Saturday, 5 October 2013

Tavistock Market

This little foal was one of many unsold
Yesterday was Tavistock pony market - there were significantly fewer ponies entered than in previous years - just 94 in the catalogue and even then quite a few didn't arrive at the market for the actual sale.  It actually ended up being 57 ponies that went through the ring.  Three registered Dartmoor stallions, 44 ponies that could be classed as "wild" and 10 others that would probably be classed as domesticated.

The registered Dartmoors didn't sell as they had reserves that weren't met.

There weren't many ponies that did sell - 21 in all. Only 12 of the wild ones sold and only 3 to "domestic" homes  - of the others, 7 were bought by Charlotte Faulkner, one by another farmer on the moor and one by a local dealer.

The really great news is that there were no meat men or large scale "dodgy dealers" - so many times we've left markets knowing that lorries of ponies were heading out abroad illegally or up to some sort of scandalous activity (which I'm now convinced was connected to the horse meat scandal) and we were left unable to stop it.  It's a great relief that this is not happening this year.

Of course, the wild ponies brought to the sale are just a very small proportion of all those bred this year.  The vast majority will be shot for zoo meat, as will the ponies that didn't sell at the market.

Let's really hope that reaching a "rock bottom" at the market is a clear sign to the Dartmoor Hill Pony breeders on the moor that they must start thinking in a different way and stop breeding.
For the first time we've ever seen, the front section of Tavistock market was empty

Entries from Mary Alford

On our way home we did find a few ponies on the north side of the moor - mostly the higher value mares (probably heritage ponies/pure-bred ponies?) who looked in very good condition.  Sadly, someone obviously turned out a coloured stallion, making the foals valueless...

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