Kerry Bogs are draft ponies from Ireland. They are
traditionally used for hauling peat fuel from bogs, as well as for general
draught work on small holdings. They almost vanished during the twentieth
century, declining to as few as 40 known horses. Genetic analysis of the
survivors by Weatherbys confirmed unique genetic breed markers, and the breed
is now recognized as the Irish "Heritage Pony." A controlled stud
book and registry now exist, and numbers have recovered to about 400.
The mares are 10-11hh and stallions and geldings up to
11.2hh. They are commonly brown, brownish black, or bay, but may be any whole
colour and chestnut, dun, and grey occur also. Their coat is long and dense,
easily capable of surviving harsh winter conditions without shelter. Their head
is plain and of average size, rather dished. Their eyes are small and pointed.
Their jaw is strong and well-formed with excellent dentition.
Their neck is strong and medium length. Their shoulders
rounded and muscular. Their body is compact and strong with deep chest of good
girth and well-sprung ribs. Their loins are powerful and their quarters are
strong and well-formed.
Their forelegs are strong and muscular with strong forearm.
Their hind legs are muscular and powerful. Their cannons are short with flat
hard bone of good size. Their pasterns are short, hooves upright, and well
formed. Their hooves are of hard horn that require little trimming.
Their action is powerful with great strength relative to its
size. Combined with their excellent conformation, the pony has straight and
level action with good balance. They are intelligent and sure-footed, with good
judgement in boggy terrain.
They are kind, sensible, confident, and well-mannered, with
great courage and endurance. Unsoundness and undesirable traits found in many
pony breeds were bred out at a much earlier stage. They can be easily trained
to harness or saddle, and are suitable for work as a children's riding pony.