Today’s rare breed for this week is native to an enclave of South Africa called Lesotho. The Basotho Pony or Basuto is the product of an inhospitable climate, high altitude & steep terrain have created an incredibly tough little animal.
South African Descent
This breed comes from the Cape Horse of South Africa which are of Java pony ancestry. They do display influence of old Persian, Arabian & Thoroughbred blood, although it is unclear if it was introduced to the animals prior to being imported to the area or later to enhance bloodlines.
The Basotho was exported to both the UK & Europe for use as war mounts where they were prized for their endurance & low-maintenance care.
Served & Dismissed
During the 20th century this riding breed was largely extinct in its pure form. Massive exportation & cross breeding with Arabian & Thoroughbred animals has left them with few of their original characteristics.
In 1977 the breed faced extinction & a rigerous breeding program was established assisted by the Irish Government in cooperation with Lesotho. This included creating a national stud with acres of land & a marketing center. Even more recently the national stud was disbanded & the mares given to local farmers for more precise breeding. They remain incredibly rare.
As of now we have very few images of the Basotho Pony for our informative page on them. If you have images (or information about the breed) you’d be interested in sharing, please get in touch today.