The Canterbury Golden Legend and Aladdin pony “families” go back a very long time and provided base stock for breeding up and down the country. From the mid-1940’s through into the 1950’s many beautifully bred Welsh and Arab individuals were imported giving the opportunity for true pony breedings.
By the early 1950’s feeling was growing that the time had come for a society to be constituted to record these animals. Mr J.G. Wilson, of Palmerston North, duly convened a meeting which was held in Palmerston North in June 1952 to form a Society of Pony Breeders in New Zealand.
The objectives of the Society were:
- To maintain the purity and promote the improvement of all breeds of ponies and to encourage the importation of purebred ponies.
- To compile, publish and print, at intervals a Stud Book for all breeds of ponies.
- To promote in any way not mentioned above the interests of breeders of ponies.
- To accept any gift or legacy of money or property, whether subject to any special trust or not, for any one or more of the objects of the Society.
- To establish relations with Societies having similar objects and to encourage exchanges with Societies of a like nature.
- To do all such other lawful things as are incidental to the attainment of the above.
A List of Inspectors was drawn up from judges, breeders and respected horse people in sufficient numbers to cover the entire country and inspections by panels of three were undertaken as a means of entry into the Society’s Register.
It was not until July 13th 1960 that Pony Breeders Society of New Zealand became an Incorporated Society.
The first Register containing 197 animals was published in 1957 and included 9 purebred arabs and 21 purebred welsh either imported or of imported parentage. Volume 2 of the Register followed in 1965 and as well as pony entries there is a separate listing for pure and partbred arabs. Volume 3 in 1968 identifys ponies with both sire and dam registered and Volume 4 published in 1973 lists the first English Riding ponies. A large proportion of the entries in these Registers have no sire or dam listed.
Pony breeding in New Zealand was on the way. Seven years later Volume 5 represented a quantum leap forward. Council felt the gene pool represented in the registrations by this time was strong enough to accord this volume Stud Book status and background. Volume 5 was a superb publication. Contained in it was a section for ponies with both parents registered witha a recognised Stud Bood or Breed Society and an appendix for stallions and mares with one or neither parent registered. As well there were separate sections for Welsh, Arabs, Shetlands, English Riding Ponies, Falabellas, Hackneys and Connemaras and a list of ponies accepted with the then fledgling NZ Saddle Pony Stud Book Society now the NZ Riding Pony Society. At that time to nominate for Riding Pony registration it was a requirement for the animal to be registered with Pony Breeders.
Within a short time of the publication of Volume 5 Council felt they may have moved too quickly and perhaps there were still many quality animals which had not had the opportunity to present for inspection prior to the closing of the Register. When Volume 6 Register was the last time a breed list appeared, namely Shetlands.
Later in 1988 a major step forward was taken with the decision that fillies which had sire and dam registered with Pony Breeders or with one Pony Breeders registered parent and the other a registered Welsh, Arabian, TB, Anglo-Arab or with NZ Riding Pony could be permanently registered without inspection. Recognition was given to geldings enabling them to enter classes for Registered ponies.
In 1994 a Sub-Committee was formed to formulate a Registration system along the lines of those adopted in the United Kingdom and Australia to give New Zealand stock international recognition. At the Annual General Meeting that year the three generation system was put in place. Animals are placed in one of three sections depending on the number of generations of registered pedigree. Section 1 to have three generations of registered stock pedigree. Secion 1 to have three generations of registered stock ie parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. Section 2 to have parents and grandparents registered and any other known pedigree to be declared. Section 3 parents to be registered and any other breeding to be stated.
Compilation of Stud Book Volume 7 which became available in 1996 was a huge task as every pony registered since the publication of Volume 6 had its pedigree thoroughly researched and was entered in the appropriate section with the proven generations of breeding and registration set out. Volume 8 in 2002 saw the introduction of Foundation Stock a section for the registration of purebred progeny of Welsh A, B C Arabiand and Thoroughbreds not exceeding 148cm at maturity. this Stud Bood was published to coincide with the celebration of the Society’s 50th anniversary. Also published for this ocassion was Stallions of New Zwaland a complete list of stallions registered with Pony Breeders. Alongside the pedigrees this book contains a wonderful collection of photographs of many of these stallions.
Rules have been but in place to keep abreast of 21st century technology ie the use of A.I and the requirements for DNA testing.
Down the years the Society has made available to A&P and Breed Shows awards to recognise the quality of animals registered with it. Silver Medals for bloodmares and sashes for ridden ponies and youngstock. Early in 2005 the decission was made that these should be awarded only to animals foaled in New Zealand thus truly recognising New Zealand breeding.