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What is a Welsh Mountain Pony?

Welsh Mountain Pony Breed Description

The Welsh Mountain Pony is also known as a Welsh Section A pony. There are four Welsh sections of various heights and types - Section A (Mountain Pony), Section B (Welsh Pony), Section C (Welsh Pony of Cob Type) and Section D (Welsh Cob).

Here at Bellingara Stud, we breed Welsh Sec A ponies.

Below is the Welsh Sec A breed description and characteristics, from the Welsh Pony and Cob Society Australia and WPCS UK:


Section A: The Welsh Mountain Pony

Height – not to exceed 12 hh (122 cm)

Bred in the mountains and wild regions of Wales for many generations, they're acknowledged beauty does not mean they are merely a 'pretty toy' — centuries of 'survival of the fittest' has ensured the sound constitution, iron hard limbs and great intelligence which combined with the legendary Welsh temperament, makes the ideal child's pony of today. They can be seen ridden and driven all over the world — equally at home in the cold of Canada and Sweden or the heat of Africa and Australia.

General Character
Hardy, spirited and pony-like

Any colour, except piebald and skewbald

Small, clean-cut, well set on. Wide forehead tapering to a small muzzle. The silhouette may be concave or 'dished' but never convex or too straight.

Big and bold

Well-placed, small and pointed, well up on the head, proportionately close

Prominent and open

Jaws and Throat
Clean and finely-cut, with ample room at the angle of the jaw

Lengthy, well-carried and moderately lean in the case of mares, but inclined to be cresty in the case of mature stallions

Long and sloping well back. Withers moderately fine and well defined, but not "knifey". The humerus upright so that the foreleg is not set in under the body

Set square and true, and not tied in at the elbows. Long, strong forearm, well developed knee, short flat bone below knee, pasterns of proportionate slope and length, feet well-shaped and round, hoofs dense.

Back and Loins
Muscular, strong and well coupled. The tail set high and gaily carried.


Well sprung

Hind Quarters
Hocks to be large, flat and clean with points prominent, to turn neither inwards nor outwards. The hind legs not to be too bent. The hock not to be set behind a line from the point of the quarter to the fetlock joint. Pasterns of proportionate slope and length. Feet well-shaped, hoofs dense.

Action must be quick, free and straight from the shoulder, knees and hocks well flexed with straight and powerful leverage well under the body.

Welsh Mountain Ponies are acknowledged as one of the most beautiful of pony breeds in the World.


Welsh Mountain Pony History

Early History of Welsh Ponies

Evidence suggests that a native Welsh-type of pony existed before 1600 BC. The original Welsh Mountain Pony is thought to have evolved from the prehistoric Celtic pony. Welsh ponies were primarily developed in Wales and their ancestors existed in the British Isles prior to the arrival of the Roman Empire. Bands of ponies roamed in a semi-feral state, climbing mountains, leaping ravines, and running over rough moorland terrain.

They developed into a hardy breed due to the harsh climate, limited shelter and sparse food sources of their native country. At some point in their development, the Welsh breeds had some Arabian blood added, although this did not take away the physical characteristics that make the breed unique.

On the upland farms of Wales, Welsh ponies and cobs would often have to do everything from ploughing a field to carrying a farmer to market or driving a family to services on Sunday. When coal mining became important to the economy of England, many Welsh ponies were harnessed for use in mines, above and below ground.

In the 18th century and 19th century, more Arabian blood was added by stallions who were turned out in the Welsh hills. Other breeds have also been added, including the Thoroughbred and Hackney.

In 1901 English and Welsh breeders established a breed registry, called the Welsh Pony and Cob Society, and the first stud book was published in 1902. It was decided that the Welsh Stud Book should be separated into sections divided by type and height. Welsh Ponies were originally only classified as Section A, but the current standards of four different sections was finalised in 1949.


Welsh Pony History in Australia

Welsh Ponies and Cobs were among the earliest livestock brought to Australia from Britain after the arrival of white settlers in 1788 and although many had known pedigrees, there was no Stud Book in the Colony where their arrival or their descendants could be recorded, and their bloodlines were consequently lost in time.

In 1932 the Australian Pony Stud Book Society was formed for the purpose of officially recording the pedigrees of stud ponies within the Commonwealth. The first Welsh Ponies and Cobs to be officially recorded arrived in Australia in the late 1800’s, early 1900’s, and in Volume 1 of the Australian Pony Stud Book published in 1936, were listed as Reference Stallions and a Reference Mare. There was no separate section for the Welsh breeds within the Australian Pony Stud Book and these animals were listed under the title of Australian Ponies until the publication of Stud Book Volume 7 published in 1969.

In September 1969, during the course of the Royal Melbourne Show, a small group of Welsh pony breeders and owners met in a feed locker to discuss the future of the Welsh breeds in Australia and the possibility of forming a Welsh Pony and Cob Society of Australia so that animals could be recorded in full compliance with the rules of the governing body, the Welsh Pony & Cob Society UK.

From that humble beginning rapid progress was made and the first Annual General Meeting as a constituted Society was held at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds twelve months later, with the Society recognized by the Welsh Pony & Cob Society UK, and with the Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria as secretariat.



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