The Old Story of the End of Ponies on Dartmoor

The Guardian has a piece on the plight of the Dartmoor Hill Pony. Apparently prices are falling, and by the close of a recent auction only 20 of 60 animals had been sold. The piece goes on to say that “in the last century” the hill pony thrived. This isn’t strictly true. I’ve blogged about […]

Whole Heap of Little Horse Links

Nice New York Times piece on the family that bred Kentucky Derby winner Orb. Post-and-rail and lush pastures galore. Orb is the seventh generation descendent of a mare the family bought in 1926: truly the breeder’s dream  (NYT) A restored cheese barge (they existed!) is the first horse-drawn canal boat to cross the Chirk aqueduct […]

Plus Ça Change: British Ponies To Slaughter

Letter to The Times, September 22nd, 1928: “I am taking all possible measures to find out whether the Dartmoor ponies are going to Belgium for slaughter, and, if so, how and where they are killed. We have already traced one truckload which was travelling from Friday to Sunday in England. Miss A. M. F. Coles, […]

Shetland Ponies out of Fashion?

A long piece in The Shetland Times reports that the economic crisis is putting the pinch on the traditional Shetland pony, and how changing fashions in colour and size of pony are affecting the stalwarts in the isles: Looking around the marts, my first impression is of a sea of red-and-white backs. You’d think Shetland […]

The Price of Cuteness

I’d like to say straight off that I’m not a vet, also that to read this post properly you will have to click on a lot of links and read the material sourced at other sites in order to make up your own mind about this story. Anyone who is a vet is welcome to […]

Alien Invasion?

A little historical compare and contrast. Fascinating how the words “extinction” and “hardiness” keep echoing through. This from the BBC’s website on the 10th March, 2011: Dartmoor ponies ‘extinction fears’ over hardiness gene Conservationists are concerned the Dartmoor hill pony could be in danger of becoming extinct. Numbers have dropped from about 30,000 at the […]

Poor Beasts on Bodmin

Very upsetting images in this BBC report from Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, where the corpses of emaciated ponies have been found. It’s unclear if they were killed by disease or were victims of  neglect by a non-commoner owner who then dumped them.

Happy Eponalia!

Don’t forget to leave an apple, some beer and a candle out for Epona, the goddess of ponies! Alternatively, enter her virtual shrine here. Goodness knows, Britain’s ponies could do with the help: Dartmoor Hill Ponies, Welshies and now even New Forest ponies are being hit hard by the recession.

The Pony Cull

UPDATE: I’ve added a second post here with a historical perspective on ponies on the moor. A tip off about the mass culling of Dartmoor Hill ponies appeared on Horse and Hound On-Line yesterday, and appears to have been taken up by “Daily Mail Reporter”: Over 700 Dartmoor hill ponies have been killed in the […]