The Fell pony has been bred on the upland fells of Cumbria for centuries by the farmers who have allocated grazing rights for their farm animals. The breeding herds on the fell keep the ponies traditional hardiness and sure footedness so essential to their use as a working pony.
The ancestors of these semi-wild ponies have roamed the Northern fells for centuries and have shaped our lives in the Cumbria landscape, and the exhibition suggests they should not be entirely over looked in the changing patterns of our culture. Discover the true characteristics of this hardy native pony out on the fells with the ability and stamina to survive all year round.
They were, and should continue to be, an intrinsic part of Cumbria’s landscape and cultural heritage.
Libby Robinson, exhibition curator said: “The Fell pony breed is under threat of losing habitat and the traditional way of breeding so will lose its breed characteristics and hardiness if not supported by the herds on the fells, these larger herds of ponies are diminishing as the older upland farmers die out. The aim of the exhibition is to bring to the general public an awareness of the Fell pony and the importance of maintaining its presence on the Cumbrian fells.”
This exhibition will bring to the general public the Fell ponies way of life on the up-land fell as semi-wild ponies living in herds all the year round with photographs and two short films of the ponies living in their environment and the sense of space with them living free.
There will also be old historical photographs, literature, poems and artefacts to show a heritage with a strong bond in the past with hill farms and breeders.
Libby added: “These semi-wild herds are the lifeblood of the Fell breed, living and breeding on the upland fells just like the Herdwick sheep and other native domestic breeds, they are the” true management” of the land by the way they graze for the traditional hill farmers over the last two thousand years.”
The Heritage of the Hill-Bred Fell Pony Exhibition
Held at Rheged, Penrith Cumbria.
From Tuesday 6th August to Thursday 22nd August 2019.
Open 10am – 5pm.