The Hackney Pony is the result of the work of one man. In 1866, a man by named Christopher Wilson bred his Hackney stallion "St. George" with Fell Pony mares. The breed originally appeared in the early 18th century in Great Britain, from the Darley Arabian came his offspring "Flying Childerns" foaled in 1715, then later from through his grandson "Blaze," a renowned British Thoroughbred foaled in 1733.They also are believed to have Welsh Pony in them as well. When they first came about, they were known as Wilson Ponies. To develop endurance for the cold and other dreadful types of weather, they were kept out all year with very little food care. When the Hackney Pony gained recognition in the 1800s, they became very popular and the horses were well liked for their trotting ability and class. They don't have their own stud book as a breed, but they share with the Hackney horse in all countries that have a Hackney Stud Book Registry.
The Thoroughbred blood was crossbred with the British Norfolk Trotter; it started with the sire Norfolk Trotter "Jary's Bellfounder" who is also believed to have passed his bloodlines onto the Standardbred.
The Hackney Pony was first being imported to the United States in the 1800s from England and today 95% of all Hackneys in the United States are bred as ponies. The importation of the Hackney to the U.S. was a regular thing for 75 years, but it got even heavier in 1872 with a Hackney named 'Stella 239.' Many stallions that were brought to the U.S. were vital to the breeding in Britain, so many of them were taken back to England in order to heighten the influence needed. Later a number of Stallions that remained in the United States were bred and then sent back to England to further this reason.
A lot of today's Hackney Ponies share a bloodline with a Hackney named 'Southworth Swell,' which was imported in 1925 by J. Macy Willets of Cassillis Farms. The Hackney Horse Society was established in 1883 to uphold the Hackney line and the first show was held in 1885 by the Society. The American Hackney Horse Society was formed in 1891.
The term and name "Hackney" comes from the French word hacquennee, which in turn derived from the Latin word equus that means horse. The word was brought to England by the Normans and was became a part of the English language by 1303. At that time, the word meant a riding horse, which came from the heavier draft horse, and it later became abbreviated to "Hack." By then it meant riding horse or hired carriage.
One such hired carriage took place at the 22nd Aiken Driving Clubs Fall Invitational Drive on November 3, 2007. Joan and Done Winslow were being escorted into the celebration on a carriage drawn by a purebred Hackney named "746 Watts." It was given this name because it is the equivalent of one horsepower in the metric system.