One of the joys of the west country lifestyle for my wife Paula and I is the close proximity we have to the wildlife like these wonderful wild Exmoor ponies in our special feature article today. Watch the amazing roundup and the “Black Beauty” soundtrack that accompanies. ENJOY!
This short film shows the August 2015 gathering of the world’s largest herd of free-living wild Exmoor ponies from one of Exmoor National Park’s largest and wildest moorland areas – Brendon Common and the surrounding enclosures. This took place during Heritage Exmoor Pony Festival week, which enabled many other Exmoor pony enthusiasts and visitors to Exmoor to watch this amazing sight – especially the awesome spectacle of the herd crossing at Lancombe!
The Tippbarlake Herd 387 ponies are owned by the Floyd family. You’ll see the ponies gathered from across this vast area, spanning some 8,000 acres, brought together and then back to the home farm at Brendon Barton. The herd has been brought in so the foals can have DNA samples taken to verify their parentage (which is a passport requirement for pedigree Exmoor ponies) and microchips inserted. They are then returned to the moor until the next gathering in late Oct/Nov when they are weaned and some will be looking for good homes, particularly colt foals who cannot remain on the moor.
The Exmoor pony is an endangered ancient British native breed, with the free-living moor bred ponies of Exmoor National Park especially rare – and important. Living wild & free on Exmoor helps to preserve their natural behaviours & characteristics – and safeguard their True Moorland Type. Free-living family Exmoor pony herds like the Tippbarlake herd are vitally important to Exmoor pony gene pool.
You will also see four Fell mares running with the herd, who belong to another commons grazier. These mares are also part of the permitted moorland grazing scheme and preserving the hardiness and ‘wildness’ of Fell ponies is an important conservation issue. We continue to encourage graziers to help preserve and protect Exmoor ponies by selecting this indigenous breed to run on the moorland areas. It is very important that the graziers are motivated to continue to do so through the provision of an efficient, straightforward and cost-effective Exmoor pony registration system that will help them maximise opportunities to safeguard and maintain the wellbeing of the ponies. Much work continues to achieve that important objective on Exmoor. COUNTRY LIFESTYLE WEST
Filmed by kind permission of Mr & Mrs Nigel Floyd & Miss Jessica Floyd – owners of the Tippbarlake Herd, Exmoor National Park
A film by Dawn Westcott. Photos from Helen Disberry and Julie Cope. Aerial clips from a spectator and from Sian Boakes.
Music: Our grateful thanks to Iron Maiden ‘Phantom of the Opera’
and Soundtrack & Theme Orchestra ‘Theme from Black Beauty’ (iTunes) both of which gave a perfect tempo for the pace of the ponies!
This short film is a bit of fun and ‘not-for-profit’ with no fees charged. It has not been ‘monetised’ to benefit from advertising revenues. It is aimed at promoting awareness of the endangered Moorand Exmoor ponies of Exmoor National Park.