Casmaran Welsh Cobs and Cross Creek Welsh Ponies



Welsh Pony & Welsh Cob

Educational Information




Casmaran Welsh Cobs and Cross Creek Welsh Ponies


Denise Loeffel 973-670-1785 or


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Equine Color Genetics by D. Phillip Sponenberg, DVM, PhD  -  Articles, Information, Opinions

Type, Conformation, Movement







Those who defined the BREED STANDARD were the caretakers of the day who saw a need to have a general registry for the breeding records, getting them out of each farmer's dining room, and recording them in a central location, for all to see and have access to. They were only the breeders of the DAY. The Welsh breed was centuries old, and much commented about in old Celtic writings, and already established when Julius Caesar invaded Brittany in 55 a.d.

No the Welsh ponies did not look as they do today, but more like the Celtic root stock, which is where they came from. Most of those native ponies looked more or less alike; however the deep valleys and high mountains, and harsh terrain did separate the regions, and 'subspecies', if you will, developed and in time became different breeds off the main stem.

I think we strive to defend the traditional standard because that is how Welsh were defined over a century ago, by the stewards who not only had ponies, but were livestockmen of the highest order. And, in the case of Criban, had been breeding Welsh for over 400 years on their Brecon Beacons. They owned all in the area, including that mountain range and more, until unfortunately a dam flooded much of the valley land and their old home place.

Those original ponies, before outside blood (Arab, Thoroughbred, etc.), were small, mostly dark primitive colors, straight headed, but still possessed the pluck and hardness they were noted for down through the centuries.

The Welsh Pony has had a close relationship with man over the centuries, serving him in many capacities. He has doubtlessly gone through many changes down through the years, all certainly not for the good. NONE of our ponies are of 'original' type, but some are of more original type than most, and are possessors of those wonderful qualities and conformation of a century ago.

Trying to protect and perpetuate any breed against 'change' is a daunting task, certainly not an easy one, when the winds of change blow hard, and it is human nature to 'better' everything on earth.

We all have known TRUE WELSH and that is the core of why we will do our thing, run against the tide, and try so hard to keep some of them for generations in the future.

Cherry Wilson, Welsh Judge & long-time Breeder
New Ulm, Texas


Welsh Section B Criban Victor, Champion at Ponies of Britain Show in 1959, 1962, 1965, and 1966 and the NPS Shows in 1956, 1959, and 1960; made a glorious retirement from the show ring in 1969, aged 25, when he won the Section B Championship and was Reserve Supreme Champion of the whole show at Caern. In 1978, his image was included in a series of stamps depicting horses, produced by the Royal Mail. Following his death at the age of 29, his breeder had his head stuffed; and it has since been donated to the WPCS. CRIBAN VICTOR (foaled 1944) was sired by CRIBAN WINSTON and gained his height from his dam CRIBAN WHALEBONE, of Cob parentage. CRIBAN VICTOR spent most of his active life at the Gredington Stud and left a great mark on Section B ponies throughout the Stud Book

In volume 1 of the Welsh Stud Book the Welsh Mountain Ponies were allowed to be up to 12 hands 2 inches and every entry had to be inspected and passed, both by an Inspector of the Society and (for stallions only) by a Veterinary Surgeon. Entries amounted to 9 stallions and 273 mare; of the stallions one was grey, the others were dark coloured, mainly bays and browns, of the mares 66% were bay/brown/black, 14% chestnuts, 8% roan, 4% creams/duns and others of unrecorded colour (only two mares).

The Decline of the Section B Welsh Pony Standard

The Section B animal registered in Volume 1 of the Welsh Stud Book was a most useful type that would carry a shepherd on his day’s work.

With the increased popularity of riding by children since 1930 a finer, lighter type of pony has been developed with strong emphasis being laid on striving to keep the true ‘Welsh’ characteristics. The typical Welsh Section B pony shown at present is the current Working Hunter Pony, much like the British Riding Pony in both looks and pedigrees.

