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.[1]: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.[2]: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.[2]:243

American Shetland Pony
Harness pony.jpg
Harnessed to a sulky, Great Falls, Montana
Country of originUnited States
DistributionUnited States
Useriding, driving
Traits
Height
Colorany color but spotted

HistoryEdit

 
A stallion imported to the United States by Eli Elliot

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.[2]: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.[2]: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.[2]: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.[2]:243 It was the principal influence on another Shetland-derived breed, the German Classic Pony.[3]: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.[4] In the past, American Shetlands were registered in section B of the stud-book, and the traditional Shetland Pony in section A.[2]:243

UseEdit

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.[2]:243

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Elwyn Hartley Edwards (1994). The Encyclopedia of the Horse. London; New York; Stuttgart; Moscow: Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 0751301159.
  3. ^ Élise Rousseau, Yann Le Bris, Teresa Lavender Fagan (2017). Horses of the World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 9780691167206.
  4. ^ ASPC Registry. American Shetland Pony Club. Accessed February 2019.