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Dartmoor pony

 

The Dartmoor pony is one of the horse breeds that have lived on Dartmoor England for centuries and is used for a variety of disciplines. Because of the extreme weather conditions experienced on the moors, the Dartmoor is a particularly hardy breed with excellent stamina. Over the centuries it has been used as a working animal by local tin miners and quarry workers. It is kept in a semi-feral state on Dartmoor.

     Despite this, numbers living on the open moor have declined from an estimated 5000 in 1900 to about 300 registered ponies today. Only around 800 ponies were known to be grazing the moor in the spring of 2004.[1] ... 

     ... 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.[8] World War I and World War II were devastating to the breed. Only a handful of ponies were registered during World War II. However, after the war, local people began to inspect and register as many ponies as they could, and by the 1950s, numbers were back up. 

     Two schemes have been introduced to halt the decline in numbers, and broaden the gene pool of the Dartmoor Pony. The Dartmoor Pony Moorland Scheme (DPMS) was established in 1988 and is administered by the Dartmoor Pony Society and the Duchy of Cornwall, as well as being supported by the Dartmoor National Park. In 2004 a new scheme, the Dartmoor Pony Preservation Scheme (DPPS), was introduced, and herds taking part in this new scheme must enter one mare each year to the DPMS. The Dartmoor Pony has been granted Rare Breed status.[11] ...

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