Breeding / Studs
The History of the Hackney Horse & Pony
In the early 1700’s breeders began to cross the native hackney with the blood of imported Arabian stallions This cross added some refinement to the Breed but took nothing away from the inherent qualities of the original horses. As the evolution of the Hackney progressed breeders began to concentrate their efforts in producing harness animals due to the general improvement in road conditions and demand for coaching animals. Hackneys were prized for their stamina and soundness and for their ability to eat up the miles at trot rather than any high knee action at this time. Road races usually under saddle were a common place events with much money changing hands in the form of wagers. With horse drawn vehicles becoming more sophisticated came a demand for a showier animal with high head carriage and lofty knee action. The Regency period was one of great flamboyance and the ownership of smart and flashy carriage horses was a real status symbol.
In the later half of the eighteenth century areas in England became particularly famous for their own type of improved trotting horse and the fame of the Norfolk Trotter, the Lincolnshire Trotters and the Yorkshire Roadster became widespread. The Hackney continued to play an important role in the general horse world with many being exported to be used in breeding programmes on the Continent and North America where breeds that have a large amount of Hackney blood include Holsteins, Gelderlanders, Dutch Warm Bloods, Saddle Breds, Morgans etc. Hackney blood is dominant when outcrossed and appears to influence rather then be influenced.