The Hackney originated in Norfolk, England, bred 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.

Hackney ponies range from 12.2 hands to 14.2 hands in height, while the modern Hackney horse stands over 14.2 hands tall. The horse and pony types can be black, brown, bay, or even chestnut in color. The Hackney pony’s hallmark is its fluid trot with high knee and hock action. Hackney ponies are divided into four competitive categories: the Hackney pony; the harness pony; 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 under saddle.


Recognized National Affiliate Association

Learn more about the Hackney horse and pony by visiting the American Hackney Horse Society (AHHS) at The AHHS exists to maintain a current registry of the Hackney; to compile and publish a studbook of the Hackney horse and Hackney pony; and to ensure the proper transfer of the certificate of registration. It endeavors to promote the breeding of quality Hackney horses and Hackney ponies, to create interest in the breed, and to encourage exhibitors to support horse shows by showing their Hackneys in classes offered.

In The News

Upcoming Championships and Events from USEF National Affiliates – June/July 2024

by US Equestrian Communications Dept. | Jun 18, 2024, 4:00 PM EST

J.D. Massey Classic Horse Show Is Exhibitor-Friendly Thanks to the USEF Lite Program

by Leslie Potter/US Equestrian | Apr 10, 2024, 1:00 PM EST

Upcoming Events from US Equestrian National Affiliates and NCEA - April/May 2024

by US Equestrian Communications Dept. | Apr 2, 2024, 1:00 PM EST

Glitz, Glamour, and Athleticism: Meet the Parade Horse

by Emily Girard | Jan 8, 2024, 12:34 PM EST

US Equestrian and Equestrian Canada Renew Reciprocal Agreement Regarding Membership and Participation

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Nov 1, 2023, 1:00 PM EST

Forms and Publications

Competition Information

Information about competing your Hackney horse or pony with US Equestrian