Langworthy Nuthatch was one of our first foals, born to us in 2006, which caused great excitement. We had not lived long on Dartmoor and had just acquired our first mares off the moor. Nutty’s mother was entered into the Duchy Moorland Scheme as an SR1, so she could run with a pedigree stallion (Watt’s Zoar Torr) and we were very pleased to have a filly first time around. SEE THE PDF
All these years later, Nutty has become one of our stalwart mares, having given us eight foals to date. The latest, Langworthy Honeybuzzard (by Moortown Honeyman) came to Honiton Show to grace the Rare Breeds stand with Nuthatch his mother this year.
The best-known of Nutty’s relatives is her half-sister, Langworthy Swift Ghost, out of the same mare. Langworthy Swift Ghost is off to HOYS this year for the third time. Like Nutty, she is an SR2, which shows how effective and successful the Duchy Moorland Scheme can be for improving quality of ponies on the moor and increasing the gene pool of the registered Dartmoor pony.
Traditional Dartmoor Pony
watchlist category Endangered (300-500 breeding females)
Dartmoor ponies are the native pony breed of Dartmoor, recorded as living on the wild and inhospitable moors since the Middle Ages. They are well adapted to the moorland environment and have the metabolism to prosper in tough and uncompromising conditions. This together with excellent temperament has traditionally made them suitable for both farm work and as riding ponies in all spheres of competition. Despite their small frame they are strong enough to carry an adult. Dartmoor Ponies should not exceed 12.2hh and are well-muscled. They can be bay, brown, black, grey, roan or chestnut in colour, but not skewbald or piebald or with excessive white markings. The modern type of Dartmoor Pony was established at the end of the nineteenth century. The breed was severely threatened during the Second World War when the army used the moor as a training area, but was rescued by committed owners. Later, mechanization forced the breed into another decline. In 1988 the Duchy of Cornwall established the Moorland Scheme to preserve the Dartmoor Pony in its natural environment. This scheme is administered by both the Duchy of Cornwall and the Dartmoor Pony Society who provide help by subsidizing the scheme. It is also supported by the Dartmoor National Park. It has been successful and has slowly increased the “true type” Dartmoor Ponies on the Moor.
A note about the Duchy Moorland Pony Scheme:
Ponies in the scheme are inspected by two Dartmoor Pony Society Judges – the criteria being they must be bred on Dartmoor, and owned by a member of the Dartmoor Pony Society with a holding number, within the National Park. These are ponies of true Dartmoor type and whole coloured, but have never been registered in the Society’s Stud Book before for various reasons. Once inspected they come into what is called a Newtake (an enclosed area/parcel of land on the Moor) where they run with a licensed fully pedigree stallion for the summer. The progeny is inspected the following year, again by two Dartmoor Pony Society judges, when ponies are collected at Drift time, and if passed as suitable they move up a grade. Ponies are microchipped by the veterinary surgeon in attendance, and paperwork for Passports completed before they are taken back to the owners farms for winter. The Scheme starts off after inspection with a mare becoming an SR (Supplementary Register), progeny of which becomes SR1 (Supplementary Register1) Female progeny are encouraged to return in to the Newtakes when old enough with a monetary incentive given the first time it returns into the Newtake. The next progeny thus becoming SR2 (Supplementary Register2) with the females once again encouraged to return as the resulting progeny becomes Fully Registered in the main body of the Stud Book.
Male progeny are usually gelded and become good children’s ponies.
A Supplementary Register colt may not be used to sire Registered Pedigree Stock nor may it be used as a Stallion in the Newtakes.