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The future of the Dartmoor pony is in crisis

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I'm afraid the famous Dartmoor ponies are in trouble. People aren't buying them like they did and many of the foals are having to be shot and fed to the lions at Dartmoor zoo. A slaughterman said this a most upsetting experience. I know I couldn't do it.

 

A contraceptive injection has been a success but land is required to monitor the ponies. Dartmoor will certainly not be the same without them if the worse comes to the worse.

 

http://www.itv.com/news/westcountry/2014-02-14/the-future-of-the-dartmoor-pony-is-in-crisis/

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As I used to be on the committee for our local riding club and organised shows and events as well as working with the one plentyiful local riding schools and clubs, I can honestly say the "blame claim" culture started the problem, as more and more smaller and indepenent schools and clubs fell due to rising costs and merged with others to try and keep going, all due to one big factor, public liability costs, they have risen considerably in the past two decades, and now where once we had many riding schools, the very places that would have ponies for children to ride without many having to own one, have now closed.

 

These ponies, sadly, no longer fetch any money and the cost of keeping/breeding them no longer makes the long term, larger market for them viable, it is a sad time for the breed (but the market is not just falling there, overall apart from the top end it is a poor market to be in now).

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Friends of the Dartmoor Hill Pony an organisation set up to support and promote the ponies of Dartmoor in order to give them a future both on and off the moor. As a result of the transport legislation imposed by the eu and the recession we did not sell all our ponies that have to leave the moor each year, people have been encouraged to keep them for the winter and get them quiet in order to give them a second chance a future. These ponies are worth their weight in gold as tools of ecology on the moor and with a tlc and time make wonderful ponies for riding and driving.

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They will not go, but their number will be reduced though.

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