The Hackney originated in and around Norfolk, England, by
prosperous farmers seeking to improve the quality and trotting
speed of their carriage horses. Around 1760, an existing
local breed, the Norfolk Trotter, was crossed with Thoroughbred
stock, and over the next 50 years the Hackney
was developed as a distinct breed. The breed flourished
in Britain throughout the 1800s due in part to the emphasis
on swift light carriage and riding transport, and by
1878 the Hackney had found its way to the United States.
The modern Hackney horse stands over 14.2 hands tall,
with the ponies ranging from 12.2 hands to 14.2 hands
in height, and they can be black, brown, bay or even occasionally
chestnut in color.
The Hackney’s hallmark is its
highly distinctive action; trotting fluidly with high knee
and hock action, the Hackney exhibits extreme brilliance.
Hackney ponies are divided into four competitive categories:
the Hackney Pony, known as the Cob Tail; the Harness
Pony, known as the Long Tail; the Roadster Pony; and the
Pleasure Pony. The Hackney Horse, like the Hackney Pony,
is a versatile performer that excels in carriage and combined
driving events, as well as in the show ring, both in
harness and under saddle.
American Hackney Horse Society