The new British Curly Horse and Pony Society will be launched this week.

A small group of owners in the UK have got together to create the society for the breed — the American Bashkir curly horse — led by Louise Parker, who breeds them at her Trevor Hall Stud in Denbighshire.

“We’ve registered the society and are in the process of affiliating to the International Curly Horse Society,” she said.

The first board meeting will be held on 13 November.

Sarah Rymer, who owns a five-year-old curly pony called Echo, is one of the first members.

“We are setting it up as there’s nothing over here for the breed,” she said. “They are lovely — quiet and sensitive — and we just want to raise people’s awareness.”

There are between 40-50 curly horses and ponies in the UK and 26 of those are at Ms Parker’s Welsh stud.

“I fell in love with curlies when I saw one in Spain two years ago,” she told H&H. “They have the most amazing characters and are easy to train.

“Everyone who meets them is bowled over, so numbers are swelling quite quickly.”

The breed is also hypoallergenic for humans, as they have less of a certain protein in their bodies. This means those allergic to horses are less likely to be affected by the breed.

The horse is believed to have originated in Russia and is popular in the US, but there are only around 4,000 registered curly horses in the world.

For more information, visit www.bchaps.com.

This article was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound, 11 November ’10