Use and characteristics of the Welsh Section C
Muscular and compact, the Welsh Section C pony is often described simply as a small cob. The upper height limit for this pony is 13.2 hands (54 inches, 137 cm). They have strong backs and thighs and excellent feet, all points of conformation which contribute to their powerful trotting action which is one of the attractions for purchasers who buy a Welsh Section C. The leg moves freely from the shoulder with knees bent to create a distinctive floating trot, while the hocks flex well under the body. It’s not uncommon for people to sell a Section C pony with white markings such as stockings or socks, as these certainly add to the appeal as they flash along. Coats can be any colour apart from piebald or skewbald. They are hardy like their ancestors and easy to keep, equally at home as working ponies or in the show ring.
Origin and history of breeding Welsh Section C
Like all Welsh horses and ponies, Welsh Section C ponies have inherited the sterling qualities of their ancestors which lived a semi-feral existence on the mountains of Wales. The Section C ponies were originally bred by crossing Section A Mountain Ponies with Welsh Cobs (Section D). Today Section Cs are a type in their own right, though some are still produced by crossbreeding ponies of Section A and cobs of Section D type. Like many British breeds of pony, they were kept by farmers who wanted animals that were versatile, reliable and capable of carrying out a wide range of tasks. They could do all the work required on the farm, take the family to church on Sunday in a dog cart or small carriage, and go hunting too. Trotting races were very popular in Wales and the rest of Britain, especially in the nineteenth century. They were mainly performed in harness, but some were ridden races up in the hills. Once again, the versatile Section C ponies could show their mettle as they competed against each other. They were also used for pack work and even artillery work. This military side to their use probably dates back to medieval times, when Welsh cobs were used by mounted infantrymen. It’s said the Section C ponies, in particular, show the influence of Andalusian blood.
Welsh Section C ponies in equestrianism
Section C ponies are a good choice for smallholders, as they are true utility ponies, capable of performing a range of tasks in harness. They can harrow, draw logs and cart supplies as well as turn out for a show class or a pleasure ride. A Section C stallion, Tyrllawn Rolls-Royce, currently holds the record for the highest price ever obtained for a Welsh pony. He was sold at the annual sales in October 2018 for £45,000.