Many thanks to the team at Teenequine for featuring the Exmoor Pony Festival’s in their latest edition.


There’s also a great article about Vanessa Bee who will once again be providing a great demonstration as part of this year’s festival.


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Simonsbath Festival


We are very pleased to be teaming up with the Simonsbath Festival to co-promote our respective festivals both of which are held here on Exmoor.
Simonsbath will feature in the Exmoor Pony Festival this year as we celebrate the forming of the foundation herds in 1818.
Here’s all you need to know about the Simonsbath Festival.
Simonsbath Festival 2018
Simonsbath Festival returns on Bank Holiday Monday May 7 with May Day celebrations for all the family on Exford Village Green and an exciting mix of classical, jazz, opera and world music concerts, talks, walks and an art exhibition which take place in the village of Simonsbath in the heart of Exmoor over the following six weeks to Midsummer.
Full details of the programme will be available on the website http://www.simonsbathfestival.org.uk and you can follow the festival on Facebook and Twitter.
To receive a full colour, printed festival programme email info@simonsbathfestival.org.uk or to find out about becoming a Friend of Simonsbath Festival and enjoy priority booking while also supporting the festival, email friends@simonsbathfestival.org.uk or just call 01643 831343.
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Spread the word!

The Exmoor Pony Festival relies on many hard-working volunteers, charities and organisations to make it happen. All have one thing in common – they recognise the importance of conserving and promoting the amazing Exmoor Pony as listed in the Rare Breed Survival Trust’s Watchlist.

To help spread the word about the Exmoor Pony Festival, simply send people a link to this site or you can find us on Facebook.

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Could you help us fund the Exmoor Pony Festival?


Above: Dozens of Exmoor ponies crossed the River Barle at Tarr Steps during the Pleasure Ride organised by Exmoor Pony Society volunteers. Photo by Peter Yates ©2013.


The 2017 Exmoor Pony Festival was tremendous! Over 1,500 people enjoyed the varied events… they learned about the moorland herds on Exmoor National Park and discovered new things about this prehistoric rare breed, they met many talented Exmoor ponies and some very interesting people, joined experts to observe Exmoors in their native landscape, they took part in the Model Pony and Hobby Horse Show and took home some very special memories.

We need your support to make each festival just as successful!

It does not take much and means that many of our events are free of charge and that we have the opportunity to promote the Festival and the ponies to a wider audience, publish the Exmoor Pony Map, maintain our road safety campaign and provide promotional literature to the moorland breeders.

You can sponsor an event, take an advert in our festival brochure or sponsor a leaflet – contact Sue McGeever on 01884 839930 or Linzi Green on 01398 323093 for more details.


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What are the purposes of the Exmoor Pony Festival?

The purposes of the Exmoor Pony Festival are:
• to promote the free-living moorland herds of registered Exmoor Ponies which are part of the Exmoor National Park’s landscape and heritage
• to educate the public on the welfare and management of the herds and
• to foster an appreciation of the Exmoor Pony breed

We do hope that you will find this page informative and that we can encourage you to think Exmoor. It is essential for the breed which is on the RBST Watchlist Category 2 (Endangered) to breed from registered stock in order to maintain the genetic pool. Responsible breeding policies have been in place on the moor for a good number of years in line with the current thinking of all equine and welfare organisations.

When numbers were recorded at the end of the Second World War, it was thought that only 50 registered Exmoor ponies remained worldwide.

In 1947 Mary Etherington, a staunch supporter of the breed, rallied the moorland breeders and said, “The coming generations will have good reason to call us unfaithful stewards if when we are gone there are no more little horses on the Exmoor hills”.

Over the years numbers increased slowly but in 1993 when the Exmoor National Park was designated an Environmentally Sensitive Area, the ponies very existence was put into question. The authorities thinking was that the ponies should come off the moor during the winter threatening the long term survival of the breed. Thankfully the work of the Exmoor Pony Society ensured that the ESA document for Exmoor confirmed that the registered ponies had been made a special case and could remain on the moor year round.

Today, there are around 500 Exmoor ponies registered into the free-living herds running on Exmoor and a further 3500 worldwide.  Despite the increased numbers the small genetic pool and low number of breeding mares means that the ponies remain on the Rare Breed Survival Trust Watchlist Category 2, Endangered.


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