Boer pony

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Boer Pony
Distinguishing features Pony developed from Cape Horse. Can often perform slow gait and rack in addition to normal paces
Alternative names Boerperd, African Pony
Country of origin South Africa
Equus ferus caballus

The Boer Pony is a calm, tough pony originating from South Africa. It is often referred to as the Boerperd. Two varieties exist, the Boerperd, a general breed, and the more refined Cape Boerperd.

Characteristics[edit]

This pony stands between 13.3 and 15.3 hands high, and can be black, brown, bay, chestnut, grey, roan, dun or palomino. It is often capable of five gaits: walk, trot, canter, slow gait and rack.

History[edit]

The Boer Pony has similar origins to the Basuto pony, both having developed from the Cape Horse in the 19th century. During that time, however, the Boer Pony was also influenced by imported stock, such as Flemish, Hackney and Cleveland Bay horses, from which the Vlaamperd breed was developed. The Boer Pony did not have to survive such rough conditions as the Basuto pony did, and has consequently become a larger, better-developed animal. In the Boer wars, its great mobility and toughness helped the Boers move around and hold out against the British Empire for three years. Although thousands of horses were lost due to the harsh conditions. Top breeding horses were hidden away in the mountains so that the breed could be preserved.

Various attempts were made to form a Boerperd Society [1](in Afrikaans, 'boerperd' means 'farmer's horse', but can also be a reference to Afrikaners), and in 1973 the Boerperd Society of South Africa was formed. Today, Boerperds are found in isolated herds in the south-east Transvaal, northern Natal, eastern Free State and north-eastern Cape Province.

Uses[edit]

Today, Boer Ponies are used as utility horses on farms and for the increasingly popular sport of endurance riding. They are also fine horses for beginners as they are patient and good natured.