News & Events

MEPBG News & Events 

Also see the Heritage Exmoor Pony Festival CALENDAR OF EVENTS

Tippbarlake in The Guardian

Experience the magnificent Tippbarlake Exmoor pony herd gathering from the wilds of Brendon Common, Exmoor National Park, through Sara Hudston​'s eyes in her Country Diary in The Guardian (27 Nov). Exhilarating! :) There are some beautiful Tippbarlake filly and colt foals available. Please contact Maria Floyd on 01598 741201 and

#Exmoorponies #ExmoorNationalPark #BrendonCommon #TheGuardian #SaraHudston #MoorlandExmoorPonyBreedersGroup

Moorland Exmoor Foals FOR SALE

Moorbred get a truly wonderful start in life - can you give them a wonderful home off the moor? Foals are looking for good homes this autumn. The pony gatherings are now taking place and there are a small number of beautiful quality Exmoor pony foals looking for considerate new owners who can help them to make the transition to life off the moors. Or alternatively, to join conservation grazing projects. Exmoor ponies are an endangered breed and we welcome new owners to help safeguard their future. The MEPBG members are working together to breed carefully and ensure that the true moorland type, authentic Exmoor ponies continue to survive and thrive in Exmoor National Park - and beyond. If you are interested in becoming the owner of an Exmoor pony or two, then please contact the herd owners directly.

Herds with foals definitely available include: 
The Milton family's Withypoole Herd 23 (sired by The Aristocrat and Knightoncombe Royal) 
The South family's Farleywater Herd H67 (sired by Wortleberry)
The Floyd family's Tippbarlake Herd 387 (sired by Tippbarlake Jamie), 
The Dart family's Moorland Herd 99 (sired by Knightoncombe Royal).

Link to the MEPBG Breeders Directory:

Watch acclaimed German wild horse film-maker, Marc Lubetzki's short film about Exmoor ponies below, which he very kindly produced for the MEPBG - some beautiful footage and very important messages! 

Westcountry Equine Fair (2 & 3 Dec) supports  Devon Air Ambulance

Devon Air Ambulance (DAA) which is celebrating 25 years of service is the chosen charity for the Westcountry Equine Fair 2017. 
The first mission for DAA was flown in August 1992 and now the DAA owns two Eurocopter EC135 helicopters operating seven days a week and responding to approximately 1,400 life threatening or life changing incidents every year. In November 2016 DAA extended their service to operate until midnight, meaning they can help even more people in Devon.
With one helicopter based in Exeter and one in North Devon they are able to get to most of Devon within 10 minutes and the whole of Devon within 15. This ensures patients receive treatment within the critical period immediately following acute illness or an accident and are conveyed to the specialist treatment centre most appropriate for their needs, ensuring they receive the best possible care and giving them the best chance of survival.

It costs £5.5million every year to keep Devon’s Air Ambulances flying and they are extremely proud to be independent of Government and National Lottery Funding; this safeguards the service for the long-term and ensures they can deliver what the people of Devon tell them they want from their Air Ambulance.
DAA has also substantially improved patient care through the creation of a ground breaking Master’s Degree for air paramedics aimed at making them amongst the highest qualified in the profession. Working with Plymouth University, DAA has created a qualification which will put Devon on the map as a centre of excellence for pre-hospital critical care.
Devon’s Air Ambulances are very much an essential part of the community we live in and the service would not be possible without the generous support and donations from the people, businesses and communities in and around Devon, every penny raised is making a real difference. More info at

The Westcountry Equine Fair, (Westpoint, Exeter on Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd December) now in its twenty first year, hosts a wide selection of educational, competitive and entertaining demonstrations in the indoor arena including: Beverley Brightman sponsored by Horsehage (dressage rider & trainer); Alexander Bragg event rider (Sunday); Grant Bazin – The horseman; Junior Show Jumping; a native breed parade and many more. There will also be the BETA sponsored Equestrian Knowledge Zone. You can ask advice from a selection of top experts including: equine vet; equine dentist; Lorinery; referral farrier; equine nutritionist, free hat and body protector checks and worming. RoboCob the mechanical horse will also be available to have-a-go to fine tune riding skills. The show is not complete without the amazing equestrian shopping village. With over 200 companies, this is a great equestrian shopping experience ‘For the horse, for the rider and for Christmas’. Don’t forget you don’t need to carry those heavy shopping bags around with the shop and drop facility in the foyer - all donations to Devon Air Ambulance. This is certainly the total equestrian experience for the dedicated rider!

To book your tickets in advance and save money visit or call 01392 421500 (office hours) and follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated.
#DevonAirAmbuland #WestcountryEquineFair #ContourExhibitions

Wed 6 Sept - Join  A Walk on Exmoor!

