Ponies I : Dene Fell Ponies in America Although not the first 3….

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up has been doing credit to Mrs.

Newall’s breeding.

The team was the winner of both Dressage and Junior divisions of the Fell Pony Points Scheme in 2007 and second overall.

Threats to the Breed As the market changes, people are breeding ponies that the market wants.

Now the ponies must be very mobile for competition and jumping.

They used to be used just for riding or driving and working on the hill farms.

Mrs.

Newall would hitch ponies to a tedder or harrow as part of their training.

Ponies are now up to height (14hh) where they used to be 13.1hh or 13.2hh. “We’re losing the compact pony with little ears, a tough pony.

Now they are leggier, with horse heads.

It’s a different market now.

There are a lot of people wanting to get back to the proper pony, though.” There’s also more emphasis on feather with some breeders.

Feather used to be cast in the summer Page 9 and it didn’t come round the front of the coronet band. “I call them feather dusters, when the feather comes round the front.” Rough land, like the ponies’ natural ground in Cumbria, is important to keep the ponies tough. “In some ways it’s a struggle as a breeder, being outside Cumbria.” Her ponies winter out, with only the foals coming in at night.

Best Wishes Mrs.

Newall was very pleased to be asked by the Fell Pony Society of North America to share her knowledge and experience and wishes all the best to our members. JM of President 2006,” The Fell Pony Society Newsletter, Volume 13, p. 9 quotes from Mrs.

Newall are from an interview by Jenifer Morrissey on April 14, 2008. 3 Letter from Mrs.

Newall to Jenifer Morrissey dated 27th June 2008 2All 1Election Mrs.

Newall riding Dene Dauntless, overall Champion at the Ponies of Britain Show held at Ascot Racecourse in the early 50s.

Photo courtesy Fell Pony Society. Dene Fell Ponies in America Although not the first, 3 yo Dene Darius is currently the only “Dene” Fell Pony on this side of the “pond”.

He is owned by Alison Emslie-Smith at Garrighyll Fell Pony Stud in Minnesota.

Darius’ first foal crop arrived in 2008. (Photos courtesy of Alison Emslie-Smith). Dene Darius’ latest progeny at Garrighyll Fell Pony Stud Page 10 Dene Darius The Fell Pony Express (FPSNA) – Spring/Summer 2008 Ask A Vet “My Fell pony keeps rubbing off his mane and tail, and seems really uncomfortable trying to scratch himself all the time.

Someone told me he could have ‘Sweet Itch’.

What is that and what can be done to treat it?” Sweet Itch, or Summer Seasonal Recurrent Dermatitis (SSRD), is a problem that affects thousands of horses, ponies and donkeys in many countries of the world to a greater or lesser degree.

Virtually all breeds and types of ponies and breeds can be affected, from tiny Shetland ponies to heavyweight draught horses, although the condition is rare in English Thoroughbreds.

In South Australia reports say that as many as 60% of horses and ponies are affected.

About 5% of the UK horse population are thought to suffer.

Although known by different names (eg Sommer Ekzem in Germany, Kasen in Japan, Queensland Itch in Australia), the symptoms are the same.

It can also occur in North America.

Symptoms include severe pruritus [itching], hair loss, skin thickening and flaky dandruff.

Exudative dermatitis [weeping sores, sometimes with a yellow crust of dried serum] may occur.

Without attention sores can suffer secondary infection.

The top of the tail and the mane are most commonly affected.

The neck, withers, hips, ears and forehead, and in more severe cases, the mid-line of the belly, the saddle area, the sides of the head, the sheath or udder and the legs may also suffer.

The animal may swish its tail vigorously, roll frequently and attempt to scratch on anything within reach.

It may pace endlessly and seek excessive mutual grooming from field companions.

When kept behind electric fencing with nothing on which to rub, sufferers may scratch out their mane with their hind feet and bite vigorously at their own tail, flanks and heels.

