The Hackney Pony was developed by Christopher Wilson by using a Hackney Stallion and Fell Pony mares. By the 1880s, the Hackney Pony was established with the characteristics Wilson wanted to create. This breed was developed in a controlled private environment.
They were first know as Wilson Ponies and kept outside year-round to develop toughness and endurance. This breed was used in the United States and Britain for pulling carriages in the late 1800s and early 1900s, but with the development of automobiles, the Hackney along with other breeds were considered unable to contribute to society and populations declined almost to extinction.
After WW II the Hackney Pony was developed into a show pony and it is bred for that purpose today. Hackney breeders are continually improving the pony’s quality. In the United States, they are crossbred with Shetlands to produce the American Shetland today.
The Hackney usually stands between 48 and 52 inches high with a small head that is carried high. It has alert ears and large eyes. The neck is muscular with powerful shoulders, a light frame and its tail is set high. It has strong legs, high knees and hard hooves, usually long. The most common color is bay, but other colors accepted are black, brown and chestnut. The Hackney also may posses white markings on its body, legs and head.
The behavior of the Hackney is brave, alert, active and has great stamina. They are also very friendly to humans and are appropriate for show and companionship.
The Hackney is used in a variety of events including, harness, showing and driving. Under the Hackney Pony division, events include, Hackney Pony, Harness Pony, Hackney Roadster, Park Pleasure Driving, Show Pleasure Driving and Country Pleasure Driving.
Image Caption: Hackney Pony in Harness. Credit: Equinologist/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)