NEWS FROM EXMOOR NATIONAL PARK
Exmoor Pony Festival 27 August – 2 September 2012
The first ever Exmoor Pony Festival will take place at various locations at Exmoor National Park this year 27 August – 2 September 2012. The festival is being established by moorland breeders and dedicated local volunteers with the help of Heritage Lottery Funding from the Heart of Exmoor scheme.
Activities include Exmoor Pony Photography Safaris, an afternoon on a moorland farm with Victoria and Chris Eveleigh the author and illustrator of the Katy’s Ponies books, plus a Horse Agility demonstration with world champion Exmoor Pony stallion Hawkwell Versuvius.
“The Exmoor Pony Festival gives you the chance to see these beautiful ponies in their native environment and meet some of the people who take care of the precious moorland herds,” announced Jason Ball, Heart of Exmoor scheme manager.
“Whether you aim to buy an Exmoor Pony, learn more about them, or you simply feel fascinated by Exmoor Ponies, the festival offers a variety of events.”
The festival aims to foster an appreciation of the breed and to attract pony buyers to Exmoor National Park. Exmoor Ponies are excellent for riding, often winning competition prizes, and with a talent for Horse Agility – their high intelligence apparently linked to life in the wild as free-roaming herds.
Exmoor Ponies have inspired well-known pony books such as ‘Moorland Mousie’ by Golden Gorse, and the Katy’s Ponies trilogy by local author and pony breeder Victoria Eveleigh.
Please visit heartofexmoor.org.uk for event details, or to get involved with the Exmoor Pony Festival.
Notes for Editors
The Exmoor Pony
Exmoor National Park is the home of the Exmoor Pony, an ancient and hardy breed perfectly adapted to the moorland landscape. They are one of our truly native mammals, having lived in Britain since the last Ice Age thaw approximately 10,000 years ago, and directly descended from the wild European horses known to be here 130,000 years ago.
Behind the picturesque scenes of Exmoor Ponies on moorland is an army of farmers, volunteers, inspectors and rangers who all work to secure the future of the free-roaming Exmoor Pony.
Heart of Exmoor
“Helping people to enjoy and appreciate Exmoor’s moorland and supporting those who take care of it.” The Exmoor Moorland Landscape Partnership runs a lottery-funded scheme that promotes moorland as the Heart of Exmoor. The scheme’s 15 projects invest half a million pounds to benefit the landscape and community. Visit heartofexmoor.org.uk for details or call 01398 322164.
The Exmoor Pony Society
A registered Charity, the Exmoor Pony Society was set up in 1921 for the registration of pure-bred Exmoor ponies, the conservation of the breed and the preservation of the breed standard as well as promoting the ponies to the general public. The Society holds the official stud book and, in accordance, with DEFRA legislation acts as a Passport Issuing Office. The Exmoor Pony Society offers training programmes for those wishing to be inspectors and judges as well as showing workshops and offers a number of bursaries to young people with a special interest in Exmoor ponies. The Society promotes the role of the Exmoor pony as a conservation grazer and a video is available for those wishing to learn more. The Society is involved in scientific research supporting projects worldwide. For more information, please visit exmoorponysociety.org.uk or call Sue McGeever on 0845 607 5350.
Friends of Exmoor Ponies
Friends of Exmoor Ponies was set up by members of the Exmoor Pony Society to provide a fund-raising arm to the Society and the team of volunteers travel to shows up and down the country to educate the public about this rare native breed. For more information, please visit friendsofexmoorponies.ltd.uk or call Dr Sue Baker on 01398 341501.
Clare O’ Connor, Exmoor National Park Authority. Direct Line: 01398 322244. Mobile: 07772 092128.
Official images available on request.