Moonwalking pony at the centre of paternity battle

Shetland pony Socks - whose advert has become a YouTube hit - is "certainly one for the ladies"

It’s one of this year’s biggest viral ads with over six million YouTube users searching out Socks the Shetland pony’s moonwalk to promote mobile network Three. But since successfully completing his funky routine to Fleetwood Mac’s 1987 hit Everywhere, the diminutive stallion has found himself with an entirely different task on his hands.

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Socks’ owner Mari Williamson has put her famous pony out to stud with three mares in an attempt to breed his famous genes. But in a plot twist worthy of Jeremy Kyle it turns out that in addition to the trio of females destined to mate with Socks, his wandering eye has sent him on a mission further afield. After swimming across a loch to court Kimberley, the latest object of his affections, it appears Socks has fathered a foal named Scamp.

Now his owner at Benson stud farm on Shetland has had to fork out for a paternity test to determine whether the newborn really is Socks’ offspring. “He most definitely has a real eye for the ladies,” admitted Ms Williamson. “He doesn’t need any encouragement.

“But there is a bit of a paternity battle involving him at the moment. I put him with three ladies in a field with a loch. But he is a very good swimmer and unfortunately took a shine to another one of my mares – who I had put in a group with my other stallion, Nuggett. He just fancied her more and thought the grass is always greener on the other side.

“Socks swam across – and with his three ladies in tow – and now we don’t know for sure who is Scamp’s real father. Socks was put in the stables for two weeks after. He’s certainly one for the ladies. It’s costing an arm and a leg for the DNA tests but it is important to keep the line correct.”

Nevertheless, it sounds like we haven’t heard the last of Socks’ womanising days: “Socks has plenty of years as a stud in him, so we hope for more foals. There should be lots of little Socks running about. He is a fantastic pony. I’m as proud as punch of him.”

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To remind yourself of Socks’ appeal, take a look at the ad below…