- Australian Pony -

Because Australia has no indigenous breeds of either horse or pony, the development of their breeds relied on the importation of breeds from other countries. The first horses, which arrived at Sydney in 1788 from South Africa on the ship First Fleet, were the first ones to arrive in Australia. The increasing importation of the Timor pony breed of Indonesia followed from 1803 on.

This provided the basis of the breed, which was then subjected to a large range of sources through its development. Some of the most notable influences on the Australian pony were the Welsh Mountain Pony, the Hackney Pony, Arabian, Thoroughbred, Timor, Shetland, Highland, and the Irish Connemara. Sir Thomas and Dennington Court, two Exmoor ponies, featured in the development of the breed, along with a Hungarian stallion names Bonnie Charlie during the mid 1800's.

Today's Australian pony clearly shows how early breeders concentrated on using native British stock as well as maintaining the quality of the Arabian. The influence of the Welsh Mountain Pony is very evident, and the Welsh Mountain Pony Dyoll Greylight is generally considered to be founding sire of the breed. Dyoll Greylight came to Australia in 1911 and passed on his incredible beauty and conformation to his offspring. Formed in 1931, The Australian Pony Stud Book now registers over 27,000 horses. 

The Australian Pony makes a good children's pony, considered to be first class with quality, presence, and ability. They usually have excellent conformation and a good legth of stride. They excel in all areas of riding, including jumping, dressage, pony club, gymkhana, mounted games, English and Western pleasure, and driving. They have wonderful temperaments and are ideal for children and small adults, experienced riders and novices alike.

In appearance they exhibits a quality pony head and large, kind eyes. The neck should be well set and arched, with well formed sloping shoulders and a short straight back. This breed tends to have short legs, with strong and dense cannon bones. They are mostly well put together. Australian ponies are typically grey in color, although any color is allowed apart from piebald and skewbald. They usually stand anywhere between 12 hh and 14 hh.

 

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