Pony of the Americas

The Pony of the Americas (POA) is a breed of pony that was developed in the state of Iowa, United States. The stallion was an Arabian, Appaloosa, Shetland cross and the registry was formed in 1954 for the breed. Within 15 years there were 12,500 ponies registered and currently the Pony of the Americas Club is one of the largest registries in the United States. As of 2012 there has been over 50,000 registered ponies, 2,000 members and had over 40 affiliate chapters.

Shetland pony breeder Les Boomhower developed the POA and formed the Pony of the Americas club with the first pony – Black Hand – as the first registered POA. Within the first year 23 members and 12 ponies were registered. The goal of the POA club was to develop a pony for older children and small adults to ride.

Characteristics needed for the POA to become registered include coloring that is visible from 40 feet if the color is Appaloosa. Which is a leopard complex, typically with mottling around the eyes, muzzle and genitalia. Also having visible white sclera of the eyes and striped hooves. Pinto coloring is not allowed for registration.

The POA normally has a slightly concave facial profile, is muscular with a deep chest and well-sloped shoulders. The average height is 46 to 56 inches tall. Although it is called a pony, it has the horse-like characteristics of the American Quarter Horse.

The POA is used mainly for riding, it has also been used in competing in endurance riding, eventing, show hunter, driving and it is a fine jumper. Originally the age limit for POAs in competition was 16. In 1973 it was raised to 18 and in 1987 adults 19 and older could show a horse that was two to four years old.

Image Caption: Pony of the Americas. Credit: Just chaos/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.0)