Socks the moonwalking Shetland is fast approaching 3 million views on YouTube, making him the most famous pony on the planet.
Five-year-old Socks may be short in stature, but he is a proving to be an internet giant killer, sitting comfortably in third spot on the Viral Video Chart operated by video technology company Unruly.
At the time of writing the one-minute video, made by the London-based creative communications agency Wieden + Kennedy for British mobile phone company Three, had chalked up 2,887,000 views.
Socks is owned by 42-year-old Mari Williamson, who runs Benston stud farm on the Shetland Islands.
She has told how Socks had the best of treatment during the week-long filming of the commercial, which aims to get people to share their funny clips or photographs digitally.
Most of the video was filmed on cliffs of Eshaness on the islands.
“It was surreal watching it for the first time,” Mari admits.
Socks underwent two weeks of work with animal trainer Elaine Tait, who taught Socks the moves he would need to make before the digital wizards took control to complete the moonwalking effect.
Socks was taught to go up on his hind legs and to paw the ground on command.
Tait started by teaching him to paw a facecloth on the ground. Eventually, he was able to paw the ground when instructed.
He was rewarded during his training with carrots.
Socks was fitted with hair extensions and was made to look his best by local hairstylist Bjoern Larson.
Mari is adamant that, despite Socks’ newfound fame, he won’t be sold.
“He has never been for sale and I won’t be selling him, no matter what the price,” she told British media. “He’s a very special little pony.”