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Handling, Sales Support & Education

Marketing and Sales – Riding, Driving and Companion
Generating additional income for famers and breeders from Dartmoor Ponies will contribute significantly to sustaining the Dartmoor Pony on Dartmoor. The DPHT intends to provide support in the marketing and where requested the preparation of Dartmoor Ponies for sales. The Dartmoor Pony brand will be built upon the reputation of the Dartmoor farmers and breeders, the ability to provide provenance and the endorsement of the DPHT of the ponies Heritage status. Underpinning the Sales strategy will be the maintenance of an up-to-date Sales Register for riding, driving and companion ponies via the DPHT website, linking buyer with breeder. This will include background information on the breeders and farmers, case studies of previous ponies sold and photographic record. The intention is to provide an ‘information line’ for perspective buyers to speak to DPHT and/or farmer/breeder. A register will be maintained of enquiries with a pro-active approach to reaching out to those that have made previous enquiries and not found the right pony. The DPHT will act not just as a clearing house for ponies but adding value to the Dartmoor Pony being sold through the DPHT providing the Pony’s heritage, development and ‘connection for life’ with the farmer/breeder.  A purchaser is not just buying a Dartmoor Pony, but investing in the future of the Dartmoor Pony.

Marketing and Sales – Conservation Grazing
Conservation grazing is increasingly becoming a more competitive market with a large number of semi-feral pony organisations seeing this as an outlet for their ponies. It is also becoming more selective in the types of ponies that are required. Depending on the land being conserved, organisations are looking for a range of types of ponies from Shetlands with a small footprint through to the larger ponies such as Fell Ponies. Price will be one of the key factors but so will a clear articulation of the benefits of a particular breed of pony. The DPHT must ensure that it places itself in a position where it is viewed as the go to organisation for conservation grazing and advice that is built upon:
• Being seen as the preferred partner to leading scientific, educational and environmental groups who study conservation grazing and environmental regeneration.
• Provision of case studies and underpinning academic studies that demonstrate the successful use of the Dartmoor Pony in conservation grazing.
• Acknowledged as an organisation that has a very high reputation for animal welfare and delivers well cared for ponies that are suitable to handle for inspection and welfare.
• Provides through life support and advice. Application of the above should enable the DPHT to establish itself as an authoritative organisation that can be a partner to a range of organisations that are seeking to use native ponies to manage and improve the environment

Parke – Showcase 
Parke provides safe access to the public to learn more of the work of the DPHT and the Dartmoor Pony. Previous investment has also created a suitable venue to: handle and bring-on ponies, conduct Sales and provide educational and outreach programmes. Parke also acts as the HQ of the DPHT.

Handling and Bringing-On Ponies.
Providing ponies that have been brought on to the level expected of the buyers is vital in maintaining the reputation of breeders and the DPHT. It is recognised that this is a skilled activity and whilst can be undertaken by farmers and breeders many do not have the time to undertake this work. Whilst there is a legitimate argument that handling and development can be undertaken at venues other than Parke, when combined with the other potential benefits of Parke, this remains the preferred location. It is acknowledged that for the breeders and farmers the ability of the DPHT to assist with the handling of ponies especially around the timings of the drift is of great importance and should be a basic support package from the DPHT.

Sales Centre
It is intended to use Parke as a location for potential buyers to view Dartmoor Ponies.
This is divided into 3 marketing opportunities:
• Organised Visits. Following a sales enquiry, potential buyers can be invited to Parke to view the pony and talk to the handler and/or farmer or breeder.
• Pony Sales. The DPHT will develop the ability to organise Pony Sales in conjunction with Farmers and Breeders as well as other organisations.
• Individual Sales. Sales resulting from ad-hoc visitors to the Centre.

Visitor and Education Centre.
The DPHT will look to make greater use of Parke as a visitor and education centre.
• ‘Handling and Development Seminars. 1 or 2 day seminars to be undertaken in the care of native ponies as well as breaking and handling.
• Location for presenting/showcasing environmental/native pony studies undertaken on Dartmoor/ Bellever.
• Open Days. Creating a living space where visitors can learn more about the Dartmoor Pony and those who breed and look after them as well as the ability to ‘see and feel’ Dartmoor Ponies.

Subject to Board review

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