last individual of a race of living things breathes no more, another Heaven
and another Earth must pass before such a one can be again."
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Exmoor is native to the hill country of Exmoor in southwestern England,
a wide expanse of moorland bisected by the River Exe. Exmoors are believed
to be the most primitive of the northern European horse breeds, and the
breed’s antiquity and genetic distance from other breeds has been
Exmoor ponies average 11.2 hands (46”) at the withers and are very stocky for their height. The deep girth and chest make for a large -digestive capacity, important for utilizing a large amount of rough forage in the diet. The ponies are athletic, intelligent, and strong willed.
Today, fewer than 800 Exmoor ponies exist in the world, most of them in England. About 150 of them roam free on Exmoor, thriving on their own with no food or shelter provided. Though these ponies live wild, they are all owned, and every fall the herds are rounded up for foals to be collected and sold. These foals are of great genetic value to the domestic population since they retain traits selected for survival in the wild. The Exmoor breed is perfectly adapted to its native environment, so much so that it has been exempted from the general policy of removing all livestock from the moor. In fact, Exmoor ponies are being used as native grazers in several environmentally sensitive areas of England to maintain or increase plant diversity.
The Exmoor is promoted in Great Britain by the Exmoor Pony Society, founded
in 1921. The Society maintains information on the status of bloodlines
within the breed as well as on its overall numbers. In North America Exmoors
are registered and promoted by several associations. However, for effective
global conservation to occur North American registries must seek to align
their processes with the Exmoor Pony Society so that animals and their
genetic material may readily be exchanged.
Status: See CPL