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Manipuri Pony

Distinguishing features: Medium sized pony, used mainly for polo
Alternative names: Manipur
Country of origin: India
Horse (Equus ferus caballus)

The Manipuri Pony is a breed of pony developed in India. Today they are bred mainly for playing polo and racing.



The Manipuri Pony is thought to have been derived from ancient stock, as a cross between the Mongolian Wild Horse and the Arabian. They were probably brought to India by invading Tartar tribes, who also brought the equestrian game of polo. [1] The breed has been bred for centuries in the Manipur area of northeast India.[2] In 1977, the Manipur Horse Riding and Polo Association was established to promote the Manipuri Pony breed and the game of polo.[3] In recent years, breed numbers have decreased, and it is believed that only around 2,300 Manipuri Ponies exist today.[2]

Breed Characteristics

Manipuri Ponies have a light head with a straight profile, set on a well formed neck, somewhat pronounced withers, a deep chest and sloping shoulders. The croup is sloping, the legs sturdy and the hooves well-proportioned. The breed's overall appearance is elegant, an inheritance from their Arabian ancestors. Manipuri Ponies generally stands 11 to 13 hands high, and may be bay, chestnut, gray, or brown (a variant of bay).[1]


The British learned of the game of polo during the 19th century while watching it played on Manipuri Ponies in India. The breed is still used for polo today in India, but other breeds are more popular in Europe and America.[1] They are also used extensively for racing.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bongianni, Maurizio. Simon & Schuster's Guide to Horses and Ponies. 1988, pg. 120. ISBN 0671660683
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Equines in India". National Research Centre On Equines (Indian Council on Agricultural Research). Referenced February 27, 2008.
  3. "Manipur Horse Riding And Polo Association". Manipur Polo. Referenced February 27, 2008.


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