A pony referred to as Alan Partridge – or Elsinore Alan Partridge to offer him his full identify – is the primary to contribute semen to a brand new initiative geared toward securing Exmoors’ future.
The Exmoor Pony Society (EPS) has launched, and raised £50,000 for, a marketing campaign to create a gene financial institution, aiming to protect genetic materials and so probably defend the breed’s future.
Society chairman Nigel Hill stated: “It’s our position to safeguard the way forward for the Exmoor pony, one of the crucial iconic native breeds within the UK. The Exmoor is a ‘precedence’ breed in response to the Uncommon Breeds Survival Belief and this implies they’re basically endangered.
“Instrumental within the launch would be the oversight of our lately introduced scientific advisory panel, which can lead on genetic analysis and innovation. The panel includes Exmoor pony specialists from the fields of genetics, ecology and veterinary science, which ensures we’re effectively positioned to make the most of developments in equine genetic conservation.”
Elsinore Alan Partridge is a 15-year-old registered Exmoor pony, who has gained at a number of exhibits. His secure identify is Q, after the Star Trek character, and he has sired 12 ponies within the studbook. He’s based mostly in Suffolk with mom and daughter breeders Sandy Wooderson and Madeline Haynes.
“We have been delighted to be requested to participate within the gene financial institution marketing campaign,” stated Sandy. “We purchased Q as a yearling and he actually kicked off our love of the breed and our stud. On the age of six he had certified for the Horse of the 12 months Present below saddle and has additionally sired some stunning inventory who at the moment are additionally profitable within the present ring. We’re very pleased with him!”
Madeline added: “It’s great that the EPS is introducing such a forward-thinking initiative, which is paramount for defense of this uncommon breed. Studying from historical past, a disaster actually might occur. We’re proud to be concerned and contribute to defending this valuable native pony that faces the true life risk of extinction, in addition to safeguarding Q’s uncommon genetic bloodline.”
The semen donated by Q and different stallions can be owned by the Exmoor Pony Society, which can “coordinate the gathering and preservation logistics”.
Solely 600, or 15%, or the Exmoor inhabitants is actively breeding, which makes the breed weak owing to an absence of variety. Genetic variation is proscribed in Exmoors as pony numbers crashed to 50 through the Second World Struggle, so many bloodlines have been misplaced.
Preserving materials in gene banks signifies that in future, a viable inhabitants might be restored if wanted, or disappearing bloodlines saved.
Ecologist Sue Baker, a member of the Exmoor Pony Society’s scientific advisory panel, stated: “Presently semen from solely six Exmoor stallions is saved within the Nationwide Livestock Gene Financial institution however solely three of those have enough doses.
“To be able to attain the minimal amount to supply breed ‘disaster insurance coverage’, ideally 22 further stallions must contribute 50 doses every. The first intention of the venture is to realize this inside two to a few years.”
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