They may drag themselves along the ground to scratch their belly or sit like a dog and propel themselves round to scratch the top of their tail on the ground.

There can be a marked change in temperament – lethargy with frequent yawning and general lack of ‘sparkle’ may occur, or the horse may become agitated, impatient and, when ridden, lack concentration.

When flying insects are around he may become agitated, with repeated head shaking.

Diagnosis is not usually difficult – the symptoms and its seasonal nature (spring, summer and autumn) are strong indicators.

However symptoms can persist well into the winter months, with severely affected cases barely having cleared up before the onslaught starts again the following spring.

Horses that go on to develop Sweet Itch usually show signs of the disease between the ages of one and five and it is common for the symptoms to appear first in the autumn.

There is anecdotal evidence that stress (e.g moving to a new home, sickness, or severe injury) can be a factor when mature animals develop Sweet Itch.

Hereditary predisposition may be a factor in Sweet Itch and work to identify the gene(s) responsible is at an early stage.

However environmental factors play a major part – where the horse is born and where it lives as an adult are at least as significant as the bloodlines of its sire and dam.

Sweet Itch is not contagious, although if conditions are particularly favourable to a high Culicoides midge population, more than one horse in the field may show symptoms.

In the UK Sweet Itch is classed by Vets as a reportable condition, which must be disclosed by an owner to a prospective purchaser before the sale.

For the purpose of a vetting the allergy may be In the UK Sweet Itch is classed by Vets as a reportable condition, which must be disclosed by an owner to a prospective purchaser before the sale.

For the purpose of a vetting the allergy may be regarded as seriously as an unsoundness.

Sweet Itch is an allergic reaction and therefore an immune system problem.

Unfortunately these are notoriously complicated and difficult to deal with.

The disease is a delayed hypersensitivity to insect bites and results from an over-vigorous response by the animal’s immune system.

In the process of repelling invading insect saliva (which actually contains harmless protein) the horse attacks some of its own skin cells ‘by mistake’ and the resulting cell damage causes the symptoms described as Sweet Itch.

In the UK several species (of the 1,000 or so that exist) of the Culicoides midge and, to a lesser extent, the larger, humpbacked Simulium Equinum, a member of the blackfly family, are responsible.

Each has a preferred feeding site; Culicoides tend to be body feeders and the Simulium earfeeders.

Summers that are alternately sunny and rainy cause an increase . . .in the Culicoides adults numbers of midges. . .

Mainly rest among Under these conditions most horses herbage and are will show symptoms of Sweet Itch to most active in twisome degree.

Light, calm conditions.

Breeding sites are commonly in wet soil or moist, decaying vegetation.

They are tiny, with a wing length less than 2 mm and able to fly only a short distance (100 metres or so).

Culicoides are on the wing and breeding from as early as late March until the end of October, depending on geographical location.

There is only a short breeding season each year in the north of Scotland, while in the south of England larvae will hatch throughout the spring, summer and autumn, depending on weather conditions.

Seasonal variations in the weather can have an impact – recent winters have been milder and damper allowing breeding to start earlier.

Summers that are alternately sunny and rainy cause an increase in midge breeding habitats and therefore an increase in the numbers of midges that are Page 11 Volume 7, Number 1 — Melissa Kreuzer Dream Hayven Farm Kewaskum, WI Page 22 The Fell Pony Express (FPSNA) – Spring/Summer 2008 Over the Rainbow Bridge Lownthwaite Evelyn 1988-2008 gave birth to a lovely filly, aptly named “Laurelhighland Evelyn”.

They both did well, but a few weeks later old Evelyn showed signs of a wound infection.

This turned out to be from the dreaded MRSA —, a notoriously deadly and difficult to treat, hospital-acquired infection, seen in both humans and animals.

Nonetheless, Evelyn responded to treatment—at least initially, but later it recurred and biopsy confirmed the MRSA caused a rare, chronic/recurrent condition known as “botryomycosis”.

She appeared well otherwise so each time it recurred she was treated again.