To bring this about a few stallions of slighter type containing at least 50% of Welsh blood were admitted to the Stud Book, the two most influential being CRAVEN CYRUS and TANYBWLCH BERWYN. The infusion of this outside blood began an expansion of Section B in 1958/1959 when progeny of FS2 mares, born of this blood, led to four sires who between them laid a very firm foundation for the change in the Section B: SOLWAY MASTER BRONZE (foaled in 1959), BROCHWELL COBWELL (foaled in 1959), DOWNLAND DAUPHIN (foaled in 1959), CHIRK CARADOG (foaled in 1958) and his full brother CHIRK CROGAN (foaled in 1959).

Don't Confuse the Two

Welsh Pony

British Riding Pony

Bred in the mountains and wild regions of Wales for many generations, their acknowledged beauty does not mean they are merely a 'pretty toy' — centuries of 'survival of the fittest' has ensured the sound constitution, iron hard limbs and great intelligence which combined with the legendary Welsh temperament, makes the ideal child's pony of today. They can be seen ridden and driven all over the world — equally at home in the cold of Canada and Sweden or the heat of Africa and Australia.

The head of the Mountain Pony should be small, with neat pointed ears, big bold eyes and a wide forehead. The jaw should be clean cut, tapering to a small muzzle; the silhouette may be concave or 'dished' but never convex or too straight. The neck should be of good length and well carried with shoulders sloping back to a clearly defined wither. The limbs must be set square with good flat bone and round dense hooves. The tail set high and gaily carried.

Action must be quick, free and straight from the shoulder, knees and hocks well flexed with straight and powerful leverage well under the body.

The Section B Welsh Pony

The general description of the Welsh Mountain Pony can be applied to the Welsh Pony, with greater emphasis being placed on riding pony qualities whilst retaining the true Welsh quality with substance.

For generations these ponies were the hill farmers' main means of transport, herding sheep and wild ponies over rough and mountainous country. They had to be hardy, balanced and fast to survive, which ensured that only the best were bred from. These qualities, combined with a natural jumping ability, and the temperament of their Welsh Mountain Pony forebears make the Welsh Pony second to none in whatever field his young rider may choose. Today they hold their own among our top class riding ponies both in performance competitions and in the show ring.


The British Riding Pony should possess a good, honest,  attractive head with a bold, intelligent eye, well set on head and neck from the shoulder, with a good prominent riding wither. It should have a flat, sloping shoulder with good length of rein, deep heart room and well sprung ribs. There should be sufficient depth through the loin with enough scope to carry a saddle. The quarters should have sufficient length with a well set on tail, with the hind leg correctly put on from the loin, giving a strong second thigh and a good strong, clean hock.

The limbs should have sufficient quality bone to carry the body, with good broad knees, short flat canon bone and the fetlock joints should be large enough to stand hard work. Also, there should be a good open shape to the foot, the pasterns being the correct length and angled at roughly 45 degrees to the ground. A show pony should have elegance combined with movement, with pony type, quality bone and sufficient substance. The action should be true, straight and floating, covering the ground with effortless ease.

All colors except pinto.


Breeding of a good riding and sporting pony began in earnest in the 1920’s and started by crossing Welsh and Dartmoor ponies with the blood of small Thoroughbred and Arabian animals.

In the mid 20th century more Arabian blood was introduced in the hopes of further refining the ponies and adding stamina.

To be eligible for entry into the British Riding Pony Stud Book, Register, Appendix or Baseline the pony must have been born in the United Kingdom and must have some proven native pony breeding in its pedigree.

Riding Ponies were originally the result of crossing one of the British Mountain and Moorland Native Breeds with a

Thoroughbred or Arab. Over time an increasing number of the ponies being registered by the NPS are the progeny of British Riding Pony sires and dams. British Riding Ponies have outstanding quality and retain the pony characteristics of good temperament, hardiness and surefootedness. They possess the ability to make an ideal Ridden Pony. They do not exceed 153cms (15.0 hands).

