He hung out near the sea, with his bronze coat, blue eyes and flowing blonde mane and tail. Little surprise he earned the name Surfer Dude.
Surfer Dude was an eyecatching stallion among the famous Chincoteague pony herd that inhabits Assateague, a barrier island off the coast of Virginia and Maryland.
Surfer Dude died during the winter months, aged 23, but his many fans are determined his memory will live on. They are petitioning the company Breyer to immortalize him in a model.
A petition on Change.org, set up by 26-year-old New Jersey veterinary student Sarah Lindsey has already attracted more than 1300 signatures, well on the way to her initial target of 1500.
Lindsey described Surfer Dude is a major icon of Assateague Island.
“After his death this past winter, his thousands of fans feel that he should be immortalized as a Breyer Horse,” Lindsey said.
“Seeing Surfer Dude honored in such a way would be a fitting tribute to a great stallion.”
She said he had an undeniable impact on the Chincoteague pony breed and the people of Chincoteague Island.
“His stunning looks and exuberant personality made him an instantly recognizable figure, and he has sired numerous foals who share his unique character,” she said in support of her petition.
“He has done nothing but improve the Chincoteague pony herd over the 23 years of his life.
“He has made the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, who owns him and the wild pony herd, thousands of dollars in foal sales every year,” she said in reference in to the famous annual pony roundup, in which the gathered herd is swum across to Chincoteague Island, where the young stock are auctioned as a fundraiser for the fire department.
“Businesses on Chincoteague know that any merchandise with this famous stallion’s face on it will sell instantly. And to his fans he is one in a million; a fierce and powerful stallion who could go straight from a fight right back to gently nuzzling his mares and foals.
“You would be hard pressed to find a stallion who has done more than Surfer Dude.
“We ask Breyer to do what they have always done: honor a horse that has changed the lives of so many. Chincoteague pony fans are deeply mourning the loss of this great horse. To see him as a Breyer model would ensure his legacy lives on forever.”
Lindsey first saw Surfer Dude 2003, when she attended her first pony penning as a 14-year-old.
She returned regularly for the penning and had always enjoyed catching up with Surfer Dude.