Pony of the Americas

Pony of the Americas: The POA first was developed in 1954, when Leslie Boomhower, an Iowa breeder of Shetland Ponies, founded the breed. A friend offered him an Arabian/Appaloosa mare that had been bred to a Shetland Pony stallion. Boomhower accepted the offer after the foal, a colt, was born. The Appaloosa marked colt was named Black Hand, and he became the foundation sire for the breed.

Other breeds, including the American Quarter Horse, Welsh Pony, Thoroughbred, Mustang and Arabian have been used to infuse athleticism, stamina, and size.Today there are almost 50,000 registered POAs in the United States. The ponies are presently being bred to have less Shetland Pony blood, with breeders striving for conformation that resembles a small horse more than a pony.

The coloring of the pony must be the markings of an Appaloosa, and visible from a distance of 40 feet. This includes the spotted coat in any Appaloosa pattern. Some animals carry the spotting over their entire body, which is commonly referred to as a leopard pattern. The breed standard originally had the height requirement between 44 inches to 52 inches. However, since that time the height range has been changed to 46 to 56 inches at the withersand the age limit of a child showing went from age 16 to 18. They are used successfully for pleasure and trail riding, driving, show competition, jumping, dressage and gymkhana events.

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