Heritage Exmoor Pony Festival: Join a Walk on Exmoor - Wed 6 Sept 12 noon - 4pm. Exmoor National Park Authority's Conservation Manager, Rob Wilson-North and and Exmoor ponies are travelling back in time past the source of the River Exe and down into the beautiful Hoaroak Valley to seek out the traces of Irish labourers, Scottish shepherds and a more ancient past stretching back 6000 years. Bring a packed lunch and expect the walk to last around 4 hours. The walk is over roughish moorland and is graded moderate to strenuous, so please wear appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear. Start in the layby at Prayway Head on the B3223 about 2 kilometres north of Simonsbath (SS 7674 4103). Free of charge, donations welcome. Please contact: Elaine Woodcock at ENPA to let her know you are coming along - on 01398 322231 or
(Pictured: Last year's Heritage Exmoor Pony Festival Archeological Pack Pony Walk with Rob Wilson-North at Horner Gate.)

Sun 3 Sept - Discover Exmoor Ponies Workshop with Dawn Westcott

THIS SUNDAY 3 Sept (on Exmoor) DISCOVERING EXMOOR PONIES Workshop with Dawn Westcott. Join us for an afternoon at the Exmoor Pony Project to meet Exmoor ponies and find out more about this very special, ancient native pony breed and how positive, interactive, trust-based methods help to tame and train them. We’ll be looking at how thoughtful management helps them to live more naturally, in herds, suiting their social, nutritional and physical needs. Dawn is author of best-sellers Wild Pony Whispering and Wild Stallion Whispering and her new book, Wild Herd Whispering, is published in October. 
Coffee, tea and cake provided. No handling involved. Robust footwear is advised - this is a working farm. Undercover areas, plenty of parking. Disabled access possible - please enquire. Advance booking only and places limited. Time: 2.30 - 5.30pm.Location: Holt Ball Farm, Exmoor National Park. Cost: £60 per person (child discounts available) with proceeds helping to fund the Exmoor Pony Project. 
Contact: Email Tel 01643 862466.

26 May - Running Wild Photograph Exhibition Opening Night - Dunster

An invitation to join us at the Running Wild Exhibition Opening Night on Fri 26 May 5pm-7pm, Dunster National Park Centre, TA24 6SE. Fund-raising event for both the Exmoor Pony Centre and the Exmoor Pony Project.The initial idea behind the exhibition was a desire to create pictures of the wild Exmoor ponies that would challenge the traditional imagery seen of these iconic animals. The curator, photographer Nina Dodd brought together nine Exmoor-based photographers and asked them to create images of the ponies over a period of six months in 2016-17. The result is an engaging collection of images, presented in a multiple of genres and post-processing styles. A show of taking on a traditional topic and running wild with it. The exhibition runs from May to November. 

Geoff Baylis - Photographer, Picture framer

Alex Dodd - Creative Media student

Nina Dodd - Photographer
Gaynor Gough - Photographer

Laura Grant - Artist, Photographer

Paula Kirby - Photographer

Jack Mccausland - Visual Media student

Stuart Warstat

Dawn Westcott Paragraph

Can you name ENPA's new Exmoor foal?

The Exmoor National Park Authority has welcomed the first foal for seven years into its Warren herd of Exmoor ponies. She is the daughter of Warren Zoha and the national park would like ideas regarding what to name the foal - as long as it begins with 'B' and is floral. 
If you'd like to suggest a name then please go to ENPA's Facebook - ENPA also have a Twitter page @exmoornp

EPS votes to stop picking up foal's feet

MEPBG letter to the Exmoor Pony Society 4 May 2017:
Dear Mr Brewer (EPS Chairman)
Re: EPS rule change to cease picking up feet during foal inspections
The MEPBG is delighted to hear that the members voted at yesterday's AGM [3 May 2017] that the feet of foals will no longer be picked up during EPS inspections."This is a major step forward in both pony welfare and in stemming the exclusion of important genetics from the stud book and breeding gene pool, through no longer rejecting ponies for the colour of sole plates. It also vastly reduces the risk of damage and injury to both handlers and ponies."It would be good to address the issue of retrospective inclusion of Exmoor ponies previously 'failed' for the colour of sole plates, as there is a significant number of quality ponies, both on and off the moor, that can now be upgraded to pedigree status. Both with regard to the breeding herds and also in enabling ponies to take part in affiliated showing classes."We understand the trustees are discussing this at their forthcoming meeting in June and we look forward to hearing how the upgrading will be progressed.
Regards, Nick WestcottMEPBG Chairman, Moorland Exmoor Pony Breeders Group (MEPBG)

Horse & Hound - MEPBG Chairman's letter (30 Mar 2017 issue)

 Following the article 'Rare Native Breed Genes at Risk' (H&H 16 Mar issue) Horse & Hound magazine has published this letter of clarification from Nick Westcott: 

"Dear H&H, Firstly, congratulations on the new H&H look, which is great! With regard to the article 'Rare Native Breed Genes at Risk' (16 March) the Moorland Exmoor Pony Breeders Group first served resolutions asking for clarification of the 'no white markings' rule, and the addition of a supplement and upgrading system to the Exmoor Pony Stud Book (EPS), in 2015. The Exmoor Pony Society asked for the resolutions to be withdrawn in return for forming a working party of EPS and MEPBG representatives to progress discussion of both. Unfortunately, due to the lack of progress made, the no white markings resolution was re-served in February this year. But after the society left the names of various people off the list to circulate to members, the resolution has been withdrawn once again, while the proposers obtain further hard copies of signatures to avoid omissions. The EPS also received a "health & safety" letter pointing out that, due to the dangerous and unnecessary practice of forcibly lifting the feet of unhandled semi-feral Exmoor ponies, the trustees may be criminally liable and the MEPBG herd owners no longer want the feet to be picked up during inspections. Good genetics continue to be wasted as a result of failing foals for the colour of sole plates."
Nick Westcott - Chairman, MEPBG. 

