskin roans can be difficult to distinguish and may only be identified by the base colour spearing up the forearms.

Frame Overo

(only occurs in Part Welsh)- These have irregular white patches which appear to spread horizontally on the body and do not cross the spine, legs are the base colour unless the animal is showing the effects of the Sabino gene, in which case they will show white markings on the lower parts. Lethal in a homozygous state.


(only occurs in Part Welsh)- – These usually have white areas which cross the spine with the head as the base colour with or without white markings, white legs and often bi coloured tails.


Flecking (refer body and leg markings)


(refer body and leg markings)


(only occurs in Part Welsh) –- Another dilution which will be expressed on all body colours. The base colour is retained but lightened and is a ‘flat’ tone so can vary from pale chestnut, through flat bay to black-grey or even a ‘flat’ shade of palomino or buckskin as it can be found in combination with the cream dilution gene as well. The skin is black (unless working on cemello or perlino), mane, tail and legs are the base colour (eg chestnut, black) and darker than the rest of the body. usually black or dark as are the legs. Duns have very distinct dorsal stripe extending into the mane & tail and widening over the loins, ear tipping extending over the top half or the ear and usually ‘primitive’ markings including leg and shoulder barring and mottling. Dun is produced by the Dun gene (D). This is a different dilution to Cream (CCr) and can occur in a homozygous form as a Dun. It can occur in conjunction with any colour including Cream dilution

Colours terms no longer used-

Cream, Taffy, Skewbald, Piebald, Pinto, Liver Chestnut.


The positions of all white markings must be stated on the application for registration.

Trace line

Is a line drawn through the points of the shoulder to the point of the stifle.

Note- any continuity from white legs to above the line is acceptable. i.e. any patch which goes above the line but is connected to a leg marking. A white patch which begins below the line, not connected to a leg marking, but continues above the line is not accepted. Any case not clear cut will be referred to the Editing Committee and thereafter Committee of Management.



Any white mark on the forehead. Size, shape, intensity, position, and coloured markings (if any) on the white are to be specified. Should the marking in the region of the centre of the forehead consist of a few white hairs only it should be so described and not referred to as a star.


In the majority of cases the star and stripe are continuous and should be described as ‘star and stripe conjoined’. Where the stripe is separate and distinct from the star it should be described as ‘broken stripe’. Where no star is present the point of origin of the stripe should be indicated. Any variation in width direction and any markings on the white should be stated, including ‘inclined to left/right’ etc.


A white marking covering almost the whole of the forehead between the eyes and extending beyond the width of the nasal bones and usually to the muzzle. Any variation in direction, termination and any markings on the white should be stated. e.g. ‘broad blaze’, ‘narrow blaze’.

White Face - Where the white covers the forehead and front of the face, extending downwards towards the muzzle. The extension may be into the left or right or both nostrils, or covering both and extending further, in which cases it should be described accordingly.


An isolated white marking, independent of those already named and situated between or in the region of the nostrils, its size, position and intensity should be specified.

Lip markings

Should be described as the whole or a portion of either lip.

Flesh Marks

Patches where the pigment of the skin is absent should be described as flesh marks.

White Muzzle

Where the white extends to the region of the nostrils and may include lips.

Wall-Eye / Blue Eye

This term should be used exclusively where there is such a lack of pigment, either partial or complete, in the iris as to give a pinkish-white or bluish-white appearance to the eye. Any other important variations should be noted.



Where white hairs are separately distributed through the coat in any part of the body.


The Sabino gene can be responsible for all white leg markings and can produce large areas of white with underlying pink skin and heavy ticking. Sabinos will usually have at least one white leg marking which spears upwards and a white chin spot. Markings which are extensive can include long white leg markings and belly splashes that may extend upwards into the body. A large blaze or white face and the chin spot. These ponies may also show extensive ticking and markings to produce an all white animal with dark eyes. Note this animal is not a Cremello or Perlino and heavy ticking should not be mistaken for Roan.

Black marks

Should be used to describe small areas of black hairs among white or any other colour.


Where small, more or less circular, collection of hairs differing from the general body colour occur, distributed in various parts of the body.


Should be used to describe any larger well defined irregular area (not covered by previous definitions) of hairs differing from the general body colour.


(cowlicks) these are small areas about the size of a 50 cent piece where the hair grows in a swirl pattern. Irregular setting of coat hairs and whorls should be indicated by an X.


Any variation in the colour of the hoofs should be noted.

White Leg Markings

Any white markings on the legs should be accurately defined and the extent precisely stated, e.g. ¼ cannon, ½ cannon, cannon. fetlock, pastern, coronet etc. The use of such terms as sock and stocking should be discontinued.

Ermine Spots

are small to large spots of colour on the coronet band close to the hoof, these should be noted.

Zebra marks

Where there is striping on the limbs, neck, withers or quarters.

Mane and Tail

The presence of differently coloured hairs in mane and tail should be noted.


C Purebred Colt
FS Foundation Mare
FS1 Foundation (1) Mare
FS2 Foundation (2) Mare
G Purebred Gelding
M Purebred Mare
OWS Overseas UK Welsh Society
OOWS Other Overseas Welsh Society
PWC Part Welsh Colt
PWM Part Welsh Mare
PWS Part Welsh Stallion
REF Reference Animal
ROS Registered Other Society

A Welsh Mountain Pony
B Welsh Pony
C Welsh Pony of Cob Type
D Welsh Cob
E Welsh Gelding
P Part Welsh Registry
S Purebred Stallion
UR Unregistered

1. Acquired Markings
There are many adventitious marks (i.e. not congenital marks) which are permanent, e.g. saddle marks, bridle marks, collar marks, girth marks and any other harness marks, permanent bandage marks, firing and branding marks, scars, tattoo marks. Where ever these occur they should be described. If a horse should happen to be docked this fact should be mentioned.

2. Congenital Abnormalities
Any congenital marks or other abnormalities which cannot be included in the description under the other headings should be clearly described.

3. Whorls, etc.
Whorls should be shown by X on the application for registration.
The location of whorls or irregular setting of coat hairs should be precisely indicated on the diagram accompanying the certificate.

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