The Great Pony Famine was a world-wide epidemic that struck the world in 1843. Reducing pony populations to mere shadows of what they had previously been, the world did not fully recover until about the time of the Second American Civil War (1960-1965). The sudden lack of ponies, and by consequence horses (which feed on live ponies), was a major spur for the development of the US Interstate Highway System, which was an untested idea at the time.
The causes of the famine are not completely known. It has been theorized by many historians that a disruption occurred in the fragile pony ecosystem; many believe that the period of growth and industrialization before the war may have caused this. Without traditional sources of food and grazing lands, many wild ponies fell victim to the harsh forces of Mother Nature. With pony populations already in sharp decline, there was less pony foreplay, less pony sex, less pony procreation, and therefore, less ponies. The first recorded victim, a female named Sprinkles from Boise, Idaho, died of acute loneliness and internal hemorrhaging on August 17, 1843.
The long-reaching effects of the epidemic could be seen world-wide, prompting all nations to pledge support of some level of cooperation to prevent the further starvation of ponies. The United States formed the Association for Pony Repopulation, or APR, to combat the effects. By replanting traditional grazing pastures, encouraging artificial insemination of ponies, and discouraging violence against the helpless animals, the APR had some measure of success.
Approximately $52 million U$A dollars were set aside by the international community for the protection of these graceful animals of the deep. Despite apocalyptic levels of famine-related pony deaths, the swift world response paved the way for the complete recovery of the indigenous pony population by 1975.
Approximately 170 trillion ponies died during the great Pony Epidemic of 1843. This greatly affected pony populations the world over, causing dramatic inflation in the marketable price of ponytails, and clogging local sewer systems. The countries hit hardest, broken down by country, are as follows: