Did you know:

The derivation of the word hackney is doubtful but it is thought to come from the Old French haquenee, "an ambling horse or mare, especially for ladies to ride on," and may be related to the Old Spanish and Portuguese facanea and Spanish hacanea

Did you know:

If you breed a registered Hackney Pony to a registered Amarican Shetland you get a Modern Shetland or Show Pony. The foal can be registered in the ASPA (American Show Pony Association)

E's Pistal Pete
A Modern Sheltland shown in Modern Harness
Cross registered as a Show Pony in the ASPR
owned by Laurie Johnson NEW OWNER- Congratulations Casey Crisp

Did you know:

The chestnut or sorrel color is common in Hackney Horses but rarely is a Hackney Pony found to have this color.

Did you know:

Todays Hackney Ponies are the result of a lot of hard work, love and dedication by the early breeders. It is know that Hackney Ponies far out number Hackney Horses in the U.S. today.

Hackney horses and ponies have characteristics that make them ideally suited for carriage and driving animals. They have incredible stamina and endurance! It is almost impossible to wear one out.

They have wonderful strong hooves and very hard dense bone that makes them resistant to many of the diseases and injuries that are common among many other breeds.

Hackney Horses and Ponies are shown differently from each other, even though they share a common club (AHHS), rule book and stud book.


Weanling Ponies are shown with a braided mane and natural tail. The mane braids usually look like little buttons and are always tied with red yarn. Because it can be hard to get a weanling to hold still long enough to braid their mane, many times people will shave the mane and glue braids on that have been made out of yarn. They are often shod (at least in front) for the class with a bit of pad as well. Weanlings are usually only shown in a Futurity type class - "in-hand" classes for weanlings are not usually a part of any given show. (In fact, many shows don't have any "in-hand" classes offered - only driving and riding.) The headgear used is a cavesson type halter. (Similar to what many Arabs are shown in.)

A smooth Operator
by Merrywill's Patent Plus out of Fitz's Priceless Flare
Limited Breeders Sweepstakes
owned by Karen Wood - Westbrook Farm, LaMollie, Ill.

Yearling Ponies are shown with a loose mane and sometimes a set tail. They will also usually have shoes on all fours and may have pads as well. The headgear is a what's called a "mare bridle". It's like a Weymouth bridle with a lead.

Two-Year Olds start having some variety. Mares are shown in a "mare bridle", but the stallions and geldings may be shown in "tack". "Tack" refers to a surcingle with side reins and a crupper and a Stallion (horse shoe shaped) bit. Stallions over 2 years old MUST be shown "in tack". "Inconspicuous hair and/or tail brace permitted. A spoon crupper is optional." By the time a pony reaches 2 years of age, if they are going to have a set tail, it will usually be set by then. But often times people will show a 2 yr. old, (and sometimes even yearlings), with a false tail "cap" that is placed over the top of the tail to simulate a "set" tail. So how do you know if a Hackney Pony will have a set tail or not? Depends on the height (in inches) that the pony matures and how it is to be shown. (By the way - the ponies are measured fully shod as they would enter the show ring. Usually before the show, the show steward will call all ponies to a specific location on the show grounds, to be measured the evening before the show begins.)


HARNESS PONIES (also called "Long-Tails") are 50" tall and under. They are shown with a long mane with a braided forelock and a braid at the top of the mane and a long, set tail. Long hooves with pads and shoes on all fours. These ponies are shown to a 4-wheeled Viceroy and a fine harness, side check bridle with round blinkers and a Liverpool bit "On the half-cheek" which means: "that the reins should be around the post or through the top slot, provided the top slot is 3/4 of the way inside the ring. Driver should have an apron, gloves and whip. Shown at a Park trot, "To show all around action and no faster, must appear to have perfect mouths, stand quietly and back easily." Open to all sexes.

W.W. Sam
by Fairy's High Flyer out of Ramble Ridge Barbie
Midwest Charity Horse Show
Whip/Owner - Darlene Wise - Midland Stables, Tovey, Ill.