Over a year after it started, however, the infection recurred again—this time worse than ever and Evelyn, despite eating well all the time, began to lose weight.

We suspected an underlying cancer, but there was nothing more we could do other than to try treatment with IV antibiotics once more.

I believed as long as Evelyn showed determination to live, we would help her as best we could.

This was an especially tough time for me, as I was receiving my own IV treatments in the form of immunosuppression for an autoimmune disease, and I knew if I caught what she had it would surely do me in! Nonetheless, we fought together— somehow willing each other on.

Evelyn was always tough as nails no matter what, and her strength was an inspiration.

She seemed better but then just a few weeks after she finished the antibiotics, on that cold January day, I saw her lying down in the run-in shed.

I knew something was terribly wrong — Evelyn would NEVER lay down—not unless she was foaling — because she was far too proud.

Sure enough I could see the infection had come back, and I could also see she was telling me she had had enough.

I made her as comfortable as I could in the barn until my husband put her to sleep to end her suffering.

She was buried in our backyard—at the highest point of the mountain, where she now rests in peace.

In the 9 years we owned her, Evelyn taught me about what a true Fell pony is—she epitomized the Breed Standard.

She had a heart of gold, and a constitution of iron.

She was reared on the fells at Lownthwaite, and never lost her true Fell spirit.

She was the alpha of the herd, and with just the flick of an ear could send the rest of the ponies into a tizzy.

And yet she was kind and patient enough for me to learn to drive a cart.

She was the first Fell in North America to be shown successfully in CDE, and was also a great broodmare—faithfully bestowing her true pony-like attributes on every offspring.

Her 4year-old daughter, Laurelhighland Lyric, remains with us, and we hope she will carry on her mother’s great legacy. . .

Goodbye, Evelyn — we sure miss you! Mary Jean Gould-Earley, MD Laurel Highland Farm, Cogan Station, Pennsylvania Page 23 (Above) Evelyn competing in her younger days in Florida with Mary Nygaard; (Below) Evelyn in winter, 2002, at our farm It was a sad and bitter cold day in January 2008 that we had to say goodbye to our dear old Lownthwaite Evelyn after a prolonged illness.

It started when Evelyn had the misfortune of being 10 months pregnant during a record heat wave in summer 2006, when temperatures soared more than 20 degrees above normal.

The combination of dehydration and a large, gravid uterus had caused her to colic from an impaction.

It was doubly unfortunate as my husband (the vet) was away so I had to bring her to Cornell.

The vets there admired her stoicism, and she sailed through the surgery.

A week later she Volume Page 23 7, Number 1 Visiting Fell Pony Studs In Cumbria By Megan Elisha Tong Murthwaite Mares I spent seven weeks with the Woolleys of Littletree Stud this past winter, as some of you know, studying Fell ponies and the business of running a fully-operating horse farm.

Having recently made the decision to begin breeding the ponies as well as training and driving, this time that I have passed steeped in Fell pony culture has proven to be absolutely invaluable.

Aside from the detailed education in conformation, movement, pony character, and all the ins and outs of the fell-bred pony, I also was able to have an absolute blast meeting all sorts of interesting people who were involved with breeding Fell ponies.

I was incredibly privileged to be able to tour a few studs during my visit.

Unfortunately for me, most of the herds were up the fell for the winter, but the Morlands, Thomas Capstick, Di Slack, and the Saunders were all kind enough to let me come by and get a tour of the ponies who were within visiting range.

I am so thankful to each of these people, and glad to have met them and their ponies.

Lunesdale: Lunesdale was, naturally, one of the studs that I was most eager to visit as my own dear stallion (Lunesdale Mercury) comes from the Lunesdale lines.

We were welcomed most kindly by Bert and Carole Morland, who were happy to show us the ponies that were within viewing distance.

I en- joyed visiting the flock of babies, and having dams and sires named as the furry black bodies flowed en masse from one end of their living space to the other.

