The Exmoor Pony
The Exmoor pony is the oldest native pony breed in Britain and yet is currently listed as an endangered rare breed. Approximately 3,000 of these ponies survive worldwide, of which around 500 still live free on Exmoor where you can spot them enjoying the moors.
The Moorland Exmoor Pony Breeders Group (MEPBG) was established in 2014 by Exmoor farmers and landowners, including the Exmoor National Park Authority and the National Trust, to improve breeding programmes, moorland management, welfare, promotion and opportunities for the Exmoor ponies of Exmoor National Park.
MEPBG Member Herds:
1 Westwilmer Herd 4 (MR & SK Westcott - Dunkery Commons)
2 Holtball Herd 11 (NG & DL Westcott - Porlock Vale),
3 Withypoole Herd 23 (Milton family - Withypool and Anstey Commons),
4, 5 Herds 42 and 52 (Exmoor National Park Authority - Haddon Hill & North Hill),
6 Moorland Herd 99 (Dart family - Molland Moor),
7 Porlock Herd 100 (Coldicutt family - Porlock Hill),
8 Farleywater Herd H67 (South family - Buscombe),
9 Tippbarlake Herd 387 (Floyd family - Brendon Common)
10 Foreland Herd (National Trust - Countisbury & Kipscombe)
Look out for the annual Heritage Exmoor Pony Festival, established in 2014 to celebrate and promote the Exmoor Ponies of Exmoor National Park, and particularly, the foals who have to leave the moors after the autumn gatherings and find good opportunities. The festival is organised by the Moorland Exmoor Pony Breeders Group and Exmoor Pony Project.
Watch a film on Exmoor Pony Gathering here.
The Exmoor Pony Project, based in Exmoor National Park, is run by Nick and Dawn Westcott and helps to give Exmoor pony foals, youngsters and older ponies good opportunities. They work with other herd owners, breeders and enthusiasts to help Exmoor ponies and to promote the breed. They encourage positive, trust-based handling and training and campaign for Exmoor pony welfare and management improvements. Dawn Westcott is also the author of real-life Exmoor pony books Wild Pony Whispering, Wild Stallion Whispering and Wild Herd Whispering
More about The Exmoor Pony Project here.