Welsh Mountain Ponies

The Welsh Mountain Ponies by G.Stubbs

George Stubbs is a renowned artist, particularly for his horsey pictures, who had nothing at all to do with Wales. Until, that is, he was commissioned in 1798 by the then Prince of Wales to paint some pictures for Princess Charlotte’s nursery. Stubbs thought it appropriate to paint a set featuring the different breeds of Welsh Mountain Ponies. The Welsh Post Office commemorated these on the 200th anniversary of Stubb’s death in 2004 with a set of 4 stamps featuring the paintings known to remain in existence

The 19p stamp shows the classic Mountain Pony. It gets its name not because they live on Welsh Mountains. Well they do, but that’s not the origin of the name. Prior to 1066 England was settled by Saxons, Angles and Danes. Wales was settled by Celtic folk. Then came the Normans, who tried to make inroads into Wales. When they saw the Welsh Ponies they thought that they looked as big as the mountains, but no-one was brave enough to tell them that it was an illusion caused by the ponies being much closer.

On the 27p first class stamp is the Welsh Cave Pony. This is the ancestor of the well known pit ponies. Living in the total darkness of caves it has evolved without any eyes. Virtually extinct in Wales, some herds of these are believed to inhabit the abandoned tunnels of the London Underground system.

The 37p show the unique Welsh Marsh Pony of Whitland on the Gower Peninsula. This breed has webbed hooves which allow it to walk in the soft marshland and swim ashore if it gets caught by rising tides.

Finally the highest value stamp has the famous Welsh Rocking Pony. This breed has learned a rocking type of forward motion after watching the rocking horses made by the craftsmen of the Radnorshire forests.

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Welsh Mountain Ponies

SK NoTypeDescription
25218019p Mountain Pony. Grey on hilly shades
252v19p ‘ding-a-ling’ variant
25318127p Cave Pony. White on subterranean shades
253v27p ‘ABC’ variant
25418237p Marsh Pony. Bay on marshy shades
254v37p ‘big leap’ variant
25518342p Rocking Pony. Dapple on countryside shades
255v42p ‘horny’ variant

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