The highlight of the visit, however, was our side trip to visit a lower land allotment where the older ponies or ones who were having trouble up the fell were spending their winter.

Among this little band were legendary fell matriarch and Mercury’s grand-dam Lunesdale White Lunesdale White Rose Volume Page 24 7, Number 1 Page 24 The Fell Pony Express (FPSNA) – Spring/Summer 2008 Rose and her renowned daughter, Lunesdale Rebecca.

They were aged 28 and 17 respectively, if I remember correctly, and oh they were marvelous! The wind screamed across their winter pasture like a pack of demons, racing on and on over the wide landscape, hemmed in by the fells until everything was erased by fog in the distance.

In this wild panorama, I could not take my eyes off White Rose, the fierce, tough little white mare whose blood runs in my own stallion’s veins.

She was gorgeous, and as self-possessed and healthy at 28 as any pony I can name.

I was immensely proud of her, and that a piece of her toughness and beauty was the legacy that I was continuing in a foreign country all the way across the ocean.

It is always such a treat to see ponies in the flesh that are related to my own, or to hear stories about my ponies from people I have never met before.

There is a kind of uncanny discord in seeing the grandmother of your stallion trotting strongly about in the Cumbrian wind.

It made me wonder if Mercury was missing this, the wildness of the weather, the wide and alluring countryside.

Raisbeck: I had heard great things about the well-known mare Raisbeck Casino and was excited to visit her and the breeder of Raisbeck ponies, Di Slack (who also, incidentally, trained my own Lune Valley Lauren “Laura” to ride, which sparked some very interesting comparative anecdotes about her).

Aside from Casino, there were a few lovely youngsters and broodmares to visit, one of which was a grey mare who was half-sister to Orton Hall Danny, the sire of Guards Jester my first fell Midnightvalley Poppy.

After meeting the ponies in the barns, we made the particularly beautiful trek up to the pasture where four stunning mares were spending their winter.

I was loath to have to look at the ponies and their fabulously dramatic landscape through the camera shutter, but I resigned myself to it with the promise of a few good photos to take home! Casino was actually the most difficult to get a decent shot of, as she stuck right with the people and wouldn’t walk off alone to pose.

There was a great deal of joking around as we compared the muddy, windblown pony in the pasture with us to the sparkling-clean, show-conditioned Casino in her photos! On a non-Fell note, we finished the visit with an absolutely fantastic meal and excellent conversation.

The Saunders’: My last stud visit was to the yet-un-prefixed farm owned by Paul and Carolyn Saunders.

Aside from being exceptionally nice and interesting people, the Saunders are the new owners of Guards Jester, whom I had always been dying to see! Called Pookie for his irresistibly grab-able cheeks, he was a treat to visit.

Jester is a lovely stallion with an immense measure of presence, especially for his small size.

I find it particularly evident in the case of Guards Jester why so often the first impression of a Fell pony is that of an imposing and large animal.

It is Page 25 Lunesdale Tiger Lily at Raisbeck Stud Volume 7, Number 1 they are: “Murthwaite Stud was the most otherworldly place I have ever experienced.

Its sheer literary beauty left me gasping for breath, for words, for the ground under my feet.

Driving up was like traveling through the landscape of my daydreams, and the road climbed higher and higher until nowhere on earth could be seen but the vast, staggeringly beautiful fells.

They lay in arresting, sensual folds all around, below, and above us, existing in the sort of overwhelming state of loveliness which the English language lacks the will or ability to describe.

To help the dramatic topography, the weather was obligingly wild and volatile.

A properly howling wind pinched at our ears and cheeks, and clouds like shadows on water crowded overhead, a strong and impossible cerulean.

Despite them, the quiet sun still pushed gaps through which to pour its narrow pillars of light.” And after that poetic silliness, we’ll get back to talking about the ponies! If the land existed in such an “overwhelming state of loveliness,” so too did the ponies.

