Feeding the ponies is dangerous, warns Quantock Pony Commoner Association
Quantock Pony Commoners Association are warning members of the public that feeding the ponies on the Quantock Common is dangerous and could lead to serious harm.
There have been a number of incidents recently that show that due to an increase of Quantock ponies being fed by visitors, the ponies are becoming more of a nuisance to other visitors to the Quantock Hill. By feeding the Quantock ponies their behavior changes over time, causing them to congregate in car parks and become not just a public nuisance, but by bringing them into close proximity there is a risk of injury. Naturally inquisitive animals, they form patterns and have quickly learnt to associate cars with food! There have been recent cases of a pony breaking someone's leg, biting and causing vehicle damage. Please do not add to the problem and for you own safety stay well clear of the ponies and never feed them.
The ponies are owned by the Quantock Pony Commoners and provide valuable grazing for the hilltops helping to manage the vegetation. Around 50 ponies graze on the Quantock Hilltops, 30 mares on Quantock Common and 20 on Aisholt Common. 11 farmers graze their ponies on the Quantocks and are mrmbers of the agri-environment scheme which is there to protect and enhance the special habitats of the Quantock Common.
Over the years there has been some confusion as to what is a Quantock pony! Ponies have grazed the Quantock Hills since 1956, the first ponies were Exmoor ponies and some still graze there today but they are non-breeding. These are not Quantock ponies.
Early records show Quantock ponies being rounded up and brought off the hills in September 1956. Although not a registered breed, the pony has been bred by generations of pony breeders to produce an animal that can withstand living on the hill all year round and makes a good all round riding pony that excels in all disciplines.
The breeders have had great success, one pony was “Pascha Arabi” he was sold in 1972 and won the European Show Jumping Championships in Denmark.
In the late 1960s two stallions of part Arab blood were used to improve the hill stock. One was a grey stallion “Jude (Arab x Welsh) the other was Waterfall (Arab x New Forest)
Waterfall won the part Arab stallion class at the ponies of Britain show for two consecutive years.
Our current stallion Summers Quantock Dream has the best of Sulay breeding and is adding quality to our 5th generation bred mares.
In recent years Harriet Bloxham has had huge success with Quarry Edge Minstrel a 10year old Quantock pony who qualified via a wild card in his first year of affiliated dressage and beat all comers in the Blue Chip restricted novice, he is also a former riding club champion- the 90cm horse trials competition in 2013.
Below is Nimmaway as a 3 year old, in hand winner at the Quantock show
The Quantock hill is the home of the Quantock pony, the Quantock pony is not a distinct breed as such, but a specific type of pony from mixed origin. Their ancestry is predominantly that of native pony descent; both Arab, Welsh and New Forest have been introduced to make these ponies, hardy strong and good all rounder's that do well in any discipline with some going on to do well in top level endurance, dressage and driving.
The average height for a Quantock pony is between 14.2hh and up to 15.2hh with most being 15.00hh
This is Bobby, a 12 year old 14:3 Quantock Pony doing endurance with owner Shanti Roos. Both Shanti and Bobby have completed in many rides and this goes to show how versatile the Quantock ponies are.
Above is a Quantock born stallion "Flash" that has been used for breeding.
This is Nimmaway as a 4/5 year old she is standing at 15.00hh, she is competing at eventing at Stockland louvell
Outside stallions are put with the mares each spring, the stallions are rotated on a 3 year cycle.
The mares are Quantock born, some going back 5 generations. They can be found roaming free in their native environment on the Quantock Hills, where they have been introduced to the moorland areas for conservation grazing purposes.
Each Autumn, ponies are rounded up with the purpose of weaning foals, general health inspection, foals are then passported and microchipped ready to be sold. Please look on the sales pages for foals that are for sale.
The mares are wormed, then returned to the Quantock Hills for the winter. The stallion is kept on one of the breeders farms till the Spring and is turned out for about 6 to 8 weeks to re-cover the mares.