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Camargue Pony




The Camargue pony comes from the marshy district of France, south of Arles in the Rhone delta, known as the Camargue. The region is bleak and cold in winter and intensely hot in summer. There are still some ponies roaming free in feral herds, many of them are ridden during the summer months by tourists and are turned out again in the bitter winters to fend for themselves. The origin of the Camargue pony is doubtful though it is possible that it was from North Africa, Tibet or China. It is rumoured that Julius Caesar created stud farms of these ponies in the Camargue before the breed reverted to a feral state. Although it is an ancient species, the Camargue horse was not officially recognised as a breed until 1967.

The Camargue pony is attractive, usually grey or white in colour, though not Albino. It stands up to 14h.h. and is fleet of foot with an ability to sprint. Capable of surviving on marsh reeds and rough grass, it has a pleasant disposition. Conformation: A large square-shaped head with a straight or slightly convex profile. The eyes are large and expressive, the ears are broad and short with a broad base. The neck is short and muscular, deep at the base, the withers are pronounced, the back is straight and short. The croup is short and narrow, the chest wide and deep. The shoulder is rather straight and quite short; the legs are extremely hardy with clean joints, a long forearm, and very good hooves. The mane and tail are unusually thick and long.

There is a theory that the hardy Camargue horse may have descended from prehistoric horses that lived farther north. Bones of the Solutre horses, dating from the Paleolithic period (17 000 years ago), were discovered there. The many horse images in Paleolithic cave paintings at Lascaux give evidence of Prehistoric horses in south-western France.



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