Breeding the real Kerry deal

Anyone interested in getting into the breeding of Kerry Bog ponies should insist on getting a brown passport with the pony to ensure you are getting the real thing.

In recent times, small ponies have been imported from England and offered for sale as Kerry Bog ponies. However, these traders, who are operating from trailers, have no papers whatsoever for the ponies.

The Kerry Bog pony society recommends that buyers source ponies through its website, kerrybogpony.ie, or by putting your name on a buyers' list for referrals.

You should carefully select a Class 1 Kerry Bog pony stallion to cover your mare and ask for a covering certificate when taking the mare home.

At the end of the stud season, the stallion owner will send copies of all the covering certs to the Irish Horse Board and, the following spring, the Horse Board will send out papers to the registered owner of the mare, so that the foal can be microchipped and registered.

This is the best and least expensive way to ensure that your pony has a brown passport. The foal will automatically go into Category 4. When the pony is two years old it is eligible for classification inspection. If it is good enough, it will be declared Class 1 or Class 2, depending on height.

With small herd numbers, such as with the Kerry Bog pony, it is imperative that out-cross stallions are chosen wisely and all registered mare owners have received a list of stallions suitable for crossing with their mares.

A derogation secured until 2009 means that the society can admit ponies of suitable type into the breeding herd. Many of these ponies will be unrelated and will be a major addition to the gene pool. However, where the ponies have known pedigrees of three or four generations, it is advisable to ensure that there is no inbreeding and breeders must choose unrelated stallions.

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