Shetland pony society withdraws from sale after ‘serious welfare concerns’

  • The Shetland Pony Stud Book Society has announced it has withdrawn the auspices of the society from the annual Shetland pony sale which takes place at Thimbleby & Shorland’s auction mart in Reading.

    After the 2018 sale, which was the 50th year the fixture had been held at the market, the society says it received a number of complaints from people who had attended, who apparently expressed “serious concern” for the welfare of some of the ponies who were sold .

    On behalf of the society council, president Jill Jones confirmed the society will not be involved with next year’s event, but is unsure whether Reading Mart will continue to hold a pony sale .

    “Council received an unprecedented amount of complaints from members and unanimously decided that there was no option but to resign our involvement with the sale,” she said.

    “Most of the complaints were to do with concerns over the welfare of some of the ponies and how they were being treated by some of the purchasers outside of the ring.

    “The auctioneers are in the ring working hard to get the best prices for the ponies and they can’t often be outside to see what goes on.”  She claims “there is a distinct lack of supervision as well as a contingent of people who cannot be controlled”.

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    “We are by no means trying to stop the Reading sale but all we are saying is that regretfully we are no longer associated with it as a society,” Ms Jones added.

    The auction mart declined to comment when contacted by H&H.

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