Homes wanted for some very special mountain ponies

Starting at 10.30am, the special sale of Section A semi-feral foals will take place at the McCartneys Auctioneers at Brecon Livestock Market, Warren Road, Brecon on Saturday 23rd October and for the first time ever, the derogation sale will allow the native rare breed of Welsh Mountain pony to be transported to the Brecon Market without a Passport or microchip.    
With funding support from Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority and Countryside Council for Wales, the Hill Pony Improvement Societies of Wales have been working with the Welsh Assembly Government and PONT, to allow for derogation status for the semi-feral ponies.  Iconic to the Welsh landscape, these beautiful little ponies are key to the genetic integrity of all Welsh pony breeds and in the conservation of the commons they roam.  However, their low economic value has made it difficult for owners to afford the additional costs of passport and now microchips.  Introducing derogation status means that breeders of these hill ponies are able to manage their herds on special pre-defined areas of hill land and remove surplus stock without incurring the additional costs of a passport or microchip prior to sale. 

Once sold, the buyer will then need to pay for the microchip and passport – which will be added to the bill of sale – and completed on site with the assistance of a qualified vet.  Representatives from the Welsh Assembly Government’s Farm Development Division and the RSPCA have been invited to attend the sale.
Ceri Bevan, Sustainable Communities Officer for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority said:  “This is an important milestone for the Hill Pony Improvement Societies of Wales and the success of this sale will go a long way to secure the future of the Welsh Mountain Pony and the vital role they play in the grazing regime on some of our most important habitats. These are wonderfully hardy little ponies and although they are untamed at the moment many go on to make ideal companions or children’s ponies due to their kind temperament and trustworthy nature. 
“I own two hill ponies myself, and their hardy constitution means they require little maintenance because they are used to harsh weather conditions.  If anyone is looking to bring on a pony for the future this is a fantastic opportunity and I’d urge would-be buyers to go along to the sale and have a chat with some of the pony breeders and other owners that will be there because you’ll really get to know a lot about the history and care that these animals will require.  It would be a real boost for the breeder to see their ponies going to good homes.”
Colin Thomas, Secretary for the Hill Pony Improvement Societies of Wales said:  “The derogation was achieved with the support of many leading organisations in Wales. The Rare Breeds Survival Trust also included supportive evidence in correspondence.  The animals to which the derogation has been given are clearly defined and their numbers are minute compared to the whole equine population.

“We have put a derogation sale system that his open to breeders and the general public to support and view.  In my opinion it is vital that such genetics of these registered semi-feral Section A hill ponies are preserved in the Welsh Pony and Cob Society Stud Book.  These ponies also make an important contribution to the culture, landscape and biodiversity of Wales which is irreplaceable.”

For more information on the terms of the sale please visit:  or contact Colin Thomas at  or telephone: 01685 382730.                             
Pictures:  Copyright of Hill Pony Improvement Societies of Wales
For copies of the pictures please visit our website or contact me directly.
1.    The sale is confined to foals which must be by Premium or approved stallions, which have been inspected and passed by the Welsh Pony and Cob Society Inspectors in the year of 2009.
2.    Each sale application form must have a signed declaration by the Hill Pony Improvement Society Secretary, to say that the colt/filly so described was bred on the Hill/Common under the jurisdiction of the approved Hill Pony Improvement Society.
3.    Strict sale conditions will apply in accordance with the Auctioneers and Derogation regulations.  For more information on the regulations please visit:
4.    Entries by catalogue only – deadline date October 8th 2010.
5.  PONT, Pori Natur a Threftadaeth, is the Welsh partner in the Grazing Advice Partnership.  PONT exists primarily to encourage and facilitate appropriate and sustainable grazing for the benefit of wildlife, landscape and the cultural heritage of Wales.