DESCRIPTION OF THE DALES PONY
A strong active pony, full of quality and spirit. True
pony character, alert, high-couraged, intelligent and kind
- HEAD: Neat and pony like, showing no dish. Broad
between the eyes, which should be bright and alert. Pony ears slightly
incurving. Long foretop of straight hair down the face.
- NECK: Strong and of ample length. Stallions should
display a bold outlook with a well-arched crest. Throat and jaws
clean-cut. Long, flowing mane.
- SHOULDERS: Well-laid, long, sloping shoulders with
well-developed muscles. Withers not too fine.
- BODY: Short-coupled and deep through the chest, with
- HINDQUARTERS: Hindquarters deep, lengthy and powerful.
Second thighs well-developed and very muscular. Tail well set on, not
high, with plenty of long, straight hair reaching the ground.
- HOCKS: Broad, flat and clean. Well let down with
plenty of dense flat bone below.
- FOREARMS: Set square. Short and very muscular, with
broad, well-developed knees.
- FEET, LEGS & JOINTS: The very best of feet and legs, with flexible
joints, showing quality with no coarseness. The cannons should display
8”-9” of flat flinty bone and well defined tendons. Pasterns should be
nicely sloping and of good length. Ample, silky straight feather on the
heels. Large, round feet, open at the heels, with well-developed frogs.
- HEIGHT: The preferred height range is 14 h.h to 14.2
h.h. (Ponies above and below this range to be placed at the discretion of
- COLOURS: Black, brown, a few grey and bay, and
- MARKINGS: A white star and/or snip on the head. White to
the fetlocks of the hindlegs only. Mis-marked ponies showing more white
than this are registered as section B in the stud book and placed at the
discretion of the judges.
- ACTION: Clean, high, straight and true. Going forward
on “all fours” with tremendous energy. The knee and hock are lifted, the
hindlegs flexed well under the body for powerful drive.
A good Dales type should be capable of the carrying out the job for which it
was bred, i.e. to pull a plough, trot a mile in around 3 minutes, and still
give a good ride to hounds. To this end, the pony must be wide and powerful,
with extremely high quality limbs and feet; alert and active, with a
high-stepping trot, fore and hind limbs being lifted to the same level and
driving powerfully forward.
- Ponies to be shown in their
natural state. No trimming, clipping or pulling of mane, tails or feathers
on the legs. Tails may be rough-trimmed to prevent them dragging on the
ground. Manes and tails should be full and flowing, and traditionally were
“a yard long”. Feathers should be full, curtaining the coronets
- In the interests of welfare,
ridden and driven ponies may be body-clipped in the winter, taking the
above rule into account. Legs should not be clipped. Ponies which have
been clipped in the winter, may be at a disadvantage when shown in-hand
the following spring, depending on the Judge’s view.
- No plaiting allowed except for
the traditional plait at the top of the tail bearing ribbons if so wished.
- No false hair or make-up of
any kind is permitted.
- Youngstock is usually shown in
white halters, and the mares are also traditionally shown in this way,
although riding or in-hand bridles are also permitted. Licensed stallions
(three years and over) are traditionally shown in full stallion tack, and
this is a rule at the Breed Shows.
- Over-height and mis-marked
ponies should be placed at the discretion of the Judge. These are both
faults, but it must be borne in mind that a Breed Judge might well place a
high quality mis-marked pony above a mediocre, correctly marked pony
- Tweed, not black is the
correct attire for riders, and medium weight tack should be used to show
the pony to advantage
NPS America Dales Breed Representative:
See the Links section for Dales Societies
See the Dales photo gallery