Dartmoor Farmers

Without the dedication and passion from the generations of Dartmoor farmers who carefully breed, care for and manage the herds of pedigree and heritage Dartmoor ponies on Dartmoor, valuable bloodlines would be lost forever, and this incredible, endangered native breed would be in deeper trouble than it is at the moment.

 

It’s not the easiest of life missions, for sure! On Dartmoor there are many types, sizes, colours and breeds of pony stallions running free, meaning that pedigree Dartmoor pony breeders have quite a challenge on their hands. If they wish to use their ancient Commoners grazing rights to run ponies on the open moor to retain hardiness as well as beauty, and yet keep their mares safe from becoming pregnant to unknown stallions they have to use some strategic measures.

 

Several farms are now running a strong vasectomised stallion out on Dartmoor with their breeding mares in an attempt to protect them from mixed breed stallions and stray colts. Some are running a strong, experienced stallion with their mares, and some a gelding or two with the herd. Breeding is often done with quality pedigree stallions kept back on the farm, so that a farmer can try to breed only for the demands they know they have, then the mares run on the commons all throughout the rest of the year.

 

For more information on Dartmoor Pony Herd Management, you can read Robyn Petrie-Ritchie’s article in Active Dartmoor magazine here.

Elizabeth Newbolt-Young

The Shilstone Rocks Stud, established in 1958, consistently breeds top class champion Dartmoor ponies. They have won Sire, Mare and Stallion of the year, inter breed ridden and in hand championships, and have qualified for Olympia and Horse of the Year (being highly placed in the finals of both these prestigious events). In fact, our ponies are winning all over the world, in hand and under saddle. We have always aimed at breeding a rugged native pony, but at the same time, with quality and substance. Temperament is one of the main considerations.

Sue Martin - Pizwell Farm, Postbridge

Frank and Sue have grown up on Dartmoor so have many years experience of animals on Dartmoor, particularly ponies. We farm at Pizwell Farm, Postbridge, one of the ancient tenaments of the Moor. As well as our South Devon cattle & Cheviot sheep we have chosen to keep pedigree ponies but run them on the moor in a traditional manner. Sue is a Dartmoor Pony Society A Panel judge and more than happy to offer any advice you may need. We are proud to breed quality Dartmoor ponies for their temperament and suitability to become children's ponies.

Sue Hutchings - Yardworthy Farm, Chagford

Sue runs a herd of pedigree ponies near Fernworthy Forest - ponies are always of good bone and substance. Tough, strong ponies capable of living out in some of the harshest weather Dartmoor can bring.

Sandra Dodd, Chubb Farm, Peter Tavy, Nr Tavistock

Herd Information

Our small herd of ponies run the common alongside our cattle and sheep. We only keep Dartmoor type ponies. The ponies are gathered from the common twice a year; but seen on a regular basis by one of the family!

Mrs Diana Alford - East Week, South Zeal

Herd History

The Cawsand Herd of Dartmoor Ponies goes back 5 generations of Dartmoor Pony Keepers. Superb producer of ponies with strong bone, good conformation and excellent temperaments. Whether for the show ring or as a family friend one of our ponies will make a special addition to your home.

Michael Mr Tim Whitley - Hedge Barton, Widecombe

The Whitley's have been keeping ponies on Dartmoor for two generations with the third generation taking a keen interest. From Grandfather to grandson / daughter the whole family are involved in rounding the ponies up, bringing  the youngstock back onto farm for handling. The herd of 14 Heritage approved mares put to a pedigree stallion cover the areas between Widecombe Hill to Houndtor. These mares produce big, strong and kind tempered ponies suitable as riding and driving, but equally suited to conservation grazing. A selection of stock ranging from weaned foals to 3yr old handled mares are available.

Ken & Daff Edwards - Langworthy Farm, Widecombe

Herd History

We started our herd with three mares who came from the moors with no identification marks on them. They were all of Dartmoor type and so were graded as SR1, which means they were eligible to enter the Dartmoor Pony Society's Supplementary Register, as Supplementary Register 1.

Justine Colton - Tor Royal, Princetown

Justine Colton - Tor Royal, Princetown

We are a farming family, David, Justine and our three grown up children – Rowan and William work with us having both attended agricultural collage and completed apprenticeships. Our daughter is presently at university training to be an Occupational Therapist.

David has always farmed on Dartmoor and Justine has a background in administration and hospitality. Most of us live at Tor Royal Farm, along with our working collies, stable cats, daughter Adele’s terrier ‘Gem’ along with Bertie and Penny Peacock.

John French and Kerry Smith - Mitchelcombe Farm

Herd Information

The French family have been farming in Mitchelcombe since the 1870's.

In the heyday of the farm the family ran a large herd of over 250 Dartmoor ponies on Holne common. Today a small herd of 25 traditional type Dartmoor ponies are managed by John French and his business partner Kerry Smith. They are carefully chosen for hardiness, confirmation and temperament ensuring that the offspring of this tough, semi-feral herd will be suitable to train with a view to selling them as wonderful family ponies.

Anton Coaker and Alison Geen - Sherberton Farm

The Coakers have farmed and bred ponies at Sherberton for over 160 years.   We keep pedigree Dartmoors and both pedigree Dartmoor breeders and other Dartmoor farmers have used the Sherberton bloodlines.  They are not mollycoddled and run with our pedigree Belted and Riggit Galloways and hill sheep on rough ground rising from 1000 ft above sea level. Please ask for more details as we have other ponies for sale than those listed.

Graham Colton and Verity Nicholls – Peek Hill Farm, Walkhampton, Near Yelverton

Graham and Verity have a passion for ponies and have kept a herd of pedigrees Dartmoors for many years. They always have a selection of riding and conservation grazing ponies coming through the system. Contact admin@dpht.co.uk for more information.

Hannah and Luke Fursdon - Lower Town Farm, Poundsgate

The Blackator Herd

The Fursdon family have been farming on Dartmoor for over thirty years, but have recently started breeding Dartmoor ponies again after a long break.

 

With the help of Luke and Hannah Fursdon, a qualified horse behaviourist and trainer, Miles and Gail Fursdon bought a small herd of mares in 2008 to run with their licenced Dartmoor stallion Merribridge Groomsman. Luke and Hannah manage the Dartmoor herd, everything from regular worming to handling.

Wykeham House, Station Road, Okehampton, Devon EX20 1DY / jenny@visitdartmoor.co.uk

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