The Dales Pony Profile
Dales Pony achieves prices.

Dales Pony adorned with numerous awards. At the annual summer breeding show in Barnard Castle, the qualities of the ponies are recognised by judges from the Dales Pony Society.

Eastern Pennines, Northern England
Main Breeding Area:
Northern England
Low, critically endangered
Height at the withers:
142–147 cm
Mostly black, brown, gray, bay, and roan.
Pony-like. Broad between the eyes, bright and alert eyes, slightly curved ears. Strong, well-arched neck with flowing mane. Short-coupled body, deep chest, well-arched ribs. Long, well-muscled hind legs, strong hocks, low-set tail with abundant, straight feathering. Short, very muscular front legs with broad, well-developed knees. Large, round hooves with well-developed horn. Cannon circumference of over 20 cm.
Alert, courageous, intelligent, and friendly. Additionally, robust, easy to keep, great endurance, reliable, well-balanced, ideal for children.
Originally used as pack horses for lead mining, today primarily for riding (trail riding, long-distance riding, dressage, eventing) and driving. Excellent as a carriage horse.
Special Features:
Agile, fast, good surefootedness, even temperament, great endurance.
Breed Association:
Dales Pony Society (
Breed Description

The Dales Pony, a robust and versatile horse breed originating from the eastern Pennines in Northern England, captivates with its compact stature, sturdy legs, and fine feathering. With a history dating back to the 18th century, they were once bred as reliable pack horses for transporting lead ore. Today, they impress as riding horses with their calm temperament, great endurance, and agility. Their popularity is not only based on their beauty but also on their reliability, making them ideal companions for riders of all ages.
Stallion Castle Dales Nelson looks self-confident into the camera. He stands on a field.

Stallion Castledales Nelson

Characteristics of the Dales Pony

The Dales Pony is distinguished by its characteristic temperament and friendly nature. With an ideal size ranging from 142 to 147 cm, it embodies strength and endurance. The head is straight, neat, and broad between the eyes, with a fine muzzle and inward-curving ears. The body is short-coupled, with a wide and deep ribcage, long, broad, and well-muscled hindquarters, a muscular neck of appropriate length seamlessly transitioning into a strong wither and slightly sloping shoulders. The legs are extremely muscular, with hard, dense bone, clearly defined tendons, flexible fetlocks, and large, round hooves with open heels. The mane, tail, and feathering are straight, silky, and abundant.
The vast majority of Dales Ponies are black, although brown, bay, gray, and roan colors can also be found. Only white markings in the form of a star and/or snip on the head are allowed; blazes, stockings, and white facial markings are not permitted. Small amounts of white on the hind legs that do not extend beyond the fetlock joint are allowed. Ponies with excessive white markings can be registered in the B Register of the studbook. A Dales Pony should move with energy and power, lifting its hooves distinctly off the ground while conveying the impression of an alert, courageous, yet calm and friendly animal. These qualities not only make the Dales Pony an impressive sight but also a loving and reliable companion for horse enthusiasts worldwide.
Westwick Dales Pony mare with foal are presented by a young handler in the show ring.

Young handler showing a Westwick mare with foal on the annual Dales Pony summer show in Barnard Castle.

Breed Standard¹​​​​​​​
General Description
The Dales Pony is a robust and active breed, full of quality and vitality.
The preferred height ranges between 142 cm and 147 cm.
Pony-like, broad between the eyes, which should be bright and alert. Pony ears slightly curved inward. Long forelock of straight hair that fills the face
Strong and of sufficient length. Throat and jaws well defined. Long, flowing mane.
Well laid-back, long, sloping shoulders with well-developed muscles. Wither not too fine
Short and deep through the chest, with well-arched ribs.
Deep, long, and powerful. Second thighs well developed and very muscular. Tail well set, not high, with plenty of long, straight hair reaching the ground.
Broad, flat, and clean. Well let down with plenty of dense flat bone beneath.
Front Legs
Set square. Short and very muscular, with broad, well-developed knees.
Hooves, Legs, and Joints
Cannon bones should have 20.3 cm to 22.9 cm of flat, flinty bone and well-defined tendons. Fetlocks should be nicely sloping and of good length. Sufficient silky feathering on the heels. Large, round hooves, open at the heels, with well-developed frogs.
Black, brown, gray, bay, and roan.
A white star and/or stripe on the head. White stockings only on the hind legs. Incorrectly marked ponies are transferred to the breeding register "Section-B."
Clean, high, straight, and true. Moving forward with tremendous energy on all fours. The knee and hock are lifted, and the hind legs are well placed under the body for powerful drive.
Genuine pony character. Alert, courageous, intelligent, and friendly.
Castlhill John on a tournament in Ashfield
Castlhill John on a tournament in Ashfield
Castledales Nelson running on a field
Castledales Nelson running on a field
A Dales Pony is presented in the ridden class on the annual Dales Pony summer show.
A Dales Pony is presented in the ridden class on the annual Dales Pony summer show.
¹ Breed Standard. (2023). Dales Pony Society. (Retrieved 24/10/2023).

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