Welsh mountain pony (Section A)

The Welsh mountain pony is a native breed of the United Kingdom, and is one of the most beautiful of the British native ponies. It is one of the four "sections" of Welsh Pony (which also includes Section B, Section C, and Section D).

Breed Characteristics

The ponies may not exceed 12 hands in height. They are tough and thrifty little animals, with a very steady, tractable, and calm nature. The welsh mountain pony comes in all colors except piebald or skewbald, although gray is the most common color.

The ponies have a dished face (fron the Arabian influence) with small ears and large eyes. They are sure-footed with sound feet and dense bone, and are very hardy. The ponies should have a sloping shoulder, deep chest, short back, and round rib cage. Their legs should be fine with good hocks.

Breed History

The Mountain Pony is thought to have evolved from the prehistoric Celtic pony. The sparse and inhospitable hills of Wales developed the small and extremely hardy animal.

When the Romans occupied Britain, they brought horses of their own, presumably Arabians, which bred with the native ponies, producing hardy offspring with substance, but very beautiful. It is believed that Julius Caesar founded a stud for the ponies on the shores of Lake Bala.

The characteristics of the breed are thought to have been established by the late 15th century, after Crusaders brought Arabian stallions from the Middle East.

In the 1500s, King Henry VIII ordered that all smaller ponies be caught and destroyed. Luckily, many of the ponies were safe in their homeland of the Welsh Mountains.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, more Arabian blood was added by stallions who were turned out in the Welsh hills.

The Welsh breeds were used in mines, for pulling carts, as a means of transport.

In 1901, the Welsh Pony and Cob Society was formed, with the stud book published the following year. It wasn't until 1949 when the sections of the stud book (A, B, C, and D) were introduced. One important stallion in the breed since the 1900s was Dyoll Starlight, credited to have been the foundation sire of the modern breed, and was a combination of Welsh and Arab.

Today, the Welsh Pony is known as a riding and driving pony. It is shown both in hand and under saddle, and makes an excellent children's pony. They also are used for cross-breeding, and have influenced the Pony of the Americas. Many are also bred with Thoroughbreds, American Quarter Horses, and Appaloosas. The breed has also had a profound effect on the Riding Pony.de:Welsh


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