Huge team effort produces inaugural Exmoor Pony Festival
The first Exmoor Pony Festival is due to take place at Exmoor National Park between August 27 and September 2.
The festival is being established by moorland breeders and dedicated local volunteers with the help of Heritage Lottery Funding from the Heart of Exmoor scheme.
Activities include Exmoor pony photography safaris, cream teas, an Exmoor pony talk and demonstration, an afternoon on a moorland farm with Victoria and Chris Eveleigh (the author and illustrator of the Katy's Ponies books), plus a Horse Agility demonstration with newly crowned world champion Exmoor pony stallion Hawkwell Versuvius.
"The Exmoor Pony Festival gives you the chance to see these beautiful ponies in their native environment and meet some of the people who take care of the precious moorland herds," said Jason Ball, Heart of Exmoor scheme manager.
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"Whether you aim to buy an Exmoor pony, learn more about them, or you simply feel fascinated by Exmoor Ponies, the festival offers a great selection of events. It is a real team effort by moorland farmers and volunteers alongside the Exmoor Pony Society, the Moorland Mousie Trust and Equine Tourism, with everyone helping to organise events and promote what's."
The festival aims to foster an appreciation of the breed and to attract pony buyers to Exmoor National Park. Exmoor Ponies are excellent for riding, often winning competition prizes, and with a talent for Horse Agility – their high intelligence apparently linked to life in the wild as free-roaming herds.
Exmoor Ponies have inspired well-known pony books such as Moorland Mousie by Golden Gorse, and the Katy's Ponies trilogy by local author and pony breeder Victoria Eveleigh.
For event details, or to get involved with the Exmoor Pony Festival please visit heartofexmoor.org.uk or call Jason Ball on 01398 322164.