Nooitgedacht Pony Horses
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About Nooitgedacht Pony HorsesAbout Nooitgedacht Pony Horses



Nooitgedacht Ponies are one of the few indigenous breeds inrnSouth Africa, and the only true descendant of the better-known Basuto Pony. Nooigedachtsrnare a rare horse breed, with only about 400 purebreds in existence.rnrn 

rnrnTheir development began in 1951 when the South AfricanrnDepartment of Agriculture brought a group of Basuto-type ponies. In 1952 arnbreeding project began on the Nooitgedacht Research Station. This was donernprimarily to save the famous Basuto horses from extinction but also becausernSouth Africa needed an indigenous farm and riding horse adapted to conditionsrnof the region.rnrn 

rnrnDue to large-scale inbreeding in the past, the breeders atrnNooitgedacht had to use extreme care. For this reason, a Boer stallion and arnpartbred Arab were used to a limited extent in addition to Vonk, a stallionrnselected from a departmental committee to be the founder of the breed. Thernprogeny of Vonk dominated the breeding project to such an extent that nearlyrnevery member of the Nooitgedacht breed today is a descendant of Vonk throughrnthe sire, dam, or both. The foaling percentage was very high, ranging at 90rnpercent. So strict was the selection that only one in four ponies were kept.rnrn 

rnrnSystematic breeding resulted in the gradual crystallizationrnof a recognizable and uniform type, and breeders were able to start talkingrnabout a "breed". In 1967, breeding stock of these horses werernsupplied to eight studs, and they were established as part of the project.rnrn 

rnrnIn 1968, the Nooitgedacht Breeders' Association was formedrnby participants in the project. Breeding standards were established asrnguidelines for breeders and judges at shows. Satisfied that the developmentrntask had been completed, the Department of Agriculture Technical Services soldrnall of its horses by public auction in March 1977. The breeding project wasrnthen in the hands of the breeders' association, which had some sixty members inrn1979.rnrn 

rnrnIn 1976, the Nooitgedacht pony was affiliated with the SouthrnAfrican Stud Book Association as South Africa's first indigenous pony breed.rnrn 

According to the standards set by the Nooitgedacht Breeders'rnAssociation, the Nooitgedacht pony should ideally be a good riding horse withrnoutstanding stamina. They have a compact build, with a short back, and arnwell-sloping shoulder. They are good natured and intelligent. They arernextremely hardy with good bone structure, good joints, and excellent hoovesrnwhich seldom require shoeing. Bay, brown (a variant of bay) and chestnut roansrnare the most common colours. They usually stands between 13.2 (138 cm) and 15rn(153 cm) hands high.rnrn 

Nooitgedacht ponies are tall enough to be used by bothrnchildren and adults. They are good jumpers, and they are becoming more popularrnas a show horse. They excel in gymkhana, polo, endurance riding, and hacking.

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