The Hackney is a horse breed that is developed in Great Britain, which is known for breeding trotting animals during the 14th century and throughout the centuries. At that time the King of England required a horse that will be powerful and attractive with a great trot, which will be used for riding.
The desired horse was the Norfolk horse. Later, during the 16th century, the King Henry VIII kept certain number of horses with trotting qualities and used them for breeding purposes. These horses were suitable and for transportation and as war mounts.
In 1729 the Norfolk Trotter and the Arabian horse had influence and are considered to be the foundation stock of the modern Hackney Horse. Initially it was known as Norfolk Roadster, it was fast, heavily build with excellent stamina and used for agriculture work.
Original Shales was foaled in 1755 in East England and he is considered as another influential stallion, which sired two important stallions Scot Shales and Driver. Norfolk Cob was driven 2 miles in 5 minutes 4 seconds and made a record in 1820, while Nonpareil made a record, driven 10 miles in 9 h. 56 min. 57 sec.
In the 19th century a father and son imported Norfolk horses to Yorkshire and bred them with native Yorkshire mares. The famous Hackney mare, Phenomenon was driven 17 miles in 53 minutes and 30 years later one of her daughters, Phenomena did the same record.
The Norfolk and Yorkshire horse breeds were selectively bred and thus the modern Hackney Horse was developed.As the railway grew, the need for trotting animals at high speed decreased. The population number has notably declined and the Hackney Horse Society was established in Norwich, a city in England in 1883.
The Hackney Studbook was opened and already registered horses since 1755. The first American Hackney Horse Society based in Kentucky was founded in 1891 by a group of Hackney enthusiasts.
Beside England, the hackney can be found in Netherlands, the United States and Australia. The Hackney pony was developed purely by man, in the 19th century, with selective breeding of pony types of Hackney horses and crosses with other pony breeds.
This breed was developed for a specific show pony event.The Hackney horse can range a height in pony and horse size and stands approximately from 14.2 to 16.2 hands high.
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