National Pony Society
Summary: Ponies have been an integral part of Great Britain’s culture and they have been bred and developed here for hundreds of years. To encourage pony breeding and improvement, the National Pony Society has been in existence since 1893 and conducts a lot of activities related to promoting and breeding ponies.
National Pony Society was formed in 1983 and it is to ponies what a kennel club is to dogs. Ponies might be small but that doesn’t mean they are a bad horse breed. Ponies were not bred by man, they evolved naturally from horses living in fringe habitats. Island gigantism happens in animals sometimes where they grow to be much larger that their normal sizes. But ponies are a result of shrinking. Horses living in areas that had scarce food resources evolved to be smaller and ultimately morphed into what we know today as ponies.
National Pony Society
The National Pony Society draws guidelines and controls the definition of ponies. Not just every horse that is small can pass off as a pony. There is a set standard for what a pony is. A foal may be mistaken to be a pony by a layman, but it is not size alone that defines a pony, there are certain physical characteristics. Registration and research on improvement of breeds is carried out by the society, especially Moorland and Mountain ponies and riding ponies. The society is what is known as a ‘registered charity’ and maintains the stud book of the British Riding Pony and registers like the International Stud Book and Register, Sports Categories Register and Appendix and Baseline Larger Height Register.
National Pony Society – Shows
The National Pony Society also holds shows and contests. In the first week of August every year, a pony Championship show is held. The show is held at Three Counties Showground in Malvern. To give a fair chance to different breeds, there are different classes, there are classes for Moorland ponies, Mountain ponies, Hunter ponies and Riding ponies.
National Pony Society – Standards
The National Pony Society are the people who maintain standards and strains. The art and science of breeding animals is amazing if you think about it. Through careful selection of the mating pair, it can be decided what traits the resulting offspring will possess. The ponies are thus very clearly defined and have to fall under certain size limitations to be classified as ponies. Otherwise, it is just a small horse. Ponies are very strong proportionately compared to horses. Horses are built for speed and agility and stamina, but ponies have a lot more brute force for their size. They are stockier and their bones are very thick and dense. They are better muscled and they also have a thicker coat. By maintaining these standards, the National Pony Society is ensuring the propagation and welfare of this beautiful animal.