The Hackney was developed in Great Britain in the late 17th and early 18th centuries and was descendant of the Norfolk Trotter, Yorkshire Roadster, the Arabian and the Thoroughbred. Their early ancestors were even thought to be Friesians. The English-bred Hackney was the replacement to its equine counterpart—the heavy coach horse—smooth and well-maintained roads replaced rough tracks. People wanted to get places quickly and so the light carriage horse came into favor, and the Hackney began to show its worth. But they were more than just pretty faces; word soon spread about the Hackney’s tremendous trotting ability. The Hackney was easily capable of trotting 60 miles in one day.
The Hackney (both Hackney ponies and horses) ranges in height from 14 to 15.3 hands high. The common colors are black, brown, bay and chestnut, and there are even some spotted Hackneys. Both pony and horse possess an extremely elegant appearance with a small head, delicate muzzle and well-shaped ears. The hallmark of the Hackney is its natural, high-stepping gait.
For more information:
The American Hackney Horse Society, www.hackneysociety.com