Father Christmas takes on a Dartmoor pony to work with reindeer!

See article in Horse & Hound! – HERE

A Dartmoor pony called Basil is taking on the role of ‘Dartmoor Reindeer’ to work with Father Christmas as he prepares for his travels all over the world on 24th/25th December!

Visitors to the next Open Day at the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust Centre at Parke, Bovey Tracey, on 8th December from 11am to 2pm, will be able to meet Santa and Basil and learn all about Basil’s preparations for his role this year.

‘Chinkwell Basil’ was born on the Commons of Dartmoor near Widecombe, bred by Margaret Rogers and Michael Lamb of Higher Venton Farm.  He was sold to Trisha Luxton, a Dartmoor pony and driving enthusiast who started his driving career.  Basil now belongs to David and Denise Browne in Taunton and is driven by their grand-daughter Isobel Wesbroom-Warr, who is 16 years old.

“Basil is just incredible”, says Isobel.  “He is 13 years old and has become very accomplished in his lifetime. With Trisha he completed a John O’Groats to Land’s End charity drive with his half-brothers William and Archie. He came to us 3 years ago.  I am a Young Driver with British Carriage Driving and together we have achieved a Novice National year and represented Great Britain at the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) European Youth Championships in Hungary earlier this year.  We think that’s a pretty amazing achievement for a little pony bred in the wilds of Dartmoor!

“We are very proud of this much-loved family pony who loves life and is a personable character with the heart of a lion. He is going to love being a ‘Dartmoor Reindeer’ and we are honoured to have been asked to help Father Christmas!”

Those wishing to meet Basil and Isobel – along with Santa – will be able to learn all about Basil’s life and what his friends and relatives from Dartmoor are getting up to around the world.  They will also be able to buy Christmas gifts, enjoy something to eat and drink, have a go at the ‘lucky dip’, and perhaps adopt one of the very special ponies at the DPHT Centre.  Rolo, Charlie, Smartie and George work all year round in the Charity’s equine assisted learning programmes to help young people across Devon to overcome their life challenges.

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