Manipuri Pony

The Manipuri pony is a breed of pony developed in India. Experts disagree on its exact origin, although they do agree that it is an ancient breed, possibly developed from either the Tibetan pony or a cross between the Mongolian Wild Horse and the Arabian. First mentioned in written chronicles in 1584, Manipuri ponies were used as cavalry horses throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they were in demand by the British for use as polo ponies. Breed numbers have dwindled, however, mainly due to exports, and today the population is very low. In 2007, a genetic study was conducted on the Manipuri and four other Indian equine breeds. The Manipuri was shown to be genetically close to three other Indian pony breeds, but genetically more distant from the Marwari, the sole Indian horse breed in the study. The Manipuri pony was originally bred for polo and military usage, and today is bred mainly for playing polo and racing, although it is also in demand for military transport use.

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Manipuri Pony - Uses
... introduced into the area of Manipur state as early as the seventh century, and Manipuri ponies were one of the first breeds used in the game ... during the 19th century while watching it played on Manipuri ponies in India ... Manipuri ponies are often also used to play sagol kangjei, a version of polo believed to be close to what was originally played when the sport was invented ...