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Horse Breeds

The Hackney

July 2014

The evolution of the Hackney horse and pony, the effervescent equines of the show ring, has been long and fascinating. The high-stepping action that Hackneys are renowned for is a characteristic that is partly inherited and partly taught, and can be enhanced by training. While the derivation of the word ‘Hackney’ is doubtful, it is thought to come from the Old French ‘haquenée’ meaning ‘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’.

The Cleveland Bay

June 2014

Cleveland Bays are the oldest pure breed of Warmblood horse in the world, with a history that goes back over 400 years. Sadly, the latest census of the breed alarmingly noted that there are less than 400 purebreds in the world today; something that the owners and breeders of these wonderful animals, in conjunction with the Cleveland Bay Horse Society, Cleveland Bay Horse Society of Australasia and Cleveland Bay Horse Society of North America, are trying to rectify.  The breed’s beginnings 

The Welsh

May 2014

Historical records make mention of Welsh Ponies and Cobs being imported to Australia since the early 1800’s. While much information has been lost, the influence of the Welsh breeds can be seen in depictions of horses and ponies in early Australian life. They have influenced the type of animal bred in this country since then, both out in stations and as an all-purpose family horse used for transport and for pleasure.  The Welsh breeds in Australia 

The Appaloosa

April 2014

It can be claimed that the Appaloosa, as it is now known, is the oldest identifiable breed of horse in the world today. Ancient cave paintings found on the walls of Ice Age caves of central Europe depict the image of spotted horses. These images date back over 20,000 years ago. These ancient works of art are located in Lascaux and Peche-Merle, France. Archaeologists estimate they were created about 18,000 BC, long before the dawn of recorded history.  History of the Appaloosa 

The Irish Draught

March 2014

The history of the Irish Draught dates back many hundreds of years with a distinct Spanish connection. Ireland and Spain were regular traders for many centuries - with Ireland exporting wool, hides and butter, and receiving wine, cloth, horses and specie (money in the form of coins, rather than notes) in return. The class of Spanish horse introduced was the Andalusian Barb, brought to Ireland’s shores in the 16th Century.   Origins of the Irish Draught  

Gypsy Cob, the Romany Way

July 2012

Stevie Down is part of a vanishing breed. He is a true Romany Gypsy who is proud of his heritage and continues to follow in the traditional footsteps of his forefathers. Those traditional footsteps include the kind of Gypsy Horse he breeds. It is fascinating to listen to Stevie Down talk about his horses. There is undisguised pride and real passion in his voice as he explains, "My Grandfather and my Dad were both breeders. I learned everything I know from my Dad. There could not have been a better teacher."

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