I was especially excited to see the well-known Murthwaite Look at Me in the flesh, and also Tommy’s latest stud the excellent stallion Murthwaite Windrush.

I am struck over and over by the phenomenon described by many fell owners that while pictures look amazing, nothing at all can prepare one for meeting a pony in person.

Such is how it was with Look at Me and Windrush: pictures just don’t do them justice.

I was expecting to not see many ponies at Murthwaite, as I had heard that they would mostly be up the fell.

So I was doubly excited when, after visiting the stallions and babies, Tommy took us just a short way up to the fell gate, where we were greeted by a wide panorama of windblown mares unconcernedly browsing through the hay left for them.

Perhaps because they fit so seamlessly into the backdrop of their world, I was staggered by their ethereal dignity.

Tommy Capstick is one of the breeders who loves feather and hair, which is evident upon meeting any of his ponies.

With the wind whipping the extra hair about with cinematic perfection, I could hardly imagine a more stirring sight.

Though my camera ran out of batteries just as we walked in among them, we spent most of our time there with the mares, pointing out different ones and discussing bloodlines, breeding, The Fell Pony Express (FPSNA) – Spring/Summer 2008 Lunesdale Mares not until you stand right next to one that you come to realize that they are only between 13 and 14 hands tall! Besides Pookie, there was also a beautiful grey filly by Murthwaite Windrush that I was particularly happy to see, even from a distance as she stood on a hill in her pasture.

The Saunders are looking forward to their first foals to come in the next few years, as am I! Murthwaite: I reserved Murthwaite Stud for last because I raved so effusively in my journal about the landscape of it that I knew it would be quite long as a result.

I couldn’t bring myself to edit and crop the words that I had so enthusiastically written! So here Murthwaite Look at Me Page 26 the merits and faults of this or that pony, and endless other such fascinating topics.

I am much obliged to Tommy for taking the time to traipse all over his land with us, chatting with Emma and I about–what else?-fell ponies.

Littletree: And of course I cannot neglect to discuss Littletree itself! In memory, I never put Littletree in my bank of “visited studs” as within a few days it seemed I had melted into life with the Woolleys and thought of their beautiful stud in terms of “home” rather than “place to visit.” This is, of course, due to the Woolleys outstanding kindness in letting me into their lives for seven weeks.

I can only hope that they enjoyed having me half as much as I enjoyed being there. my favorite time of day.

There is something indescribable about sunrise on a crisp morning in Cumbria, with dew giving the already lovely hills a new clarity. 3.

I know this isn’t so much related to ponies, but the food! Jane Woolley is single-handedly responsible for the fact that I am no longer a vegetarian.

There is probably nothing that she could possibly cook that I would not eat.

Her food is that good.

Back in Vermont now, I am still fired by an eagerness to keep fell ponies in my future.

I feel armed and ready, and am impossibly excited for this summer to see our first foal and start taking Lunesdale Mercury out and about in the driving community.

I see great things happening in the fell pony world, and am so glad to be a part of it.

As I get in touch with more fell pony lovers, I am all the more happy to have found this breed, and this group of people, at the time that I have. MT (All photos in this article courtesy of Megan Tong.) Megan and “Trevor” riding up the “Hundred Acre” Because Littletree was where I spent so much time, I could probably write a novel about each pony, everything I learned, everything we did…but I’ll spare you all that! Instead, I will be a bit vaguer and merely sketch out some of my most enjoyable moments. 1.

Riding up to the field that the Woolleys called Hundred Acre.

Riding anywhere, really, but this was by far the most exquisite ride–for the view, for the fun the ponies had, for the feel of galloping across the highest point of the Cumbrian landscape. 2.

Bringing hay to the ponies in the morning.

This was my first non-mucking-out task of the day.

I will never forget (as Nick pointed out to me several times, laughing kindly from the tractor while the wind tried to bodily carry me off) the feel of the rocking goat-cart filled with hay and how tired arms can be after hurling several million (that’s an exaggeration, by the way) piles of hay to cavorting ponies.

