Nearly half of the world’s registered Exmoor pony stallions have been entered into an online show.

Exmoor Pony Society’s virtual ‘Stallion Parade’, which is replacing the physical event due to the pandemic, follows the success of the its first online show last year that went viral and attracted 200 entries and an overall Swedish winner.

Nigel Hill is chairman of the society, which is celebrating its centenary this year as formal guardian of the breed.

He said: “We’re very excited to be holding our first ever virtual stallion parade, especially since we could not run our 2020 parade due to lockdown.

“Of the 108 registered stallions in the Exmoor Pony Society stud book, we’ve had 47 entries from across Britain and Europe.

"In a good year there may be 10 to 15 stallions and colts attending the physical event we hold on Exmoor, so going virtual has removed physical barriers of entry.

“We have stallions with ages ranging from one year old to a venerable thirty one. This is a wonderful achievement by all involved in the organisation of the event and I’m absolutely delighted with the number of entries.”

Dunsmore Tamdhu

Dunsmore Tamdhu

Earlier this month the Rare Breeds Survival Trust announced that the Exmoor pony is in the top ’Priority’ category of native breeds.

It remains one of the most historic native British breeds, brought back from near extinction at the end of World War II when it was estimated that only 50 ponies had survived on Exmoor.

Today there are almost 4000 registered ponies, and the society is supporting research and genetics projects to further safeguard the remaining 26 bloodlines.

The virtual Stallion Parade is available for everyone to see via the Exmoor Pony Society YouTube channel.

Stallion owners have provided videos, photos and a commentary for each stallion appearing in the parade, giving viewers a rounded picture of each entrant.

Warrenmere Woodcock

Warrenmere Woodcock

This unique and innovative event gives mare owners and prospective breeders an opportunity to see free living stallions in their natural environment, and stallions performing under saddle as well as being exhibited in hand.

It is also a chance for anyone interested in one of Britain’s rarest breeds to see some of the very best examples of these beautiful ponies.