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Hackney Horse

Country of Origin: England

Hackney Horse

Image from Equine Now


England has a long history of trotting animals and the tradition is thought to go back to the Middle Ages. For many years two types of trotters came from the areas of East Anglis & the East Riding of Yorkshire, the Norfolk Trotter & the Yorkshire Hackneys.


The Hackney Horse comes from England (its around the same age as the English Thoroughbred) & there are two distinct types as mentioned above. Their origins are highly disputed, but thought to have Thoroughbred and perhaps Danish coach horses.

Of the two Yorkshire Hackneys were known to be a more refined almost riding type, while the Norfolk Trotter was more of a robust carriage horse. Both of these types were used in transportation and became an essential element of daily life, call them the taxi’s of pre-car days. However in the 19th century the advent of railways put many of them out of a job.

After the decline in demand, the Hackney’s flashy movement earned them a place in the show ring, while the heavier, less attractive Norfolk branch was left to die out. In 1833 the Hackney studbook was established.

World War II was difficult on the breed as there was no market for high stepping show horses. However not long after the war was over a market for them reemerged. The modern day Hackney horse is a harness horse and does most of its work in the show ring.


Average height 14 – 15.3 hands
Distinctive showy action


Small head with a small muzzle & sometimes slightly convex profile
Eyes are large & expressive
Ears are small
Neck is long, arched & upright
Shoulders are powerful & sloping
Body is compact
Legs are medium in length with large, strong joints
Feet have a reputation for soundness

Traditional Colors

chestnut | black | bay


Spirited & bold
Easygoing & true

Hackney Horse

Image from i-mac


Harness horse
Show horse

Hackney Horse Products

Helpful Links

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Hackney Horse Society
Hackney Horse Society of America
Canadian Hackney Society
Southeastern Hackney Horse Association

Where to Buy

Panache Hackney Horse
Eros Arabian & Hackney Horses
OakBriar Hackney Horses

Hackney Horse Studs

Stapleford Hackneys
Halloughton Hackneys
Candwr Hackney Stud
Brookfield Hackney Stud


Do you have images or know more about the Hackney Horse breed? I’d love help completing this page, please contact me to get involved.

Country of Origin: England | Colors: , ,
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