Nevertheless, this was Volume Page 27 7, Number 1 www.dressageponycup.com Paxton Farm Cincinnati, Ohio, USA June 28th & 29th 2008 **Co-sponsored by FPSNA, Inc.** Natural Health Products Naturl health products for Fell Ponies (and other critters, too!).

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Peace of mind from a program that makes sense. (970) 723-4316 workponies@frii.com Page 27 Book Review: Managing Breeds for a Secure Future By Jenifer Morrissey The Fell Pony is considered a rare breed in its home country by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, as well as on this continent by Rare Breeds Canada and the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC).

In 2007, ALBC published Managing Breeds for a Secure Future by D.

Phillip Sponenberg and Donald E.

Bixby, long time contributors to the work of ALBC.

The book defines what a breed is and the role that breeders and breed associations must play in maintaining breeds, especially rare ones.

The book collects lots of very useful information, though its organization could be better.

Managing Breeds begins with a detailed discussion about what a breed is and why breeds of animals are important.

The working definition of a breed is ‘a group of animals that are similar and reproduce their same type when mated together.’1 Breeds are considered unique genetic resources worthy of conservation, and the strategies discussed in the book, from breeding to breeder organization to breed promotion, are all necessary to the management of the genetic resource.

Types of Breeds Two types of breeds are especially relevant to our interest in Fell Ponies.

A landrace breed is a breed of animals that has been defined by three factors: 1) the landscape in which it is found, 2) some founding event, and 3) subsequent isolation.

In contrast, a standardized breed is a breed for which a written standard has been developed by breeders to describe an ideal example of the breed.

Standardized breeds often have their origin in landrace breeds.2 In a 2003 brochure, the Fell Pony Society states “Fell ponies are believed to have originated on the border between England and Scotland during Roman times from the crossing of imported war stallions with the local Celtic ponies….

They are primarily a working breed with activity, stamina, hardiness and brains that enable them to live and thrive in tough conditions out on the fells.”3 The brochure goes on to say that — • • Showing Managing Breeds devotes an entire chapter to showing. “Showing of livestock has both positive and negative consequences for breeds.”16 The authors come firmly down against conventional showing: “Changing of type can be a result of show ring and judging fads, and is detrimental to a breed and its genetic integrity.”17 Instead, they advocate card grading. ‘Card grading involves evaluating each animal according to the ideal of the breed standard.

This contrasts with competitive showing in which the animals are evaluated against one another.’18 They point out that there is a range of acceptable animals in any breed; no single individual should be held up as the single ideal.

Some shows institute a compromise: all animals graded into the highest category are then placed individually against each other. Volume Page 29 7, Number 1 Reviewer’s Commentary about Managing Breeds for a Secure Future I have been a member of the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy since before I was a Fell Pony owner.

I came to ALBC from sustainable agriculture where rare breeds of livestock are often able to make great contributions (I also breed ducks and have kept rare breed pigs, goats, and turkeys in the past).

I learned about the Fell Pony through an article in the ALBC newsletter, so it is particularly interesting to me that this book has singled out keepers of British native ponies as problematic from a rare breeds perspective.

I take issue personally with both of their criticisms.

First they assert that British native ponies are taking up slots that could have been filled by rare breeds native to America.

I disagree.

I was working ponies in harness when I learned of the Fell.

I wanted a draft pony, and I would have chosen a rare American breed if one existed.

There isn’t one.

Second, the book asserts that America is a dead-end street in terms of genetic exchange with the rest of the world.

I respond that it is too soon to draw that conclusion.

Our population is young, and our breeders are just getting their feet on the ground in terms of understanding how to breed Fell Ponies.

In addition, I have heard of at least one British breeder who has considered importing an American-bred Fell.

I understand the criticisms of importing rare breeds, but I think the authors were too quick to single out British native ponies as poor choices for rare breeds enthusiasts.

