The ponies may not be above 14 hh, and usually range between 12.2 and 14 hh. It should have true pony characteristics, and should not be a scaled down version of the Hackney Horse. They usually have even more exaggerated action the Hackney Horse, knees rising as high as possible and hocks coming right under the body. The action should be fluid, spectacular, and energetic, with the pony carrying the tail and head high, with an arched neck.
The pony should have a small pony head, carried high, with alert and pricked ears and large, intelligent eyes. The neck should be muscular, arched, and carried proudly. They should have powerful shoulders, a compact back, and a light frame. The legs are strong with good joints, but the bone is usually very fine. The feet are very hard, and are usually allowed to grow long in the toe to accentuate the action of the pony. The tail is always set.
The Hackney Pony is a pony breed developed by primarily one man, Christopher Wilson. He used his St. George, his Norfolk Roadster/Yorkshire Trotter stallion foaled in 1866, to breed with Fell Pony mares, and then interbred the offspring to make a fixed type of horse. The Hackney Pony probably also has much Welsh Pony blood.
First known as Wilson Ponies, they were usually kept out all year, wintering in the inhospitable Fells with little food or care. This developed the breed's great toughness and endurance. By the 1880s the breed was established, and was very much liked for its great trotting ability and class.