The Prince of Wales has taken on the role of president of the Hackney Horse Society (HHS) as it bids to revive the breed, which is facing extinction.

Prince Charles, patron of the Rare Breed Survival Trust (RBST), has a keen interest in Britain’s rare breeds. HHS chairman Roger Bass said that it was “an honour that [the Prince] has recognised within that list the plight of the Hackney, both horse and pony, now critically endangered”.

The RBST considers a breed to be critical when the number of adult breeding females falls below 300. Figures from the RBST last year showed that there were fewer than 150 Hackney broodmares.

“His Royal Highness is a keen advocate for rare British breeds and well aware of their special qualities, diversity and history, all of which we are in danger of losing,” said Roger.

“The HHS feels privileged and extremely fortunate to have the support of His Royal Highness to promote the breeding of our wonderful Hackney horse and pony.

“Despite being now small in number, the pure-bred Hackney is still dominant in the show ring and the society is determined to reverse the decline in their fortunes and get the breed back on a firmer footing.”

The Prince has accepted the role for 2013-14.