Horse & Hound article 16 Feb 2017

Horse & Hound Magazine
Rare Breeds Special - Exmoor Ponies
16 February 2017 issue

Subscribe to H&H magazine here

Photos featured: 

Double page spread: The Tippbarlake Herd 387 ponies crossing at Lancombe to Brendon Common, Exmoor National Park

The Moorland Herd 99 ponies in the pens, Molland Common, Exmoor National Park

Kathy Hollick-Blee riding Farleywater Herd H67 pony, Mr Mischief

The 2017 Heritage Exmoor Festival

The  2017 Heritage Exmoor Pony Festival Calendar of Events and Activities will embrace and celebrate other iconic Exmoor National Park animals and moorland farming - to better explain and illustrate why the True Moorland Type Exmoor ponies of Exmoor National Park are so unique and special. 

With Exmoor ponies remaining the core focus, the Heritage Exmoor Pony Festival will promote awareness of how and why the farmers of Exmoor are working so hard to safeguard their future. 

Herd 423 passes to new ownership

The MEPBG and Exmoor Pony Project worked closely with farmer James Bryant and The North Devon National Trust to secure the hand over of the ponies to the National Trust at the end of February 2017. 
The Exmoor Pony Project promoted and secured the successful sale of the filly and colt foals to good homes, with foals travelling as far as Germany and Ireland, as well as throughout the UK. 
The MEPBG and Exmoor Pony Project are continuing to work closely with the North Devon National Trust regarding the Herd 423 Exmoor ponies.

Read more about Herd 423 here. 

German film-maker Marc Lubetzki helps us promote Herd 423 foals for sale

It was amazing to discover that a filming team, dedicated to capturing footage of wild horses across the globe, were on Exmoor and when they discovered that we are trying to find good homes for some beautiful wild-born foals from Herd 423 on Countisbury - they amazingly offered their services! 
So Dawn Westcott joined Marc Lubetzki and Martin Buschmann to capture some footage of the very last progeny of moorland stallion Hawkwell Great Gatsby, who sadly died last year. It was poignant as Marc Lubetzki had spent time filming Gatsby in 2012 and had returned hoping to see the stallion on his visit. Nevertheless, he was pleased to meet Farleywater Zeus who is now running with the Porlock Herd 100 on Porlock Hill. And it was to Countisbury he came for the important task of recording some footage of the Herd 423 foals from 2016, who are keen to find good opportunities when they are shortly to be weaned from their dams. James Bryant must be congratulated on his breeding programme for the wonderful quality of his foals. They certainly reflect the True Moorland Type Exmoor ponies we are all so keen to see.

Exmoor Foals Need Good Homes!

Wild horse film-maker Marc Lubetzki took time out to shoot some footage of the lovely Herd 423 foals on Countisbury who need to find good homes. 

Their sire, Hawkwell Great Gatsby, has sired some amazing progeny - which includes multi-champion stallions, Hawkwell Versuvius 'Bear' and Hawkwell Robert Redford. 

We are keen to see all of Hawkwell Great Gatsby's lovely progeny find good homes. 

Update: We are please to confirm that the Herd 423 foals have now found good homes.

Horse & Hound

The MEPBG and member's herds feature in a super 3-page Rare Breeds Special "An Exmoor Addition" in the 16 Feb 2017 issue of Horse & Hound magazine.

Westcountry Equine Fair 3 & 4 Dec, Exeter

We will be exhibiting on Stand 137 at the Westcountry Christmas Equine Fair on Sat 3 & Sun 4 December.

We'll be promoting the Moorland Exmoor Pony Breeders Group, the Exmoor Pony Project (Moorland Exmoor Foal Project) and there will be book signings for Wild Stallion Whispering and Wild Pony Whispering on both days. 

Look forward to seeing you there! 

Tippbarlake Herd Gathering - Sat 3 Dec

The Tippbarlake Herd is being gathered from Brendon Common to Brendon Barton this Saturday 3 December. If anyone would like to watch and/or help, then please contact Maria Floyd on 01598 741201. Pedigree and Purebred Moorland Exmoor foals will be For Sale following their inspection. The Tippbarlake herd is the largest herd of Exmoor ponies, founded on ancient bloodlines from Herds 1 and 10 and additionally with Ilkerton and Woolhanger lines.

Tippbarlake gathering video:

Moorbred Exmoor Pony Foals For Sale Now

The MEPBG Herd owners have a small number of Pedigree & Purebred Moorbred Exmoor pony foals For  Sale now. 

Please see the list of breeders on the MEPBG page for contact details and more information about the herds. 

MEPBG Breeders Directory
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