Welsh Mountain Pony - Ponies & Breeds
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The Welsh Mountain Pony is the indisputable base for all of the Welsh Pony and Cob Society breeds. In the stud books this pony is referred to as Section A. From the foundation of this pony springs the Welsh Pony, The Welsh Pony of Cob Type, and the powerful Welsh Cob. The foundation Welsh Mountain Pony is the smallest of the four purebreds protected and promoted by the Welsh Pony and Cob Society Stud Book.
This pony is a product of its early environment in terms of action, conformation and constitutional hardiness. The wild terrain, the shortage of food and the harsh climate conditions also ensured a pony that can thrive on minimal rations. The original pony inhabited the Welsh hills centuries before the Roman occupation.
The Romans were the first improvers of the indigenous Welsh stock. They introduced eastern blood, an outcross that occurs throughout the history of this pony. The first recorded influence, in the 1700's was a direct descendant of the Darley Arabian, a Thoroughbred named Merlin. Another outcross was named Apricot, who was described as an Arabian-Barb out of a mountain mare.
Dyoll Starlight, foaled in 1894, is acknowledged as the patriarch of the modern Welsh Mountain Pony. He was out of a mare that was said to have been a miniature Arabian. Following this stallion's popularity and influence was Coed Coch Glyndwr, whose dam was Starlight's granddaughter. Dyoll Sarlight marks he change between the old breed and the refined modern pony. Starlight was sold to Span in 1925 after the death of his breeder and the pony died there four years later. Coed Coch Blyndwr was the foundation stallion of the famous Welsh stud, Coed Ch, founded in 1924. His great grandsire was the Cob, Eiddwen Flyer.
The modern Welsh Mountain Pony is often considered the most beautiful of all ponies. However, the modern pony still retains the breed's characteristic hardiness, strength, and its inherent soundness as well as its spirited pony character. The Mountain Pony is a great child's mount, a brilliant performer in harness and an unsurpassed foundation to produce bigger ponies and horses.
The Mountain Pony does not stand over 12 hands in height. The head is dominated by a large and luminous eye the glory of the Welsh breeds. The eyes and the wide nostrils, together with the dished face, reveal the strong influence of eastern blood.
The body is compact with great depth through the girth, allowing ample room for powerful lungs and a heart that is large in comparison to the pony's small stature. The short, powerful loin is a particular feature. The action originates in the powerful hind leg and hock joints engaged well beneath the body. The movement from the shoulder is free but with the knee action necessary for the safe crossing of broken ground. The hooves, in common with most mountain breeds, are of dense, blue horn and are very hard. Tiny, pointed ears, essential in the pony breeds, are also a feature of the Mountain Pony.
This breed is kind but innately courageous and spirited, and as beautiful as any in the world. They are strong, hardy, perfectly proportioned, full of personality and while having fire and courage, they are essentially kind and gentle. As a riding pony they are superb, with their quality head, sharp, pricked ears, glorious eyes and that dished face. The majority of entries in any show class for ponies under 12.2 hands will be Welsh, but they are also excellent in harness.
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