Mushroom  -  a Recently Recognised Dilution

The Houlland Connection

One must take into account the possibility of a misalliance with a wrong colt or stallion and breeders who have misidentified the colour of a foal. I have often seen a foal that has been registered as cream but is in fact a chestnut dun, the breeder having not noticed the eel stripe. Another misconception occurs where a breeder has registered a foal as dun because they are confused by pangaré. However, there are some bloodlines that appear to consistently come up with unexpected foal colours regardless of the owners. These are the ones I have studied & taken into account. In the pedigrees of mushroom foals, both parents have a line that is common to other mushroom ponies suggesting that the mushroom colour is recessive so can be carried unseen in one dose for several generations. It may only appear in homozygous form. Some lines that often crop up seem to be from the Houlland Stud in Shetland.

 Many strange coloured foals descend from Helga of Houlland, foaled in 1962. The problem of "skewbald" registrations leaves me not knowing what the basic colour might be where it occurs.


Helga of Houlland
Chestnut, (nearer liver,
near red mane & tail)     Foal registration:


North Star of Houlland 

Nero of Houlland  piebald Viking of Houlland  skewbald (bay & white)

Ninepins   bay

Nutkin   bay Balmohr Nick   black

Ninepins   bay

Tuppence of Houlland 
Nero of Houlland   piebald Viking of Houlland   skewbald (bay & white)

Ninepins   bay

Buttercup of Houlland
Viking of Houlland   skewbald (bay & white)

Nutkin   bay

From 13 foals, Helga of Houlland produced 10 chestnut foals to chestnut stallions; 1 skewbald to a skewbald stallion; 1 black & 1 piebald to a piebald stallion. One of the chestnuts was Ebony Helvetia.

Ebony Helvetia produced 11 foals by 2 different chestnut stallions. Of these, 6 were chestnut; 2 "grey dun, flaxen mane & tail"; 2 "mushroom, flaxen mane & tail" & 1 "mole grey, flaxen mane & tail". All the strange coloured foals were by Park View Rustey, a chestnut stallion who was by Thor of Houlland (Gold Dust of Berry x Nutkin). It is noticeable how closely bred these foals are. Helga has 4 crosses of Ninepins who traces to Café au Lait, a dun & white mare bred in Shetland & owned by Lady Estella Hope.

Two of the chestnut fillies went on to produce mushroom foals. One of the mushroom fillies, April Girl of Clonyard was registered as an adult as "dark greyish cream, silver mane & tail". In 8 foals, she produced 5 by chestnut stallions. These were 3 chestnuts & 2 "dark cream, silver mane & tail". To a palomino stallion, April Girl produced 1 "dark grey/cream, white mane & tail" (Firth Amboseli);  & 1 "grey roan". To a cream chestnut dun stallion, she had a "cream dun, flaxen mane & tail". One of the "dark cream" foals was FIRTH JUNIUS, my miniature mushroom stallion. His sire, Firth Cornelian has 8 crosses of Avening Jupiter & 8 crosses of Cafe au Lait in his pedigree.  April Girl of Clonyard has 9 crosses of Café au Lait in her pedigree.  Other Houlland mares have unusual coloured descendants but are not so prolific as Helga.

Firth Junius  mushroom, foal reg. "dark cream, silver mane & tail" Firth Cornelian    copper chestnut Teindside Conker  chestnut Firth Bracken  chestnut, flaxen mane & tail

Firth Fiona   chestnut & white

Goldenfields Pearl  
cream (crème)
Firth Bracken   chestnut, flaxen mane & tail

Phlox of Shergold   cream (crème) by Rusty  of Houlland  

April Girl of Clonyard  mushroom,  foal reg. grey dun, flaxen mane & tail Park View Rustey   chestnut Thor of Houlland   red chestnut

Wantsley Floret    chestnut

Ebony Helvetia    bright red chestnut Ebony Mercury    chestnut

Helga of Houlland   chestnut (foal reg. palomino) see above pedigree


April Girl of Clonyard


Firth Junius



Barclay Arms Wilma (dark mushroom) & foal, Kellas Windfaerie by Firth Junius, at birth.


Kellas Windfaerie. Note, contrast stripe does not denote dun & soon faded.


Kellas Windfaerie at 12 weeks old


Kellas Windfaerie as a yearling.


Windfaerie in winter coat at 8 months old


Barclay Arms Wilma in winter coat

Barclay Arms Wilma

Dark mushroom.  Foal registration: mink. Adult registration: dark brown

Rob of Gue  chestnut Gletness Rocket   chestnut Fireball of Marshwood  dark chestnut

Rose of Belmont   chestnut

Goldie of Gue   chestnut, white mane & tail Gold Dust of Berry   chestnut

Dusky of Gue   grey.  Foal reg. grey

Petula   chestnut Gletness Sunset  chestnut Gletness Fireman  chestnut

Gletness Sunstar   chestnut

Patsy of Murrion   chestnut Sunburn of Marshwood  bay

April Sun   roan.  Foal reg. roan


Kellas Windfaerie             Kellas Windfaerie

Windfaerie in summer as 2 year old. She has produced a chestnut foal by Kellas Peerie Plover (chestnut) 

It should be noted that there are a couple of ponies in this pedigree that do not fit their colours. Dusky of Gue, said to be grey, is by Airborne (piebald) out of the inspected mare, Lady of Gue, said to be dun. This could be a misidentification of mushroom coloured ponies but it could be that the pedigree is incorrect.  April Sun was by Slacks Thunderflash who was registered as chestnut but may have been chestnut roan as his dam was a grey roan.

Gletness Rocket, Fireman & Sunstar in this pedigree were by Fireball of Marshwood.  Rob of Gue has 6 crosses of Café au Lait. Petula also has 6 crosses of Café au Lait in her pedigree.

The Park View Stud (see sire of April Girl of Clonyard in above pedigree of Firth Junius) used several Houlland stallions initially and produced a number of mushroom foals. Park View Miss Lovely Sunday, a full sister to Park View Rustey, produced Cranleigh Samson & Cranleigh Simon, both of which were dark mushroom with very pale manes & tails. Park View Miss Muffet (by Thor of Houlland) was the dam of Park View Grit (see page 6, a mushroom stallion in Sweden by Comus of Houlland) who was the sire of Östertorps Baron (see page 6, also a mushroom stallion in Sweden).

Photograph copyright of Mrs. D. McKendrick
Foula of Clonyard & Faldo of Clonyard. Foula is by Stormboy of Clonyard, son of Park View Rustey. Faldo is by Park View Rustey. Both are out of Helga of Clonyard (see top of page) who has Avening & Houlland bloodlines. Faldo started off much paler & went darker over years. Both have silver manes & tails.                                                                                

Text & photographs copyright of Beth Mead unless otherwise stated     

     Previous Page     Page 3 

Main Index