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A zony is the offspring of a zebra stallion and a pony mare. Medium size pony mares are preferred in order to produce riding zonies, but zebras have been crossed with smaller pony breeds such as the Shetland resulting in so-called "Zetlands". It is a zebroid: this term refers to any hybrid equine with zebra ancestry.[1]

Cossar Ewart, Professor of Natural History at Edinburgh (1882–1927) and a keen geneticist, crossed a zebra stallion with pony mares in order to investigate the theory of telegony, or paternal impression. His interest had been provoked by the famous zebra/horse hybrids bred by Lord Morton in 1815 from a chestnut 7/8ths Arabian mare and a quagga stallion.

In "Origin of Species" (1859) Charles Darwin wrote that "In Lord Morton's famous hybrid from a chestnut mare and male quagga, the hybrid, and even the pure offspring subsequently produced from the mare by a black Arabian sire, were much more plainly barred across the legs than is even the pure quagga."

During the South African War, the Boers crossed the Chapman's zebra with the pony, to produce an animal for transport work, chiefly for hauling guns. A specimen was captured by British forces and presented to King Edward VII by Lord Kitchener, and was photographed by W S Berridge.[2]

Similar experiments had been carried out in the United States by mating a mare with a zebra stallion. The experiments were reported in Genetics in Relation to Agriculture by E B Babcock and RE Clausen. They were also reported in The Science of Life by H G Wells, J Huxley and GP Wells (c. 1929).


  1. Carter, Helen (June 27, 2001). "Crisis-hit farm welcomes its gift forse". Guardian Unlimited (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/silly/story/0,,530179,00.html. Retrieved April 20, 2010. "it could be a zorse perhaps, a fony or maybe a shebra or a zetland. Whatever its name, the arrival of the strange beast has been hailed as a godsend". 
  2. Wonders of Animal Life, edited by J A Hammerton (1930)

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