American Shetland Pony
The American Shetland Pony is an American breed of children's riding pony. It derives from the traditional Shetland Pony from the Shetland Isles of Scotland, but as a result of cross-breeding with other horse and pony breeds, is taller and more elegant.:435 It does not have the thick coat of the traditional Shetland, and in conformation is more similar to the Hackney Pony, with some Arab influence.:243 It is the most numerous pony breed in the United States; numbers in 1994 were estimated at over 50,000. It is one of two American pony breeds derived from the traditional Shetland, the other being the Pony of the Americas.:243
|Country of origin||United States|
|Color||any color but spotted|
The first documented importation of Shetland Ponies to the United States was in 1885, when one Eli Elliot imported seventy-five of them. A breed association, the American Shetland Pony Club, was formed in 1888.:243 The original stock was cross-bred with various other breeds, principally Hackney Pony; Arab, Harness Show Pony and Welsh Pony were also used. The result was a taller and more elegant pony with longer legs and finer bone, high withers and a sloping shoulder, and a high action particularly well-suited to harness work.:243 It does not have the thick coat of the traditional Shetland, but supposedly retains the hardiness and endurance of that breed; in conformation it is more similar to the Hackney Pony, also showing some Arab influence.:243
It is the most numerous pony breed in the United States; numbers in 1994 were estimated at over 50,000. It is one of two American pony breeds derived from the traditional Shetland, the other being the Pony of the Americas.:243 It was the principal influence on another Shetland-derived breed, the German Classic Pony.:176
American Shetland Ponies may be registered in the American Shetland Pony Club stud-book, in one of four sections: foundation, classic, modern, and modern pleasure; they are distinguished by minor variations in conformation, the "foundation" type being the smallest and most similar to the American Shetland of the 1950s. In the past, American Shetlands were registered in section B of the stud-book, and the traditional Shetland Pony in section A.:243
The American Shetland Pony is well-suited to harness use. It may be used to pull sulkies, two-wheeled roadsters or four-wheeled buggies. It may be ridden under either a Western or English saddle, or may be shown in-hand.:243
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- Valerie Porter, Lawrence Alderson, Stephen J.G. Hall, D. Phillip Sponenberg (2016). Mason's World Encyclopedia of Livestock Breeds and Breeding (sixth edition). Wallingford: CABI. ISBN 9781780647944.
- Elwyn Hartley Edwards (1994). The Encyclopedia of the Horse. London; New York; Stuttgart; Moscow: Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 0751301159.
- Élise Rousseau, Yann Le Bris, Teresa Lavender Fagan (2017). Horses of the World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691167206.
- ASPC Registry. American Shetland Pony Club. Accessed February 2019.