Tobiano
































Tobiano (TO) is the most well-known of the pinto patterns and is the pattern most identified with the Chincoteague Pony. Tobianos usually have four white legs, three rarely. Tobianos will usually have solid heads with normal markings. White is generally on the shoulders and hips. Body spots will usually have edges that are rounded and well defined. Tobianos often have manes and tails with multiple colors. Chestnut tobianos with white tails often have dark tail tips that look black. Tobiano can be extremely minimal and extremely maximum. Minimal/cryptic tobianos will have little or no body spotting, but will still have the white legs. Maximum will still generally have dark heads. Tobianos have dark skin and eyes with striped hooves.

Cat tracks and roaning are commonly found on tobianos. They are not a separate inheritance but a characteristic of the tobiano pinto pattern. Both are more common on homozygous tobianos but can also be found on heterozygous tobianos.

Tobiano is dominant, meaning it cannot skip generations. A genetic test for tobiano is available. Tobiano is located on the KIT gene.

Tobaino is reported from multiple sources to have been introduced through Shetland Pony outcrossing, Once Upon an Island by Kirk Mariner states that Clarence Beebe was the one do so. Ronald Keiper, who studied the Maryland ponies, stated in his book The Assateague Ponies that pinto was introduced in the 1920's. The outcrossing would have had to have occurred prior to 1930, as a Delmarva Star article describing the 1930 Pony Penning described the ponies as "many colored, with blacks, browns, bright bays, and so many with spotted coats." The earliest known photos of tobianos found to date is from the 1931 Pony Penning. Tobiano is common in both the Virginia and Maryland feral herds.


Bay tobiano. Rainbow Swirl, 2011, Picture by Amanda Geci.


Brown tobiano with a mixed color tail. Witch Doctor, 2007, Picture by Amanda Geci.


Chestnut tobianos. Cherokee Chief and Rapt in Paint, Picture by Amanda Geci.


Bay maximum tobiano. Chocolate Dip, 2005, Picture by Amanda Geci.


Chestnut tobiano. Catwalk Chaos, Picture by Amanda Geci.


Sooty palomino tobiano as a foal and as an adult. Misty III, 2007 and 2014, Foal picture courtesy of Kendy Allen, Adult picture by Amanda Geci.


Bay tobiano. Misty's Hurricane Izzy, Picture by Amanda Geci.


Bay tobiano. Sockett to Me, 2010, Picture by Amanda Geci.


Smoky black tobiano. Living Legend, Picture by Amanda Geci.


Brown tobiano with a roan patch and ermine spots. The Duchess of Lightning, Picture courtesy of Sarah Fung.


Dark chestnut tobiano. Archer's Gambit, Picture by Amanda Geci.


Bay tobiano. ShyAnne, 2011, Picture by Amanda Geci.


Buckskin cryptic tobiano. Martha, 2014, Picture by Amanda Geci.


Chestnut tobiano with roaning. Sweet Jane, Picture by Amanda Geci.


Maximum tobiano foal. Colt out of Dreamcatcher, 2014, Picture by Amanda Geci.


Bay tobiano with cat tracks. Chincoteague Minnow, 2007, Picture courtesy of Kyley DiLuigi.


Chestnut tobiano. Paint By Number, Picture by Amanda Geci.


Maximum black tobiano. Historical reference. Feral stallion, 1974, Photo by James L. Stanfield from The Wild Ponies of Assateague Island.


Chestnut and bay tobianos. Historical reference. Wild stallions, 1967, Screen shot from a Wild Kingdom episode.


Tobianos at the 1938 Pony Penning. Wild Ponies, 1938, Picture from Once Upon An Island by Kirk Mariner


Tobianos at the 1931 Pony Penning. Wild Ponies, 1931, Screenshot from Universal Newspaper Newsreel