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Pony Book circa 1914
The Welsh Pony and Cob
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|Welsh Pony and Cob Breed Standard with descriptions|
|Breeders should remember that a short, strong back is required in Stallions; in mares a strong but longer back is acceptable because the need for room to carry a foal is required. However, this does not excuse a long, weak back in mares.|
|WPCS Breed Standard Pamphlet given to new members in the 1970's|
Those who defined the BREED STANDARD were the caretakers
of the breed who saw a need to have a general registry for the breeding
records, getting them out of each farmer's dining room, and recording them in
a central location, for all to see and have access to. They were only the
breeders of the DAY. The Welsh breed was centuries old, and much commented
about in old Celtic writings, and already established when Julius Caesar
invaded Brittany in 55 a.d.
No the Welsh ponies did not look as they do today, but more like the Celtic root stock, which is where they came from. Most of those native ponies of the Celtic root stock looked more or less alike; however the deep valleys and high mountains, and harsh terrain did separate the regions, and 'subspecies', if you will, developed and in time became different breeds off the main stem.
I think we strive to defend the traditional standard because that is how Welsh were defined over a century ago by the stewards who not only had ponies, but were livestockmen of the highest order. And, in the case of Criban, had been breeding Welsh for over 400 years on their Brecon Beacons. They owned all in the area, including that mountain range and more, until unfortunately a dam flooded much of the valley land and their old home place.
The Criban, Forest, Revel studs accomplished the nearly impossible feat of producing Welsh ponies that you would recognize as their own on sight, as did Severn, Liseter and GlanNant in the US; without, I might add, the input of self expressed "experts" who have done nothing but muddied the clear waters of breeding Welsh ponies and cobs by dire premonitions of "lack of genetic diversity" due to lack of "new" stallions and broodstock in the US. The Coed Coch stud was the pioneer in introducing Arabian blood in to the Welsh. Perhaps not realizing that this blood would infiltrate and devastate the purity of the foundation Welsh Mountain Pony. The Downland stud followed suit with the introduction of Thorobred blood to improve the Section B and C Welsh.
Do you really think that these predictions were for the
betterment of the breed, or do you think that those predictions might have
been promulgated to encourage unknowledgeable people to accept the new
standard of Welsh ponies and cobs in the U.S. which the newer UK breeders
also were and are aspiring to.
The original ponies, before outside blood (Arab, Thoroughbred, etc.), were small, mostly dark primitive colors, straight headed, but still possessed the pluck and hardiness they were noted for down through the centuries.
The Welsh Pony has had a close relationship with man over the centuries, serving him in many capacities. He has doubtlessly gone through changes down through the years, all certainly not for the good. NONE of our ponies are of 'original' type, but some are of more original type than most, and are possessors of those wonderful qualities and conformation of a century ago.
Trying to protect and perpetuate any breed against 'change' is a daunting task, certainly not an easy one, when the winds of change blow hard, and it is human nature to 'better' everything on earth. Some have known TRUE WELSH and that is the core of why we will do our thing, run against the tide, and try so hard to keep some of them for generations in the future.
|Criban Victor||Farnley Farm||GlanNant Farm||
Jean Du Pont,
Welsh Pony and Cob Society U.K.
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