Sunday, October 7, 2007

7th October, 2007 Autumn Sales!!!

I have been to two sales in the last two weeks: the New Forest sales at Beaulieu Road and then the Tavistock Sale in Devon where about four hundred Dartmoor Hill ponies went through. The New Forest commoners, blessed with a bigger and very versatile pony, suitable for adults as well as children, are obviously getting everything right in terms of pre-sales marketing, presentation of the ponies and general welfare. The place was buzzing with visitors from far and wide and the ponies were fetching really good prices compared with say 2001 when you could get two for the price of one. Sadly, the Dartmoor Hill ponies are still not attracting a lot of interest despite efforts to tidy up their breeding and despite the fact that these are generally quiet, pretty and fairly solid children's ponies. Many went through at just 10 guineas and being realistic I suspect that many are still going for meat - I would love to believe otherwise. This was particularly disheartening as I had spent the weekend before working with untouched Dartmoor Hill ponies for the Dartmoor Pony Training Centre. This non profit making voluntary organisation works very hard to create a market for the ponies and to give people advice as to how to tame their pony. I found the ponies to be some of the quietest and most amenable I had met - they are naturally curious and food orientated and therefore come round pretty quickly. The ponies I worked with are off to Chagford sale next Thursday unless someone buys them quickly and I can only hope that they find their way into sympathetic hands. Here's Harriet and Henrietta (the two I worked with in the morning). (STOP PRESS: Harriet and Henrietta have found a home with SuzieQ from IHDG - yes, yes, yes!!!) For details of how to buy a Dartmoor Hill pony please contact Natalie Torr on 07802 218169