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The New Forest Pony

If you are looking for a pony ideal for child or adult - versatile, kind temperament, intelligent and agile - then consider the New Forest Pony. This British Native pony is certainly proving its worth so read on to discover why. There is no minimum height (they do come small) and the upper limit is 148cm. It comes in all colours except piebald, skewbald and blue-eyed cream. In order to be recognized by the breed society, the pony must be registered with the New Forest Pony Breeding and Cattle Society based in Bransgore, Hampshire who issue a green passport. The society holds an annual Stallion and Breed Show where performance tests for stallions, mares and geldings are carried out. There is also grading for both Forest Bred mares and those from studs.

The ponies conceived and born on the New Forest are known as Forest Bred. These tough ponies live out in all weather, mixing with the free roaming cattle, donkeys and occasional pigs, absorbing valuable experiences in their formative months. Sadly, in spite of the speed limit of 40 mph many are killed by the relentless traffic. They have the right of way on the roads and lanes but all too often the motorist or lorry driver does not give them priority.

At Beaulieu Road Saleyard auction sales of New Forest Registered ponies are held from May to November. The auctions have two Pre-sale Shows per year, youngstock in the spring and foals in the autumn. The classes are judged by a top list show judge and these show ponies when auctioned can expect to reach sums near the 800 gns mark.

New Forest Ponies form the very successful New Forest Pony Enthusiasts Club, affiliated to the British Riding Clubs. It is unique in that it is the only club in the country dedicated to one breed of pony, competing against the far bigger horse breeds and winning nationally.

There is normally a large selection of New Forest ponies in the NFED Classifieds. Click on the button below to see the current list of ads in the 14.2 & under category. Others may be available as foals, youngstock, projects or for loan, so it is always worth checking the other categories


The New Forest Pony & Commoning

The New Forest you see today is the result of hundreds of years of animals grazing and browsing the rough heathland and woodland of an area between Southampton and Bournemouth. This in turn has produced a hardy, thrifty, surefooted pony which, when broken in, is able to perform successfully in practically all disciplines of the horse world. Because it has co-existed with humans and their trappings for so many years the New Forest Pony has an ideal temperament which makes it easy to train. The height ranges from under 122 cm (12 hh) to a maximum 148 cm (14.2 hh) and all colours (subject to scrutiny) except piebald, skewbald or blue-eyed cream are permitted. Most (but not all) of the ponies on the New Forest have long pedigrees and are registered with the New Forest Pony Breeding and Cattle Society.

Ponies Grazing

THE PONIES: SOME QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS

AREN'T THEY WILD?
All the ponies are owned by New Forest Commoners. They are wild in the sense of running free - some can be handled by their owners and others have never been tamed.

HOW DO YOU FIND THEM?
Individual ponies usually stay in the same area known as the 'haunt'. This area would include water, shelter, shade and favoured grazing areas.

HOW DO YOU KNOW ONE FROM ANOTHER?
A combination of colour, markings and overall 'presence' plus of course the owner's brand, make each pony easily recognisable, particularly to the practised eye.

WHY CAN'T WE FEED THEM?
Unfortunately, your innocent throw-away apple core could eventually incite aggressive behaviour as the ponies learn to demand food, especially in car parks and camp sites. This in turn leads to the unhappy situation where the owner, through no fault of their own, has to remove and dispose of this alleged 'vicious' animal.

WHAT HAPPENS TO THEM?
Many of the ponies spend all their lives roaming freely and happily on the Forest - a natural but at times rigorous life as long as they are fortunate enough not to be killed on the roads by often inattentive or inconsiderate drivers. Others (including many weaned foals) are sold by their owners to be trained (at the appropriate age) for a variety of equine skills - from family companion to top competition winners.

Pony activities


ROAD TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS INVOLVING FOREST STOCK.
To report Road Traffic Accidents involving Forest stock (ponies, cattle, pigs, sheep and donkeys) - ring the Police on 999.

SICK OR INJURED ANIMALS
If you find a sick, injured or dead pony, cow, donkey, pig or sheep (other than one involved in a RTA), call 02380 282052 during normal office hours, or 0300 067 4600 at other times. For sick or injured deer, ring the Forestry Commission on 0300 067 4600.


The New Forest & How it Works

THE COMMONERS
The ponies on the New Forest are owned by practising commoners, that is, people who exercise their Right of Common of Pasture. This ancient right is attached to land and cannot be withdrawn. The Right is free but the practising commoner has to pay an annual marking fee in respect of each animal to pay towards the cost of employing the agisters

 

Looking for stock

THE AGISTERS
Presently five in number, the agisters are a skilled group of men with a good working knowledge of the Forest and its depastured animals. They each have an allocated area and are responsible for over-seeing all aspects of the ponies on the Forest. This includes road traffic accidents involving animals - the animals have right of way at all times. The agisters are employed by the Verderers. For the agister areas & contact details, please click here

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THE VERDERERS
A body of ten persons appointed to administer the law concerning the New Forest. They hold the register of brands - all pony owners must use a brand to identify their depastured stock. The Verderers also have complete administrative control of all the stallions on the New Forest.

Running wild

Further information can be found on these websites:

www.newforestpony.com
www.nfcda.com
www.nfls.org.uk
www.verderers.org.uk


The Registered New Forest Pony Passport

Not every pony that comes from the New Forest is a pure bred New Forest pony?
Is your New Forest Pony registered with the New Forest Pony Breeding and Cattle Society?
Does the pony possess the green passport issued by this authority?
Why is it important to have a Registered New Forest Pony?

If you have a genuine New Forest pony, you may need to prove its breed and unless it is registered with the NF Pony Breeding Society, this is very difficult. (In fact it may not be possible.) Amongst the mandatory identifying requirements included in this NF Pony Breed passport will be the pedigree. These details are supported by the entry in the Society’s Stud book proving its breeding.

If you buy a New Forest foal make sure it has the correct registration application form which can then be presented to the NFPB & CS for the breed passport. Likewise, if you buy a “New Forest Pony”, the NFPB & CS green passport will verify it’s breeding.

So what is gained by having the NFPB & CS passport? Perhaps you wish to enter the pony in a Mountain and Moorland Show Class. For this you will need to prove its true breed.

With this passport, the pony is of greater value. It is a New Forest Pony which when bred from will continue the bloodline. Its progeny, depending on the Society’s requisite criteria for the breed, can then be registered in the Stud book and these NF ponies are not lost to the breed.

For further information contact:-

The New Forest Pony Breeding & Cattle Society
Deepslade House,
Ringwood Rd,
Bransgore,
Hampshire BH23 8AA.
Tel/Fax: 01425 672775

Email: www.newforestpony.com/contactus.php

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