Dartmoor Pony Horses
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About Dartmoor Pony HorsesAbout Dartmoor Pony Horses

Photo supplied by the Victorian Dartmoor Group Karanah Park Pony Stud - Victoria ©


Over many centuries poniesrnwere allowed to run freely on the high moorland of Devon in the south west ofrnEngland. These ponies were well adapted to the harsh climate. As the tradernroute between Exeter and Plymouth became more important the native ponies camernin contact with the many different horse breeds that travelled on that road.rnThey also were influenced by Arabian and Barb horses brought back by Crusaders.rnDuring the Industrial Revolution the Dartmoor Ponies were crossed with smallrnShetland Ponies in order to produce a breed small enough to work in the mines. Unfortunatelyrnthis led to a decline in the popularity, and population, Dartmoor ponies. Theyrnwere crossed with Welsh Mountain Ponies, Polo Ponies, and Hackneys to save thernbreed.

In 1899 the first Dartmoor Stud Book was formed, which setrnheight limits for stallion to 14 hands high and for mares to 13.2 hands high.rnAbout twenty years later the limit was reduced to the present height of 12.2rnhands high. After World War II there was a decline in true Dartmoor Ponies andrnin 1988 the Dartmoor Pony Society Moor Scheme was set up to save the breed.rnFarmers with unregistered pure-bred ponies were encouraged to register them andrnto provide them with pedigree stallions.

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