The Fell Pony Museum
The Fell Pony Museum
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A Question of Breeding

Fillies to foal as 3 year olds?

There were few show classes in the late 19th C for 3 year old horses or ponies, except now and again classes for 3 year old geldings: does this mean that fillies were expected to be in foal or in work by then?

Breeding "a Fell" or "a useful sort"?

stud card for Mountain Hero 2nd.

Fell pony breeders of the late 19th C may not originally have been breeding "a Fell pony" but "a useful sort". Some fancied the Highland, Welsh cob, Dale, Hackney and Norfolk Roadster "types" as additions to the stock. The Secretary for the Northern Committee of the National Pony Society wrote in 1914 that "It must be borne in mind that the Highland Pony, ie the original Galloway, and our own, now called the Fell Pony, are of one and the same foundation breed, and the interchange of stallions between the two districts in which they are bred has been continuous from time out of mind."

There are Wilson ponies recorded in the background of "Fell" ponies in the early years. For instance Little Wonder, who was bred by C W Wilson and was chestnut or bright bay, was a grandson of Sir George ; and of his son Little Wonder II's photograph, an FPS chairman once said, "Not by any stretch of the imagination could you call that a Fell". But Little Wonder is 'in the book' as a grandsire of at least one registered Fell pony, Heather's Model 381.

A wide variety of introduced blood is registered in the early ponies, particularly the stallions, though it begins to recede into history by the 1920s:

Many of the sires in the early years were not defined as any breed at all. They were just good ponies -- and sometimes, horses: it appears that if there was any consistency in the breed, it was the dams which perpetuated the Fell type.

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Last updated 13 November 2022 .
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