March 2012: We run an established herd of good quality and carefully selected Heritage and Pedigree mares and we aim to produce confident and happy ponies. Our young stock are always sold well handled and are advertised on the DPHT’s website.
Our stallion Merribridge Groomsman is known to produce hardy stock with excellent calm and quiet temperaments. His rare pedigree bloodlines include Sherberton Joshua, Catesby Crusader II and Cawsand Thunder. He was named in the 2010 Dartmoor Pony Society Diary as one of three working stallions directly linked to Hele Romeo - one of the three original Dartmoor stallions.
However, in the current recession we cannot ignore the equestrian market, with equines selling poorly both privately and at auction made even worst with continual irresponsible breeding all over the uk.
As recognised Dartmoor Pony breeders by the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust we are fortunate to receive the option of stallion vasectomy funded by the charity that works hard to promote responsible breeding of Dartmoor Ponies whilst maintaining the breed for the future.
Once our stallion has recovered from the operation he will run with his original established herd of mares on the common, keeping other stallions away from his herd whilst not producing any further foals himself. His welfare is of course top priority so we will keep a close eye on him as we do the rest of the herd.
The vasectomy is really a short term fix to reduce the number of foals. The long term goal is to improve quality and hardiness and allow the ponies to mature, be well handled and have true ‘added value’ for the potential buyer.
Once the market improves if/when we decide to breed again we will only select a few of the best mares to breed from to produce good quality foals that we will sell handled and ready for a long term career as a child’s pony, driving pony or conservation grazer.
We will then run our selected mares with a pedigree Dartmoor stallion in a newtake scheme or we will consider other options such as loaning or buying.
As our stallion has rare bloodlines we have kept a few of his female offspring as future mares so we do not lose the important pedigree bloodlines.
Of course, before Merribridge Groomsman had the operation we did a lot of research, including talking to the other recognised Dartmoor pony breeders who have had great success with their stallions maintaining their herds without producing offspring.