Europe - England

Dales Pony
Photo taken by CLIX photography & owned by the Dunkley's Canadale Pony Stud, Ontario Canada

Dales are native ponies in northern England in the upper Dales river valleys at the eastern side of the Pennine Hills and originally bred as a pack animals for the lead industry, working under and over ground. They were also used for all kinds of farm work and by the army. It is believed that Dales Ponies are descendants from horses of the Roman period when Friesian horses were introduced into England, possibly giving the breed its predominantly black colour. During the 19th century Norfolk Roadster, Welsh Cob and Clydesdale blood was introduced producing a true pony with excellent temperament, great strength and tremendously active paces. In 1916 the Dales Pony Improvement Society was founded and a stud book was included in the National Pony Society's Stud Book.
Dales Ponies were extremely popular during World War I and World War II, but many ponies were killed and the rest were left behind and eaten by the starving population. With the full swing of the mechanisation working ponies were no longer needed and sent to the slaughter houses in the thousands. In 1955 only four filly foals were registered. Thanks to the dedication of some breeders and the help of the Dales Pony Improvement Society the breed has survived and today their numbers are in the six hundreds.

small, neat head; wide forehead; bright, alert eyes; small, erect ears; fairly small muzzle
Neck: muscular
Shoulders: strong, well sloped
Body: strong, deep body; short back; deep chest; well sprung ribs; strong loins; well developed hindquarters
Legs: strong limbs; short, straight cannons; good, clean joints
Feet: excellent, broad, well shaped, open at the heels, very hard; fine, silky feather at heel
Color: predominantly black, also bay, brown and grey
Height: up to 14.2hh
Mane and Forelock: long, abundant
Tail: well set
Temperament: sensible, calm, gentle, intelligent, willing
Qualities: sure footed, stamina, courage, great strength, energetic; straight, active paces

The Dales Pony is an excellent all-round riding horse, strong enough to carry an adult rider. Their gentle, willing temperament makes the  breed popular as a horse for the disabled.