The Exmoor pony has become an endearing icon of the West Country, and the society that has been the ‘guardian’ of the breed since 1921 is looking to support exciting projects that further the animals’ welfare.
The Exmoor Pony Society, which maintains the official Exmoor pony studbook, is inviting applications for projects which contribute to sustaining the future of the breed. The number of Exmoor ponies running on Exmoor declined to around 50 at the end of WW2. Today over 500 registered ponies in 20 free-living herds can be seen within the Exmoor National Park. A further 3500 registered ponies are located across the UK and abroad both in domesticated and free-living environments. The breed is classed as ‘endangered’ by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust because of the limited genetic pool.
The Society will consider funding projects focused on conserving the population and safeguarding the breed, promoting registered Exmoor ponies, or encouraging responsible breeding.
Dr Sue Baker, author and Vice-President of The Exmoor Pony Society explains: “This is a really exciting opportunity to actively have a role in preserving the future of Britain’s oldest breed of native ponies.
“We’re looking to support projects which can truly contribute to the work of the Society. We’re pleased to currently support one such project – Debbie Davy’s Ph.D on breed conservation and re-wilding at Glasgow University.
“I’d encourage anyone who can demonstrate how their project will contribute, to get in touch with us.”