Jenifer Morrissey Editor’s Comments Jenifer asked me to comment further regarding Managing Breeds for a Secure Future.

All in all the book makes some interesting observations but I think the points made about British Native Ponies are a bit out of line, at least as far as the Fell pony is concerned.

Somehow I got the feeling that I am supposed to be sitting here waving my American flag and sending my ponies back to the UK where they belong! Seriously, I also view with caution the concept of “native American” horse breeds.

True — all horses originated in North America, but they subsequently went extinct.

Thus, the “native” American breeds we see today are derived entirely from foreign imports, mostly within the last few hundred years, and these undoubtedly included some British native ponies! Even if the authors may not appreciate the beneficial effects of global conservation of the Fell pony breed, RBST (Rare Breeds Survival Trust—UK) certainly does.

Like a number of rare UK breeds of livestock, they know that most of the world’s population of Fell ponies, and all semi-feral Fell ponies, are still concentrated in a relatively small area.

This is always a threat to these breeds, since a local natural or man-made disaster could easily wipe them out.

After the FMD (Foot-and-Mouth Disease) crisis nearly wiped out some of these breeds, RBST set up a ReGeneration Bank as one way to manage breeds for a secure future.

Of course, FMD did not affect ponies directly, but it surely affected the economy in which they are raised. (The unfortunate reality is that economy can strongly affect breeding practices.) And what about the threat of African Horse Sickness, which has been seen in Europe? Or war? Remember, it was not that long ago that the Fell pony was nearly wiped out by the effects of war.

Thus, the “Bank”, which by the way includes frozen semen from a North American Fell pony stallion, is meant to keep genetic material from a variety of bloodlines which could help restore the breed in the event of a disaster.

Similarly, ponies exported to other countries can provide another “insurance policy” for a secure future, as it is much less likely that ponies scattered all over the globe could simultaneously be wiped out. (And that is another reason UK breeders must be diligent in exporting only quality stock!) Another way that exporting indirectly facilitates breed conservation has also been demonstrated in the Fell pony.

The breed has gone from “endangered” to “threatened” in their homeland over a relatively short period.

This is a result of increasing numbers, in part driven by a relatively new and very favorable export market.

However, the change in RBST conservation status may give one a false sense of security, since it does not reflect the number of ponies on the fells.

The Fell pony is indeed a “landrace” breed that has been “standardized” by the Fell Pony Society, and the semi-feral ponies in Cumbria represent the core population of that landrace.

The biggest threat to the breed’s conservation is not reflected in the overall Fell pony population numbers, but rather in the declining number of semi-feral ponies on the fells.

Outside of those herds, it is no different for most breeders in the UK (ie, the non-hill breeders) or all of those abroad — all must strictly rely on the Fell Pony Breed Standard to conserve the breed as we know it today.

Mary Jean Gould-Earley, MD Page 30 The Fell Pony Express (FPSNA) – Spring/Summer 2008 Gypsy Gets A Great New Job! Laurelhighland Gypsy has been leased to Special Strides Therapeutic Riding Center.

She is going to be used for therapy riding and driving, and we hope she has great success there.

My Meaghan (12) will volunteer for the program, so she can work with her pony and help the autistic kids.

Gypsy has been working in the cart, and has been just perfect and they are so happy with her progress.

In a couple of months she will begin to have students use her.

They say she is such a fast learner! We will keep you posted on how she does! Patty Gallagher New Jersey (Above and Left) Meaghan Gallagher and Gypsy Happy Birthday “Lake”! “Lake”, a.k.a.

Laurelhighland Dazzler, had his 2nd birthday in April.

He’s a good boy, but sometimes pushes it a bit, hey…

He is a pony! I think at his age, he’s just trying to figure out the boundaries.

He’s also quite independent and very mellow.

An all around sweetheart.

Just love the boy! Lynne Meschel-Bovenzi, Massachusetts Volume 7, Number 1 Page 31 Fell Pony Society Stallion Show 2008

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