Want to learn more about rare native breeds? Free roadshow of native ponies comes to UK

  • Enthusiasts can now learn more about five of the UK native breeds at the Roadshow of Native Ponies which is to be held across four days in 2022/2023.

    The promotional roadshow will focus on Highlands, Fell, Dales, Exmoors and Dartmoors and although places must be booked, the events are free to attend.

    The event is aimed at  judges, stewards and competitors who want to learn more about specific breeds and their heritages.

    The following four venues will host the roadshow:

    Northern — Unicorn Centre (North Yorkshire) 18 April

    Scottish — Champfleurie Equestrian (West Lothian) 18 September

    South Western — The Grange Equestrian (Devon) 1 October

    Southern — Unicorn Trust (Gloucestershire) 1 April 2023

    Each event will run from 10am to 4pm. Selected breed representatives will take part in breed group discussions hosted by a senior breed panel judge, who will discuss breed type, conformation and way of going.

    All the breeds will then come together for a go-round and individual performance with a speaker discussing each pony. The event will close with a session during which spectators can ask panel judges questions.

    The idea of the roadshows first came about in 2019, when the Highlands, Fells and Dales societies considered running a joint educational event,” said chief organiser Jill Graham. The Exmoors also came on board and two roadshow events were planned for 2020, one in the South and one in the North. Sadly, these had to be postponed due to the pandemic, but the intention was always to reorganise them once people could meet safely again.

    Chris Grant, our co-organiser, contacted me at the end of 2021, with a view to getting them going once again, this time including the Dartmoor pony. A working group was formed with representatives from each breed, and while finding dates and venues has been challenging, everyone has done their bit to help.

    We’re looking forward to showcasing these numerically smaller but no less important breeds, and we have some wonderful speakers and ponies lined up for each event. We hope as many people as possible will come to what should be an interesting and informative day.

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