But the European wild horse was not homogenous in colour for the most time of its existence. I made a post on the colour phenotypes of the European wild horse this year. The most frequent phenotypes were bay or black (with the wildtype non-dun allele) and bay dun and black dun. The genetic background of seal brown is not resolved yet.
While neither the Konik or the Exmoor pony comprise all the wildtype colour phenotypes found in the native European wild horse, it happens that crossing those breeds would result in a population that has all the colour phenotypes because the Konik contributes the alleles for black and dun, the Exmoor pony contributes the alleles for bay and wildtype non-dun. Thus, a mix population of those two breeds would be authentic in terms of wildtype colours. More than ten years ago, the Dutch foundation Stichting Taurus, which is also involved in the Tauros Programme, did exactly that: they produced Exmoor x Konik crosses.
|© Henri Kerkdijk-Otten|
Not only do these animals comprise all alleles for all the main colour phenotypes found in the European wild horse, also one individual had an upright mane (for reasons unknown to me). This makes this combination even more exciting, as I no longer consider a falling mane plausible for the European wild horse (go here).
Sadly, the Konik x Exmoor ponies were all slaughtered by the Stichting Taurus. However, both breeds can still be combined in other locations or projects.