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[ INDEX ] Equine Type: Horse Breed: German Riding Pony (GRP) [ PREV ] [ NEXT ]
British x German origins:
Back in the 1960s, recreational riding started to take off and Olympic disciplines gained more attention than ever. In Germany, a need arose for superb sport ponies for young German riders who wanted to try their hand at the disciplines of dressage and show-jumping.
The breeding efforts for such a pony soon began by crossing British pony breeds such as Shetland, Connemara, New Forest, and Welsh B ponies with small Arabians, Thoroughbreds, and Anglo-Arabians, as well as with different sport warmbloods, such as Hanoverians, Holsteiners, and Trakehners.
In addition to those well-known breeds, there was another, more obscure, German breed used in the breeding program: the rare Arenberg-Nordkirchen.
A word about the Arenberg-Nordkirchen:
Even before the 1960s, Germany already had a native sport pony: the Arenberg-Nordkirchen, who descended from Dulem ponies that roamed in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. It was bred by the Duke of Arenberg in Nordkirchen Castle.
Although it was an athletic pony with a natural aptitude for jumping, it never became widespread due to its small-scale breeding program that generated only a couple dozen ponies. Still, these Arenberg-Nordkirchen ponies were valued for their athleticism, and despite being rare they still served as breeding stock for German Riding Ponies, a fact that is unfortunately often omitted from sources detailing the origins of the latter.
The German Riding Pony - famous but young:
Due to the omission, the German Riding Pony seems like the first native sport pony Germany ever had, but it's incorrect. The German Riding Pony might be the most famous and widespread sport pony in Germany, but the first sport pony to be created in Germany was the Arenberg-Nordkirchen.
The German Sport Pony today:
Today, German Riding Ponies have more value than one might think.
Above all, they make excellent sport ponies, hence why German Sport Ponies are bred not only in Germany but also in other European countries as well as in the USA and Australia. They serve as mounts for both children and light adults who wish to compete in show-jumping, dressage, and eventing.
In addition, in Germany, GRPs whose lineage traces directly back to their Arenberg-Nordkirchen ancestors are sought after by the GEH (a German society for the conservation of old and endangered German breeds,) as these ponies are an asset in the current breeding program for Arenberg-Nordkirchens (see 'Arenberg-Nordkirchen'.)
While the German Riding Pony is called a "pony," its conformation is more similar to that of a small horse, with only the head sometimes having a "pony" like appearance.
The head is small and light, having a straight profile, large eyes, and small ears. The neck is long and tapers toward the head. The withers are prominent, the croup is long, and the legs are slender.
The hair of the mane and tail is thin, but while the mane grows short or medium in length the tail can grow long. The legs are clear from feathering.
The following are the: range, average, (SD), and MOE of performance metrics of ordered German Riding Ponies in Horse Isle (not bred ones). In rare cases,
Speed: 15.3-16.2, 15.7 (0.2), 0.05.
Sprint: 40-52, 47 (2), 0.46.
Accel: 0.91-1.03, 0.97 (0.03), 0.01.
Decel: 0.90-1.02, 0.96 (0.03), 0.01.
Jump: 5.27-5.51, 5.39 (0.05), 0.01.
Pull: 1.56-2.09, 1.79 (0.09), 0.02.
Turning: 46.77-58.70, 52.93 (2.75), 0.54.
Reverse: 2.4-3.0, 2.7 (0.1), 0.03.
Stamina: 46.81-50.70, 48.60 (0.81), 0.16.
Reaction: 0.71-0.79, 0.75 (0.02), 0.00.
Coats & Height:
Colors: bay, black, brown, chestnut, grey, dun, and cream-dilutes.
Additionals: flaxen, linebacked, rabicano, roan, sooty, all rare patterns. The coat is usually solid, but can also come in tobiano, splashed-white, and white-spotted sabino.
Height: 13.2hh to 14.2hh.
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