dartmoor pony

The Dartmoor Pony was used in medieval times for carrying heavy loads of tin from the mines across the moor. It suffered greatly from the infusion of Shetland blood in the years between 1789 and 1832, when breeders decreased the numbers of purebred stock while trying to produce a suitable pit pony. When the mines closed, some ponies were kept for farming, but most of the ponies were turned out onto the moor. Ponies were bred at a prison in the early 1900s up until the 1960s, and used by guards for escorting prisoners. The first attempt to define and register the breed was in 1898, when the ponies were entered into a studbook started by the Polo Pony Society. In 1924, the breed society was founded, and a studbook opened. The Dartmoor received Arabian blood from the stallion Dwarka, foaled in 1922, as well as Dwarka’s son, The Leat. It also received Welsh blood from the stallion Dinarth Spark. It also had infusions of Fell Pony blood. World War I and World War II were devastating to the ponies. Only a handful of ponies were registered in World War II. However, local people began to inspect and register as many ponies as they could, and by the 1950s, numbers were back up. The Dartmoor Pony Moorland Scheme (DPMS), established in 1988 in a bid to halt the decline in numbers and along with the Dartmoor Pony Society, runs a breeding scheme. The Dartmoor Pony has since been granted Rare Breed status. The scheme involves turning out approved mares with a purebred stallion for the summer, and has created a great improvement on the foals being born.

The Dartmoor pony roams wild in Dartmoor National Park, Devon, in the United Kingdom. It is closely related to the Exmoor Pony.


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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dartmoor Pony".