The name "Hackney" comes from the French word Hacquenee derived from the Latin word for horse, equus. The term, brought to England by the Normans in the 11th century, was fully assimilated into the English language by 1303. At that time the term meant a riding horse, as distinguished from the heavier warhorse, and later evolved to the abbreviated "Hack" meaning a riding horse or a hired carriage. The modern Hackney breed took only its name from Medieval times as it is rarely ridden because its conformation and extreme motion make it rough to ride. When crossed with modern Thoroughbreds, however, Hackneys have produced some excellent jumpers.
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