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Gotland-Russ Pony HORSE STATS

Country of Origin: Sweden
Use today: The Gotland-Russ is popular in Sweden for eventing, show jumping, dressage, driving, harness racing and pleasure riding.
Color: Bay, black, buckskin and sorrel are the most common colors. Albinos, piebalds and roans are not allowed
Height: Ideal height is 12.1 hands

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Gotland-Russ Pony HORSE PROFILE

Profile: The Gotland-Russ Pony thrives in forest regions on the island of Gotland in Sweden. The inhabitants of Gotland also call the ponies skogsbaggar, meaning "forest rams." Russ is the Gutnish word for horse. In the early 19th century, the Gotland-Russ pony was used for farming. Later, numbers declined due to the cultivation of forest areas, and many ponies were sold in England, Germany and Belgium for mining.

Although stud farms were established in the 20th century to breed the ponies, their numbers continued to drop, as they were hunted during World War II. The Gotland Agriculture Society and farmers who were eager to save the breed enclosed 200 acres of land, where several ponies were allowed to roam free. They formed a herd that continues to maintain the purity of the breed today, and every three years, a different stallion is introduced to the herd to prevent inbreeding. The ponies are rounded up a few times each year for health assessment.

The Gotland-Russ Pony is still new in the United States. The Gotland Russ Association of North America was formed in 1997 and works with the Swedish Russ Breeders' Association. The ponies can also be found in Denmark and Finland.

Characteristics: The Gotland-Russ Pony is known to be strong, healthy, energetic and intelligent with a gentle temperament. These qualities and its size make the pony an ideal children's mount.

For more informationGotlandruss Pony Preservation Society

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