A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DARTMOOR HILL PONY ASSOCIATION
In the Spring of 2005 a majority of the pony breeders on Dartmoor joined together, and formed the DARTMOOR HILL PONY ASSOCIATION, with the aim of securing the long term future of the ponies on Dartmoor, regardless of type or colour. The first criterion being to survive and thrive on the moor, and secondly to adhere to the main characteristics of the DARTMOOR HILL PONY as agreed by the Association.
At the moment there are approximately 1100 mares on the moor, producing around 900 foals per year. The tourist value of the ponies is immeasurable. And they are an irreplaceable conservation tool, keeping the moors open for the increasing number of walkers who use the moors ALL THE YEAR.
Dartmoor without its ponies is unthinkable, but now the cost of keeping these ponies has reached crisis point, with the price of a foal, even if sold, not covering the cost of its production.
These ponies are highly valued as children’s riding ponies, or adult’s driving ponies, but unfortunately the time scale between a foal’s age (six months), and the production of a safe riding/driving pony, 5/6 years, led to many foals being unsaleable, especially the plain coloured ponies.