Painted freak brings splash of colour to the races

We are well used to hearing horses described as bay, chestnut, black or grey in their colouring. But what do you call a horse whose markings are made up of different coloured patches?

This question was put to the International Stud Book Committee last year when Join The Dots was named and entered in a bumper race at Fontwell Park. His stallion, an American horse called I Was Framed is a skewbald, has a body of brown and white patches, which he passed on to his offspring. Whilst this type of patterning, along with its black and white counterpart, piebald, is not uncommon in non-thoroughbreds, Join The Dots was the first racehorse to have this patterning on his coat.

The ISBC settled on a description of “painted”. Earlier this month, another horse sired by I Was Framed made its racecourse debut. Modern Society is a two year old owned and trained at Mill Hill in North London by Andrew Reid. He says, “He’s almost a freak of nature – thoroughbreds don’t usually come in that colour, let alone go racing. We can’t wait to get him started.” Reid did get him started, with races at Kempton and Windsor.

Whether it is something in the genes I don’t know, but the evidence of the only two painted horses amongst Britain’s 15,000 or so horses in training is that they won’t ever trouble that other current freak of nature, Frankel. Between them, Join The Dots and Modern Society have raced three times, and on each occasion they have finished plum last.

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1 reply
  1. Carly says:

    I’m not sure whether the writer meant the first paint-colored Thoroughbred in the UK or the world…which is definitely not the case. I know of many other paint Thoroughbreds that were born many many years ago…they may be rare colors, but definitely not freakish or impossible.

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