Hackney Horse Society
History of the Hackney Horse and Pony
The evolution of the Hackney horse into the high performance harness horse, ballerina of the show that we know today has been long and fascinating. The word 'Hackney' comes from the French "haquenee", a language commonly spoken in England in Medieval times. This describes a riding horse with a particularly comfortable trot or amble and over the years the term became synonymous with a general purpose ridden and driven animal whose stamina and soundness were greatly admired and whose favoured pace was the trot.
These horses were just at home taking the farmer to market, working on the farm or enjoying a days hunting. These early ancestors of the Hackney were highly thought of by the monarchs of the time, with Henry VII, Henry VIII and Elisabeth I all passing acts concerning horse breeding and the value of the Hackney.
The hackney renowned for trotting 20 miles in an hour on the 10th June 1895
Henry VIII even penalised anyone exporting an animal without authority.
Although not destriers, the great war horses ridden by noblemen, Hackneys were used as light cavalry in the numerous wars and skirmishes during this period.