This variety, which only exists in small numbers, owing to the fact that its origin is comparatively a matter of recent date, is founded upon a long-sustained cross of the Hackney upon the Fell pony. Mr. C. W. Wilson, of Kirkby-Lonsdale, to whom is due the entire credit of its production, founded his stud by selecting a number of high-class Cumberland mares and crossing them with the Hackney pony stallion Sir George, which possessed a strong dash of Norfolk blood. The fillies from this cross were put to their sire, and in most cases this was repeated for another generation, with the most remarkably successful results; for although the height was well kept down to under 14 hands, the bone and stamina of the strain was fully maintained, whilst their beautiful quality and action made them popular from the first. A proof of this is forthcoming from the fact that at Sir H. de Trafford's sale by auction in Norfolk in September, 18.95, five Wilson pony mares were disposed of at an average of over 700 guineas each, the highest price of the day being-obtained by a three-year-old filly, which realized 900 guineas: this youngster being the most inbred of the lot.
In appearance the Wilson pony may be described as being a high-class miniature Hunter, gifted in most cases with superlative action, and an amount of quality which is surprising even in the case of so small an animal. In colour they are usually bay, and it may be added that the originator of the family, Sir George, was a winner at the annual show of the Royal Agricultural Society of England upon no fewer than eight occasions.
The following were some of the Wilson ponies disposed of at the sale referred to above: -
Snorer II, 8 years..........
Foal, Snorer IV ............
Dorothy Derby, 5 years........... ...
New foal, Agnes Derby...... ...
Dorothy Derby II ...........
Snorter II .........
Jackdaw, 2 years........
Miss Sniff, 3 years..........
Julius Caesar, 1 years..........
Roman Warrior, 2 years.........
Snorter, 3 years ........
Young Sir George, 9 years........
The most famous of the mares of the family, so far as the show ring is concerned, are Snorer, the original, so named because of the singular noise she made in her nostrils, Dorothy Derby, and Dorothy Derby II, all of which have won prizes at the most important shows; whilst the names of others have appeared prominently in many an exhibition catalogue.