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basuto pony

The first horses arrived in South Africa in 1653, when four horses were introduced to the Cape area by the Dutch East India Trading Company. The exact breed of these horses is unknown, but they may quite likely have been Arabian and Persian. They were likely similar to the Java pony, and they were upgraded later with Arabian and Persian blood. These original imported horses became the founders of the Cape Horse, which became extremely popular and especially gained an admirable reputation during the Boer Wars. The Cape Horse and the Basuto probably were originally the same horse, and then with continual Thoroughbred and Arabian blood, the Cape Horse became a larger, more quality animal, with the Basuto remaining smaller and stockier. Lesotho, formerly known as Basutoland, acquired the Cape Horse as a spoils of war between the Zulus and the settlers. As a result of harsh conditions and interbreeding with local ponies, the Cape Horse lost much of its height and nobility, and the Basuto pony largely took its place. Due to the rocky and hilly terrain that the Basuto ponies were continually ridden over, oftentimes at great speeds, they developed into tough, surefooted animals with incredible stamina and bravery. These excellent qualities were very nearly the undoing of the breed. The Basuto became so popular that thousands upon thousands of them were exported, and then many of the best horses were killed in action during the Boer War at the end of the 19th century. There is now a concerted effort to re-establish the commendable Basuto breed.

The Basuto Pony is a pony breed of Lesotho and South Africa.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Basuto Pony".