The Fell Pony is closely related to the Dales. Slightly smaller than the Dales, the Fell pony is thought to be the equivalent of the extinct Scottish Galloway, a tough, quick horse from which the Fell got its tough hooves. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the Fell was used as a harness pony and farm worker in the uplands district, and put to extensive work taking lead from the mines to the coast. There were no roads for carts to be hauled so the ponies were required to carry up to 225 lbs over 210 miles per week. It was also known to trot for miles without fatigue.
The Fell Pony is usually black, due, in part, to its Friesian Influence, but also appears occasionally in bay, brown, or gray. Standing around 14 hands high, the Fell is slightly smaller than its close neighbor, the Dales. It has a pony type head, alert with short, pricked ears. The body is thick and muscular with strong loins and sloping hindquarters. It has a better riding shoulder than the Dales, making it, when crossed with the Thoroughbred, an excellent hunter. The legs have good bone and are marked by feathering at the heels. The hooves are large and of very hard blue horn. The mane and tail are thick and bushy.
The Fell is most likely descended from the now extinct Galloway Pony from which it inherited its iron-like constitution. The Friesian of the Roman Legions was probably the next biggest influence on the pony. The Fell pony retains the Friesian’s excellent bone.
Probably the most well known of the Fell lineage is the stallion, Lingcropper. Lingcropper was found in 1745 on the moors in what was then Westmorland. He was saddled and bridled but there was no sign of his rider. This was the time of the third Jacobite uprising, a good explanation for a horse with no rider.
1. Celtic Pony
For more information, contact:
Fell Pony Society
2019 NE 179th St., #J45
Ridgefield, WA 98642