The Hackney Horse breed's origins date to the 1300s, when the King of England required the breeding of powerful but attractive horses with an excellent trot, to be used for general purpose riding horses. Since roads were rudimentary in those times, Hackneys were a primary riding horse, riding being the common mode of equine transportation. The "Modern" Hackney Horse developed during the 18th and 19th centuries in Britain. The Hackney Horse of today is a first cousin to the English Thoroughbred; the same three Oriental stallions who were used to develop the Thoroughbred were also bred to native mares with excellent trotting skills. From these sources developed two earlier breeds, now extinct, the Norfolk Roadster and the Yorkshire Roadster, foundation stock for the general purpose horse that formally became the Hackney Horse. The Norfolk was also influential in the development of other breeds, including the Gelderland, the Furioso, the French Trotter, the Welsh Cob, the Maremanna, the Orlov Trotter, the American Saddlebred, and the Standardbred. Both trotting breeds were exceptionally fast, with great speed and endurance, tracing back to the stallion Original Shales, born in East Anglica in 1755. He was by the stallion Blaze, the son of the well-known racehorse Flying Childers who was a grandson of the great Darley Arabian (one of the three foundation stallions of the Thoroughbred breed). Original Shales sired two stallions--Scot Shales and Driver--both of which had a great influence on the Norfolk Trotter. Robert and Philip Ramsdale, father and son, took the Norfolk horses Wroot's Pretender and Phenomenon to Yorkshire, where they bred them with Yorkshire trotting mares. The offspring were the basis for the Hackney, and by 1833, the Hackney Horse Society was formed in Norwich and had opened its studbook. In 1832, one of Phenomenon's daughters, the 14 hh Phenomena, trotted 17 miles in only 53 minutes. When the railways were developed, the Norfolk and Yorkshire Trotter numbers declined, eventually being integrated into the Hackney Horse we know today. The showiness of the Hackney Horse, however, saved it from extinction, and began its use in the show ring. They are still extremely successful in harness, and can also produce very nice riding horses, many known for their ability in show jumping and dressage competition. The Hackney Pony was developed in the late 1800s, when small Hackney Horses were bred to various pony breeds in order to create a very specific type of show pony. Alexander Cassatt was responsible for the introduction of the Hackney Pony to the United States. In 1878 he acquired 239 Stella in Britain and brought her to Philadelphia. In 1891, Cassatt and other Hackney enthusiasts founded the American Hackney Horse Society. The organization and registry continues to this day with its headquarters now in Lexington, Kentucky. Hackneys come in both pony and horse size today, and is one of the few breeds that recognizes both pony and horse sizes.

The Hackney Horse is a recognized breed of horse that was developed in Great Britain. A stud book has been maintained for this breed since 1883 by the Hackney Horse Society, which has its headquarters in Norwich, England. In recent decades, the breeding of the Hackney has been directed toward producing horses that are ideal for carriage driving. They are known for their great stamina, trotting at high speed for extended periods of time. In addition to inherent soundness and endurance, the Hackney Horse has proven to be a breed with an easy, rhythmic canter, and a free, generous walk.


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