Also called "Cob-Tails" are over 50" and up to 56" tall. They are shown with a braided mane or shaved with glued on yarn braids and a set/docked tail or the appearance of a docked tail (which means that they cut the hair off even with the end of the tailbone). Long hooves with pads and shoes on all fours. These ponies are shown to a 4-wheeled Viceroy and a fine harness side check bridle with round blinkers and a Liverpool bit on the half-cheek. Driver should have an apron, gloves and whip. "Shown at a Park Trot and "Show your Pony" which designates the speed which shows the pony to it's best advantage. Must appear to have perfect mouths, stand quietly and back easily. Open to all sexes.

Kilbro's Majestic Gem
by Merrywill's Gemini out of Caliente
International in Springfield, Ill. March 2002
Whip/Owner -Karen Wood - Westbrook Farm, LaMollie, Ill


by Cassilis Troubado out of Silver Creek Madonna
Ky State Fair Championships
Whip/Owner - Darlene Wise - Midland Stables, Tovey, Ill.
This wonderful looking stallion in standing at stud.
For more information contact:Darlene Wise

Roadster Ponies are 50" and under and are shown with a long mane with a braided forelock and a braid at the top of the mane and a natural tail. Front hooves are not overly long and may have pads and shod. Back feet usually flat shod. These ponies are shown in a 2 wheeled road bike (like a miniature Standardbred bike) and a roadster harness, low crupper, overcheck, square blinkers, snaffle bit. Martingales and protective boots are permitted. Driver shall wear stable colors hat and jacket to match (racing silks). Shown at the jog trot, road gait and then trot at speed. Open to all sexes.

by Master Flying Duke out of Bartholme King's Sonnet
2002 International Horse Show
Whip - Karen Wood - Westbrook Farm, LaMollie, Ill

Roadster Ponies are also shown under saddle! They use a snaffle bit, running martingale and a Saddleseat saddle. The rider wears silks just like the drivers do. They are shod the same way, turned out the same, and may also use protective boots like the driven road ponies.


May be of any size and are shown with a long mane and natural tail - no braids. Flat shod or may have minimal pads in front. These ponies are shown to a 2-wheeled pleasure cart usually oak, with a leather covered "boot" (where the drivers legs go). Wheels are usually wood as opposed to wire/metal. Shown in a Fine Harness, round blinkers, low crupper, side check or overcheck, snaffle, martingale optional. Shown at a flat walk, pleasure trot and road trot (showing a distinct difference in gait). Ponies must stand quietly and back. Open to mares and Geldings ONLY.

Ponies cannot cross enter between Hackney, Harness or Roadster Pony class at the same show.

The American Hackney Horse Society (AHHS) is also trying to revive a class that used to take place at many shows. Called "Fancy Turnout Class", a Harness Pony pulls a decorated Viceroy with two dressed up (in Tuxedo/Top Hat and Ball Gown/Bonnet) children in the seat. The little girls' skirts usually overflow the buggy and it is decorated with lots of ribbons and flowers. Photos of this event are found in some of the old pony magazines.

The Hackney Stud Book includes BOTH Hackney HORSES and Hackney PONIES. There is NO differentiation within the US breed association other than height. Therefore, there are people who will breed a HH to a HP - the offspring is STILL fully register able! So if you have a really small HP stallion, you can cross to a small HH mare and will most likely get a Cob-Tail sized pony.

Also, Hackney Ponies make wonderful Saddleseat, Dressage and Hunt/Jump ponies for children. They also make wonderful little western gymkhana ponies and, in the late 50's/early 60's, used to be shown in Parade, Trail and Western Pleasure too!

The above "Did you know:"facts were summited by: Chris Nandell, http://www.boshevo.com

Pictures were supplied with permission by Darlene Wise, Karen Wood, & Laurie Johnson

Know any Hackney Pony Facts?

Email them to me and I will add them here.

WM Hackney Ponies

Email:Contact Winnie

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