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North Wales’ Carneddau Ponies seek new homes: Gareth Wyn Jones leads the charge

THE CARNEDDAU mountain ponies, part of the heritage and ecosystem of Snowdonia, are in need of new homes. This autumn, after the annual round-up of the herd that grazes across the picturesque Snowdonia to prevent overgrazing, 50 wild ponies will be looking for a fresh start.

TV farmer and secretary of the Carneddau Mountain Pony Society, Gareth Wyn Jones, has raised concerns about the misunderstood reputation of this unique breed. Widely perceived as unruly, these ponies are often overlooked by potential adopters who might be seeking a more manageable domesticated breed. Gareth seeks to correct this misconception during his appearance at the upcoming GWCT Welsh Game Fair at the Vaynol Estate in Gwynedd this September.

Addressing common misconceptions, Gareth stated, “Many prospective homes wrongly assume the Carneddau mountain ponies are wild and unmanageable – akin to the wild mustangs of the western movies.” However, the reality is starkly different. “These clever ponies can adapt to their new homes in just days. Those fortunate to have adopted them have gone on to enjoy riding, driving, and showing.”

The annual November round-up, an event that sees the entire herd gathered for health checks, highlights the importance and history of these ponies. Gareth emphasises their historical significance, dating back to the Bronze Age, and their ecological role. “They aren’t mere tourist attractions. Their grazing habits maintain a balanced ecosystem and even support endangered species like the red-billed chough and the dung beetle.”

This September, the GWCT Welsh Game Fair attendees will not only get a chance to learn more about the ponies but also witness a live demo by the Carneddau Mountain Pony Society in the main arena. This demonstration will underscore the ponies’ versatility and temperament.

Interested adopters will be pleased to learn that there’s no charge for adopting a pony. The only cost involved is getting the pony microchipped.

The 2023 GWCT Welsh Game Fair is scheduled for 9-10 September at the Faenol Estate in Bangor, Gwynedd. Those looking for tickets can visit the official website: www.welshgamefair.org. Prices range from £20 for an adult single-day advance ticket to family packages and camping options.