A NorthAmerican Sportpony is a pony in the general range of 13.2-14.2 h that looks and moves like a small horse, capable of competing in the Olympic disciplines of Jumping, Dressage, and Eventing, as well as in Driving. It is not your traditional Thellwell type of pony, but rather is much more athletic and horse-like in appearance and ability.
The term “NorthAmerican Sportpony” is considered a type, not a particular breed of pony (with the exception of ponies of Draft blood being excluded) and therefore we find sportponies made up of everything from Welsh to New Forest to Thoroughbred bloodlines.
Movement is paramount to the quality NorthAmerican Sportpony, and that movement should have great suspension, articulation, impulsion and elasticity. The type does not strive for the traditional “daisy-cutter,” flat-kneed movement that is so popular in the hunter ring today, but it is not excluded as a factor within the NorthAmerican Sportpony Registry. Therefore, the “hunter type” of pony, especially one which excels in jumping and has the conformation and “look” the type strives for, can be considered a NorthAmerican Sportpony.
All ponies accepted into the Registry must undergo an inspection and be DNA-typed. It is in this way that pedigrees can be documented from this point forward, even with breeding stock that is currently of unknown parentage. Stallions accepted into the Registry undergo additional performance and progeny requirements.
138 - 148 cm (13.2 - 14.2) NorthAmerican Sport Ponies being inspected as breeding stock may fall outside this ideal range.
Small and regal with defined jaws (no puffiness), a clean throatlatch, kind eyes, nostrils that are large and wide and small ears.
Long, wide and well set on, narrowing towards the poll.
Refinement obvious more so than in any other pony breed with emphasis toward an athletic riding type. Exhibits a longer neck, higher and more pronounced withers, a longer croup that is slightly sloping with a tail set at medium height and slender through the girth.
Dry limbs with flat knees, correct alignment, dense and medium sized hooves.
Regular and correct cadence with a large stride. Even, energetic and elastic rhythm. No exaggerated knee action. Exhibits significant impulsion from the hindquarters.
An easy keeper, good natured ready and willing to go, courageous and intelligent.