The Show Pony – Resemble a smaller show horse with pony features and they are shown in three height sections
The Show Hunter – Tend to have more substance than the show pony, built for more eventing needs


Welsh Pony and Cob

Detailed Description

General Character
Hardy, spirited and pony-like

Any colour, except piebald and skewbald

Small, clean-cut, well set on and tapering to the muzzle


Well-placed, small and pointed, well up on the head, proportionately close

Prominent and open

Jaws and Throat
Clean and finely-cut, with ample room at the angle of the jaw

Lengthy, well-carried and moderately lean in the case of mares, but inclined to be cresty in the case of mature stallions

Long and sloping well back. Withers moderately fine, but not "knifey". The humerus upright so that the foreleg is not set in under the body

Set square and true, and not tied in at the elbows. Long, strong forearm, well developed knee, short flat bone below knee, pasterns of proportionate slope and length, feet well-shaped and round, hoofs dense.

Back and Loins
Muscular, strong and well coupled


Well sprung

Hind Quarters
Hocks to be large, flat and clean with points prominent, to turn neither inwards nor outwards. The hind legs not to be too bent. The hock not to be set behind a line from the point of the quarter to the fetlock joint. Pasterns of proportionate slope and length. Feet well-shaped, hoofs dense.

Action must be quick, free and straight from the shoulder, knees and hocks well flexed with straight and powerful leverage well under the body.



The Working Hunter – The largest and most robust of the three types

Mountain and Moorland Ponies

The modern day survival of the native pony can be much attributed to the leisure industry, pony trekking and various other activities have become popular. The native pony's size and build makes them an ideal mount to carry both adults and children.

Introduction of foreign blood to pure stock, the onset of war, and mechanisation have all threatened the survival of each native breed. Selective breeding programs, and the establishment of breed societies who, for the most part, recognised these threats, have worked to preserve the purity and true characteristics of  native ponies. Maintaining the wonderful heritage of native ponies is paramount.

Influential Section B sire Tan-y-Bwlch Berwyn's sire was an African Barb pony. In 1565, noted writer of British horses, Thomas Blunderville, stated that horses commonly called “… Barbarians do come out of the King of Tunis land, out of Massilie Numidia. They were small, but very swift and durable … which is the cause why we (Britain’s) esteem them so much.”
Many people and historians assume Barb horses are Arabian horses. This confusion and misinformation stemmed from the fact that both breeds eventually shared the Arabic culture. Also, their respective names were bluntly misused in literature. In 1875, in his British book “The Book of the Horse”, S. Sidney comments: Every oriental horse, Turk, Barb or Egyptianbred, is called an Arab in this country.” An excerpt from a 1916 Department of Agriculture “Breeders of Livestock Handbook” confirms: “Recent investigations indicate the Barb to have been the real source of oriental blood. A common error results in the use of the term ‘Arabian’ in sense synonymous with ‘oriental’.”
The Berbers from North Africa formed a substantial part of the Muslim armies that invaded Spain in the 8th century, and it seems clear that their Barb horses played a major part in the development of the Spanish Horse, Including the modern version of which is the Andalucian .
The Barb was also influential in the evolution of the Thoroughbred. Horses from North Africa, variously termed Berber, Barb, or Barbary, were imported to the Royal Studs of England from before the time of the Plantagenets. Roan Barbary, the favorite horse of Richard II (1377-99), was one of many horses of the same origin at the king's studs. Barb blood, together with that of the Spanish Jennet, itself at least a first cousin to the Barb, was certainly a predominant element in the Royal "running horses", which formed the base stock for the early Thoroughbred.

The white issue NEVER was, and IS NOT, whether a pony or cob with excessive white markings is a purebred or not.
The issue IS whether an animal meets the requirements for registration.  Excessively white Welsh ponies meeting pinto standards do not meet WPCSA registration requirements. The registration rule states NO PIEBALDS OR SKEWBALDS. Piebalds and Skewbalds ARE pintos.

Dr. Sponenberg, the reknowned equine color geneticist quoted by the current WPCSA officers as stating that the sabino genes of Welsh ponies are not pinto, has written in several books that Sabino IS Pinto, and in fact is one of the more insidious pinto genes.

Preservation Breeding the Past & The Future