Posted: Sat 12th Aug 2023

TV farmer Gareth Wyn Jones calls for adoption of Snowdonia’s wild ponies

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Aug 12th, 2023

This autumn, 50 wild Carneddau mountain ponies from North Wales will require new homes following the annual round-up place and surplus colts are removed from the herd that
roams freely over Snowdonia to prevent overgrazing.

However, Gareth Wyn Jones, who is secretary of the Carneddau Mountain Pony Society, says this is an increasingly difficult task as the unique breed is widely misunderstood and thought to offer little opportunity to horse lovers.

These unique ponies, roaming freely over Snowdonia’s 13,500-acres, play an integral role in the region’s ecology.

But misconceptions about their wild nature and behavior have created obstacles in finding suitable homes for them.

“People wrongly assume the Carneddau mountain ponies will arrive bucking, rearing and being totally unmanageable – like a wild mustang in a cowboy movie,” explains Gareth. He emphasises that these intelligent animals can adapt to domesticated life within days, providing opportunities for riding, driving, and showing.

The Carneddau mountain ponies, dating back to the Bronze Age, are vital to the balance of the mountainous ecosystem.

The way they graze helps species like the endangered red-billed chough and dung beetle thrive.

But finding adoptive homes has become increasingly difficult due to misconceptions about their nature.

To raise awareness and encourage more adoptions, the Carneddau Mountain Pony Society will present an exhibition and give a demo at the GWCT Welsh Game Fair at Vaynol Estate in Gwynedd on September 9th and 10th.

Gareth hopes that this public relations exercise will dispel myths and promote the adoption of these fascinating creatures.

“Finding homes for all the ponies that need to be rehomed is a huge undertaking,” states Gareth, stressing that new owners are only required to pay for the microchipping of the adopted pony.

Every November, the entire herd of ponies is rounded up for an annual health check by just seven families of hill farmers, who have the rights to graze them.

This event draws visitors from around the globe, a testament to the ponies’ international appeal and importance.

The call for adoption emphasises not just the need to find new homes but also the chance to embrace a unique part of Welsh heritage and the environmental equilibrium of the region. For those interested in adopting one of Britain’s wildest and most fascinating ponies, the Welsh Game Fair is an opportunity to learn more and make a difference.

Visit www.welshgamefair.org for more information.

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