England – Hackney: the coachbuilder horse par excellence

There is no creature in the universe that can hope to compete with a handsome Hackney in what it is: personality, gait, gait and brilliance of action. The current Hackney horse borns from happy crossings of English breeds of high genealogy which occurred in the 18th century mainly in YORKSHIRE and Norfolk, as well as in Cambridge. The Norfolk trotter (Norfolk Roadster) certainly had great importance in the attitudinal constitution of the Hackney, in the same way the thoroughbred had the same importance. The breed appeared in 1755 , a certain date that can be learned from the stud-book of the breed and since then no less than forty-seven volumes have been compiled to form the stud-book of the breed. In the golden age of the carriage, that is the beginning of our century, English farmers met at agreed road points (taverns or pubs) to go, with their attacks in Hackney, to the locations of the most famous markets , without worrying about distances, trusting in the temper and proverbial resistance of their Hackneys.

Distances of 90 kilometers per day were not impressive, even thought they were considered a little impressive. In those days it was very common for Hackney breeders to even bet large sums among themselves on the great possibilities of speed, elegance and endurance of their best horses. Discover now all our trips, tours, holidays and horse trekking in Great Britain. Qualities like these, exceptional resistance to fatigue, in horses elegant for shape and harmonious for gait, were observed for a long time so that Hackney stallions were often used all over the world to improve the not so brilliant qualities of some breed of local horse. An exceptional case, which was later described in the sports magazines of the time, was the Hackney “Narpareil” filly which covered the distance of 160 km in nine hours and 56 minutes! Recording a speed of over 19 km and a half per hour in the first 38 km stretch. A truly exceptional record if you think that it was made by a filly, but it seemed miraculous that, as soon as she arrived at her destination and brought to her stall, she quietly began to eat as if she were returning from an invigorating walk. The breed was recognized by the Royal Society in 1851 in Windsor, for those times the Hackney was the Rolls Royce of horse coachbuilders, every upper nobilty and upper middle class family kept at least a pair of Hackney horses in their stables for the worldly carriage rides.

This breed is still highly well-loved by the lovers of the handsome coachbuilder and is still used for the elegant attack in fashion shows and contests of elegance, but the Hackney is now bred and trained to “high gaits” for the shows in which it excels and makes a wonderful show. A show which let her earn the nickname of “Show girl”, thanks to the elegance of the trot of these exceptional horses.

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