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Serious question, re: Modern Shetland

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Sue_C.

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I seriously do not understand this. The Shetland Pony, is a "true breed", with closed books, isn't that right? How then, (I am not flaming, there is a serious want to KNOW) did this new influence of Hackney, Arabian, or other blood get into the breed?

Are the Foundation, Classic and Modern, not the same breed of pony? Are there more than one Shetland registry? What about the REAL, original, UK Shetland pony...what are they?

I just had to ask, as I am getting so confused over this breed.
 

crponies

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Well, I'm not a real expert on this but I can tell you that the Shetland is a closed breed now. In the past though, people did cross to other breeds. I believe the difference between the foundation/classic/modern shetland is how far back only shetlands appear in the pedigree.
 

keeperofthehorses

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The American Shetland is a different breed now than the 'original' UK shetland. The first UK Shetties were imported in the 1880's. The American Shetland now has closed books, meaning no outcrossing. Before the books were closed, (and it may be that they were closed, then opened briefly, then closed again, I can't remember) outcrosses were allowed with Hackney and Welsh (less common), and I believe ponies registered with the UK registery were allowed up to a certain time. UK ponies are no longer allowed in. The American Shetland has been established as it's own, distinct breed. The ASPC is actually older than the UK registry and, if memory serves, most if not all US horse registries.

Modern and Classic are types; in addition to those, there are newer types that are now recognized - Modern Pleasure and Foundation. You can have a Modern type with a Foundation seal, in theory. As time goes on, ALL shetlands will eventually qualify for the Foundation seal on paper, but perhaps not in size (Foundations max out at 42") or type.

"A" papers (folks tend to identify these with 'Classic-types', though not always the case, especially as time goes on) indicate no outcrossing in (crud, brain cramp) 4? 3? generations. These papers qualify for the Foundation seal if there are no outcrossings a generation or two further back. Type or height is not taken into consideration for the seal itself (or for letter designations for that matter).

"B" papers (associated with 'Modern-types') indicate an outcross within 3? generations. These are going to be more and more rare, and eventually will cease to exist all together now that the books are closed.

Type is a different ball game altogether, and one subject to much controversy. Modern-type ponies (without Hackney blood) existed long before the outcrossing shenanigans. Even the great King Larigo himself had pretty extreme movement by today's standards. Back in the heyday of the Shetland, they were all shown with long feet, shoes, ribbons and tail sets. Even Silver Crescent, whose lines are coveted by many Foundation breeders, had what I call "Wowza" movement in harness, which would likely be shunned in today's foundation classes. I've seen some pretty big winning Moderns with an 'A' after their number.

So letters & seals are honestly no longer related to type, and this will only become more and more true as time goes on.

Yes, they are all the same breed. It's sort of like the dog breed Dachshunds in the AKC. There's different sizes and styles available to suit any taste. Just like the QH, where horses barely over pony size are winning at Working Cow, and in the same registry, giant 16 and 17 hand TB looking horses are winning in HUS. And similar to the minis in that there are all different types of minis as well.

I don't know if you get the Journal, but the latest issue is all about Congress, and you can see the different types (and their similarities) in the gorgeous ponies shown in the victory pictures.

I think the outcrossing business is probably a black-eye on the registry, but history cannot be changed. We can only move forward and do what we can to restore and preserve this historic and diverse breed and ALL of it's stunning types.

Bed time...
 

justaboutgeese

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I do know several Shetland breeders who had (remember we are talking back to about 1980 or so) registered foals born when the only stud that had been in the barn was a hackney stallion. Not that all breeders did this but I think there were some that did. People who later acquired these animals were buying Registered Shetlands and either did not know or did not care to know anything beyond that. DNA testing was not even considered in those days so who was going to dispute what had happened. We owned several hackneys at that time and in the pony roadster classes we were competing against Shetlands who were more Hackney than mine were. I guess they were just continuing to fuel the reputation that horse traders had.
 

Lewella

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A little more to add to Suzanne's post -

Yes, the ASPC was orginally a closed registry - it actually closed very early in its history to even imported UK Shetands. It was reopened to Hackney, Welsh, Harness Show Pony (the registry the ASPC had formed in the 1950's or 60's to register the Hackney/Shetland crosses that were already being made) and the Americana (an independant registry for Hackney/Shetland crosses that came along after the Harness Show Pony folded) in what was basically an attempt to end the behind the barn cross breeding that was going on and bring it into the open.

Shortly before the AMHR was formed the ASPC was "recertified" or "reverified". All ASPC registration papers had to be sent in (if I recall correctly there was a fee) and a red seal with the ponies registration number imprinted into the seal affixed to the back of the ASPC papers. If a pony was not recertified by the date specified by the ASPC the pony became grade (and many of these herds that became grade because they were not recertified went on to become the foundation of the AMHR).

Breakdown for pedigree designations in Shetlands:

B papers - more than 12.5% outcross (Hackney, Welsh, Americana or Harness Show Pony)

A papers - 12.5% or Less outcross (Hackney, Welsh, Americana or Harness Show Pony)

Foundation Seal - No "B" papered ponies for 4 generations - this does not count the individual itself but counts all ponies in the three generation pedigree on the papers and one generation farther off the papers. In other words, if one parent has a B in its third generation the foal that results will not be eligible for the Foundation Seal. In order to get the Foundation Seal a breeder must pay $10 for pedigree research (if the pony doesn't qualify your account is credited the $10 fee). If a foal is born to two parents that are already Foundation Certified the foal is automatically Foundation Certified.

Hope this helps some.
 

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