ABOUT THE BREED
The Fell Pony is a close relative of the Dales Pony and is very similar in looks. However, around 100 years ago Clydesdale blood was introduced to the Dales giving them roughly 4 inches in height and a draftier appearance than the Fells. The original Fell Ponies came from the north of England and are now mainly found on the western side of the Pennines. They derive their name "Fell" from the Norse word for hills. The Fell pony is probably descended from the early Celtic pony and Foreign stock imported in the time of the Romans. This pony was probably widespread over the north of England and was later called the Galloway. They retain the Galloway's characteristic blue horn and a tough and hardy constitution.
The Fell breed is distinctive and consistent in appearance, breeding uniformly true to type.
HEIGHT: Not exceeding 14 hands (142.2 cms).
COLOUR & MARKINGS: Black, brown, bay and grey. Chesnuts, piebalds and skewbalds are debarred.
A star and/or a little white on or below the hind fetlock is acceptable. An excess of white markings is discouraged, but such ponies are eligible for registration.
HEAD: Small, well chiselled in outline, well set on, forehead broad, tapering to nose.
NOSTRILS: Large and expanding.
EYES: Prominent, bright, mild and intelligent.
EARS: Neatly set, well formed and small.
THROAT & JAW: Fine, showing no signs of throatiness nor coarseness.
NECK: Of proportionate length, giving good length of rein, strong and not too heavy, moderate crest in case of stallion.
SHOULDERS: Most important, well laid back and sloping, not too fine at withers, nor loaded at the points - a good long shoulder blade, muscles well developed.
CARCASE: Good strong back of good outline, muscular loins, deep carcase, thick through heart, round ribbed from shoulders to flank, short and well coupled, hind quarters square and strong with tail well set on.
FEET, LEGS AND JOINTS: Feet of good size, round and well formed, open at heels with the characteristic blue horn, fair sloping pasterns not too long, forelegs should be straight, well placed not tied at elbows, big well formed knees, short cannon bone, plenty of good flat bone below knee (eight inches at least), great muscularity of arm.
HIND LEGS: Good thighs and second thighs, very muscular, hocks well let down and clean cut, plenty of bone below joint, hocks should not be sickle nor cow-hocked.
MANE, TAIL AND FEATHER: Plenty of fine hair at heels (coarse hair objectionable), all the fine hair except that at point of heel may be cast in summer. Mane and tail are left to grow long.
ACTION: Walk, smart and true. Trot well balanced all round, with good knee and hock action, going well from the shoulder and flexing the hocks, not going too wide nor near behind. Should show great pace and endurance, bringing the hind legs well under the body when going.
GENERAL CHARACTER: The Fell Pony should be constitutionally as hard as iron and show good pony characteristics with the unmistakable appearance of hardiness peculiar to mountain ponies, and at the same time, have a lively and alert appearance and great bone.
OVERALL BODY SHAPE: Fell Ponies also have strong necks, sloping shoulders, deep heart girths, well-sprung ribs, muscular loins, and square hindquarters with well-set tails.
The Fell was selected for a combination of strength, agility, and style. The Official Standard of the Fell Pony Society states they should be "constitutionally as hard as iron." Its gaits are smooth and athletic, and it is an excellent trotter and jumper. The breed is also known for its good temperament and intelligence.
Fell Ponies have docile dispositions that make them an ideal family pony. They are also recognised for their brave and intelligent personalities, with lively and alert attitudes.
Their work ethic, stamina, and excellent temperament continue to earn the breed fans. Most owners find that Fell Ponies are less reactive to stimuli that would spook other horses. However, personalities can vary depending on the individual pony and previous training.
These ponies have fast walks and smooth gaits that are comfortable to ride. These traits and their sure-footedness are well-suited for long days riding through the countryside.
The breed is popular with therapeutic riding programs, which require horses with a kind nature and reliable personality. The Fell Pony’s even temperament is also an asset among children and beginner riders.
Unlike some ponies of similar stature, Fell Ponies are heavy enough to carry adult riders. Queen Elizabeth II famously owned Fell Ponies and rode her ponies well into her nineties.
Many families enjoy the breed as pleasure horses and low-level competition mounts. Popular disciplines for these equines include: Dressage, Eventing, Jumping, Hunter equitation and Recreational driving
Courtesy of The Fell Pony Society UK