DNA Whole Genome Project

The Exmoor Pony DNA Whole Genome Project

Pioneering Project to Map the Whole Genome of the Exmoor Pony

The Exmoor National Park Authority is hosting meetings of the Exmoor Pony DNA Whole Genome Project Team to progress a pioneering research programme. The project aims to characterise the full genome of the of the Exmoor pony and to measure genetic variation within sub-populations of the Exmoor Pony breed. This will help with the management, understanding and breeding of this iconic moorland pony. 

The Project team comprises stakeholders Exmoor National Park Authority (Sarah Bryan and Nigel Stone), the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (Richard Broad), Moorland Exmoor Pony Breeders Group (Rex Milton, Dawn Westcott, Maria Floyd and Christina Williams), Exmoor Pony Society (Sandra Mansell), consultant Peter Green and Libby Henson (Grassroots) working closely with Dr Sarah Blott at Nottingham University. The team is led by Tim Morris (DEFRA Chief Vet and RBST trustee)   

A sub group comprising EPS and MEPBG representatives, Sandra Mansell, Rex Milton, Sarah Bryan and Dawn Westcott has been confirmed to progress the breed's pedigree analysis and sample selection for the DNA Whole Genome testing and research, with Nottingham University. This research will provide a wealth of vital 'open access' information and help to progress a possible supplement to the current Exmoor Pony Stud Book for purebred ponies currently excluded from the breeding gene pool.

Dr Sarah Blott's DNA Talk & Presentation at Exmoor House (Aug 2016)

On the 12th Aug 2016, Exmoor House Dulverton, Dr Sarah Blott, University of Nottingham, School of Veterinary Medicine & Science gave the following presentation - "How genetic science can help conserve and sustain the Exmoor pony" - an introduction to DNA, genes and genomics, along with description of a project being developed to fully characterise the genetic profile of the Exmoor pony.”

The Peter Green Report - "The Ponies of Exmoor National Park: Their Status, Welfare & Future"

In 2013, vet Peter Green BVSc Cert EO MRCVS was commissioned by the Exmoor National Park Authority to conduct a review of Exmoor Ponies in Exmoor National Park. The findings of his report resulted in the formation of the Moorland Exmoor Pony Breeders Group (MEPBG) in January 2014. It also resulted in the formation of the Exmoor National Park Exmoor Pony Steering Committee, which meets bi-annually to discuss and review Exmoor pony matters. 

Share by: