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fell pony

The Fell Pony is believed to have originated on the border between England & Scotland during Roman times from the crossing of imported war stallions with the local Celtic ponies. They were originally brown in colour, though over the last few decades black has become predominant, followed by brown, bay and grey. They are primarily a working breed of pony with activity, stamina, hardiness and intelligence that enables them to live and thrive in tough conditions out on the Fells in the Lake District. Records show that the progenitors of the Fell Pony were used as packhorses, carrying lead and coal. With their sturdy bodies, short legs and equable disposition, and being good, fast walkers, these 13 hand 2-inch ponies would travel up to 240 miles a week. However, many Fell Ponies were famed throughout the North as fast trotters. There are many tales of distances covered at great speeds by these ponies. Now in the 21st Century, we are looking for well-trained riding and driving ponies, and the Fell makes a delightful ride and drive, for his activity, strength and hardiness, born of generations of scrambling about the mountains, give him great balance. In fact, it has been said, "You cannot put a Fell Pony to the wrong job". The Fell shares its origins with the now-extinct Galloway pony which was also the root of the Dales pony. In 1916, the Fell Pony Society was formed "to keep pure the old breed of pony that has roamed the northern hills for years". The breedís numbers became very low in 1945, and a breeding "stallion enclosure" program was started, which ended in 1970. The affluent 1950's saw the beginnings of the popularity of riding for pleasure, a pursuit that has gained momentum ever since and in its wake guaranteed the future of many native breeds. The number of ponies being registered with the Fell Pony Society has risen gradually ever since. All Fell Ponies are registered through the society, with an annual Stud Book published each year. The Society's patron is H M Queen Elizabeth II.

The Fell Pony is a versatile, working breed of mountain and moorland pony which originates from the North of England around Cumbria. This large pony averages 13-2 hands (1.37 m), with the upper height limit at 14 hands (1.42 m). It was originally from the fells of north west England, and is a prized as a riding and driving pony. They are closely related to their geographic neighbor, the Dales Pony, but are generally smaller and more draft-like.

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