Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science
Breeds of Livestock - Pony of the Americas
Pony of the Americas
The Pony of the Americas is a popular and growing breed. It was begun in 1954 to provide a pony with good appearance, speed, and stamina for young riders who were too big for a small pony but not ready for a full-sized horse. The Pony of the Americas is a distinctive breed of pony possessing the attractive coloration of Appaloosa Horse. The POA is a rugged, athletic pony with the speed for games and jumping and the intelligence and patience for showmanship and equitation. Small size makes it easy for parents to match a child to a pony. The POA's great disposition makes them highly competitive in all horse circles.
The Pony of the Americas has a refined head with a dished, Arab-like nose, expressive eyes and fine ears. The body is full, the chest broad, and the shoulders should be sloping. The quarters are substantial, and the legs should have ample bone. The POA is a strong, fast, and durable pony capable of performing a wide variety of tasks. The POA exhibits a variety of colorful coat patterns from blankets to leopard spots. The modern POA has the appearance of a small horse. Several specific POA characteristics include:
- Sclera of the eye - the iris of the eye is encircled with white like a human eye.
- Mottled skin - skin, particularly around the nostrils, is mottled with an irregular spotting of black and white.
- Striped hooves - hooves have vertical black and white stripes.
- Coat patterns - the distinctive "spots" - coat patterns very widely. Most will be white over the loin and hips with dark round egg-shaped spots. Spots may vary in size from specks to spots four inches in diameter. Some POAs have spotting over the entire body, but it is usually dominant over the hips. Others will show white over the hips without dark spots, or will appear mottled all over the body, or will have site specks on a dark background.
- Height - ranges from 46 to 56" at the withers.
The Pony of the Americas breed was founded in 1954 in Iowa. Among the breeds influencing the original POA's were the Arab, Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, Appaloosa, Welsh Pony, and Shetland Pony.
Notes of Interest
One of the foundation stallions of the breed Pony of the Americas was Black Hand #1. In 1954, his owner, Leslie Boomhower of Mason City, Iowa, began a registry of this distinguished pony's off-spring. Black Hand was sired by a Shetland out of an Appaloosa mare. In 1970, fifteen years after its founding, the POA registry carried over 12,000 registered horses. As of 1995 there are 45,000 registered POAs.
Photograph and information from the Pony of the Americas Club, Inc., 5240 Elmwood Ave., Indianapolis, IN 46203-5990. Phone: 317-788-0107
Kentucky Horse Park, 4089 Iron Works Pike, Lexington, KY 40511
Updated May 28, 1996