The Hucul Horse is a direct descendant of the Europena wild horse, the tarpan. By the efforts of primarily O. Leisky and other volunteers, the Hucul Club began in what is now the Czech Republic, as part of the TIS - Federation for Conservation of Nature and Landscape, in 1972, when only some 300 pure-blooded individuals of this ancient breed remained on the planet. The goal of the Club, an association of volunteers and enthusiasts, has been to preserve the breed and find it a new use and reason for existence in the modern world.
From the modest beginnings with only five breeding horses in 1972 Hucul Club grew to today's 80 purebred hucul horses, with a genetic pool of high-quality. During that time more than 200 foals were weaned. Hucul Club became a pioneer of the world efforts in saving and conservation of the breed, helped to establishe the hucul horse as part of the FAO protected gene pool (1979) as well as the acknowledgment of the breed as a genetic resource of the Czech Republic. Participated in founding the Hucul International Feteration (1994), and found a place for the hucul horse in education (man and nature relationship)
, health care (hippotherapy, i.e., aid in treatment of disorders, orhopedic as well as child cerebral palsy and some internal disorders), and in recreational and endurance riding. The hucul horse acquitted itself very well in all these areas of use, because of its resilience, endurance, easy upkeep, and friendly disposition.
In 1974, Hucul Club organized the first ecological camp focused on trail riding and horse care, and since that time more than 6000 people took part in more than 160 such camps. In 1976 Hucul Club was the first in Central Europe to start offering hippotherapy (also known as 'riding for the disabled') sessions, under the professional guidance of professor Dr. K.Lewit, Dr.Sc. In the beginnings the Hucul Club carried even the program costs on its own. To date, some four thousand affected children (and adults) took advantage of the
hippotherapy program. Two state-wide conferences and one international one were organized by Hucul Club, its activities were the subject of several dissertations as well as an inspiration to a book of fiction and a film. Our huculs acted in two feature films, and even on stage, in an operetta in Prague’s Karlin Theatre, where the stalion Jura kept receiving applause in the middle of the production. The scope of activities of Hucul Club also encompasses a great number of cultural and sports events - hosting of endurance races as well as professional work in the preparation of the Breeding program and the Hucul Horse Stud Book, or re-introduction of the breed into its homeland in the Carpathian mountains in today's Ukraine.
The saving of the hucul horse’s genetic pool is a unique example of combination of ecology, breeding, and health-care disciplines in a project that may succed only once or twice in a generation.
Since 1985, Hucul Club has been organizing the Czechoslovak Endurance race, in which horses of many different of breeds show off their stamina under saddle, over field distances from 40 km up. Maximal attention is paid to the health and condition of the horses during these events. Hucul horses, despite their smaller size, are usually very successful, often besting many of the "big" athletic breeds..