Miniature ponies are to get their own stud book in Ireland from February, following the recognition of the Miniature Horse and Pony Society of Ireland by the Irish department of agriculture.

Until now Irish horses had to be affiliated to foreign societies if they were to be registered as miniatures.

Chairman of the society Joan Hawkins said from January they will be able to issue passports to the 4,000 miniature ponies estimated to live in Ireland.

The first fully registered Irish miniature foals will be born from 2010.