The British Spotted Pony can be traced back to pre-historic times, when their coat color provided a natual camoflage among the heathlands and woodlands of ancient Britain. Spotted ponies can be seen depicted in the cave paintings of Stoneage man and appear in artworks and illustrated manuscripts throughout the centuries. The Spotted Pony was feral in Britain and they appear often in the old Welsh stud books. There are records of spotted horses being among those imported by the Romans and their have been gifts of spotted horses from the royal families of Europe over the centuries.
The British Spotted Horse and Pony Society was formed in 1947. In 1976, the society broke up and two more registries were formed. The British Spotted Pony Society became the registry for ponies under 14.2 hands and The British Appaloosa Society became the registry for horses of 14.2 and over.
The British Spotted Pony can be one of three distinct type:
- Miniatures - under 42 inches
- Riding ponies
They have the same coat and skin coloring characteristics as Appaloosas, with white sclera around the eyes, mottled skin seen most obviously around the eyes, muzzle and genitals.
Coat patterns include leopard, few-spot leopard, snowflake and blanket.
Their physical characteristics are those of a pony, with a well proportioned head and small neat ears. The neck should be of a good length and well set on. The cob-type is permitted to have a heavier neck. The front legs should be straight with long forearms and flat knees. The hooves are strong and dense. Cobs may have moderately feathered fetlocks.
The hindquarters should be long and well muscled and the tail should be well set on. The hind legs should be well proportioned and should have no conformational faults such as sickle or cow hocks.
Their action should be free-flowing and low. More animated knee action is permissible in cobs.
British Spotted Ponies are used in showing classes, as pets and companion animals. The Riding Pony and Cob types are used in ridden, showing, driving and novelty classes and can turn a hoof to anything an Appaloosa horse can.