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June 2nd, 2017
Exmoor Pony Centre Canters into the Future!
Staff, volunteers and trustees from the Moorland Mousie Trust which runs the Exmoor Pony Centre at Ashwick near Dulverton in Somerset, are celebrating an astounding achievement as their crowdfunding campaign draws to a close.
Caption: Volunteer Doulla Aebli with Knightoncombe Eric. Credit: Kali Green
The 42 day appeal has seen the charity raise a staggering £35,000, exceeding the initial target by several thousand pounds thanks to the generosity of more than 850 people. The Centre is now safe until the end of the year and the staff and trustees can now focus on plans for its long-term survival. Centre Manager, Linzi Green explained: “When we launched the appeal we were so desperate for funds to prevent the Centre from closing. it really was a make or break situation. We are totally overwhelmed by the response and are so grateful to everyone who has donated. However we still desperately need funding to ensure the future of the charity and of the many Exmoor ponies we care for. ”
Trustee Juliet Rogers has been amazed by the public’s support, “It has been wonderful to see people from all over the world, of all ages and backgrounds, getting behind our charity and helping us to continue our work taking the unwanted Exmoor ponies who would otherwise have no future.”
The charity's trustees have praised all the volunteers who help to keep the Centre running day to day and have bestowed huge thanks on two volunteers, Gail Cheeseman and Doulla Aebli, who have organised the Crowdfunder campaign and devoted the last six weeks to ensuring the threat of closure no longer hangs over the Exmoor Pony Centre.
Sarah Bryan, chief executive of Exmoor National Park Authority said: "Many congratulations to the Exmoor Pony Centre for a fantastic fundraising effort, we are delighted to hear that their target was so comprehensively beaten. It is a testament to the dedication and hard work of a small team of people who care so much about the Exmoor ponies which enliven our landscapes.”
Donations and offers of help have poured into the Centre and fundraising events such as sponsored rides, cake stalls, non-uniform days and pony parties are being organised by supporters throughout the UK. There is still much to achieve before the charity's future can be assured and the fight still goes on for the ponies. Staff and volunteers hope a busy summer will continue to boost funds with revenue from riding sessions, activity days and visitors.
"The real stars of this campaign have been the Exmoor Ponies themselves." said Linzi, "I am sure if they could speak they would like to have the final word and say thanks to everyone for supporting this appeal and giving them, and the Exmoor Pony Centre, a future."
You can find details of activities and events, follow the charity’s progress or sign up to be a supporter and receive newsletters, on the website: www.exmoorponycentre.org.uk or on the facebook/exmoorponycentrefanpage/. The charity is also pleased to accept donations via our website, by post and by phone on 01398 323093.
April 21st, 2017
Click here for our Crowdfunding page with video
Setback for Exmoor Ponies
Our well known Exmoor Pony Centre, operated by the charity Moorland Mousie Trust, is facing imminent closure after trustees reveal a downturn in financial revenue.
Caption: Centre Manager Linzi Green with MMT Foals Shandy, Rio and Tango. Credit Doulla Aebli
The Moorland Mousie Trust, based near Dulverton on Exmoor, helps unwanted moor bred Exmoor
pony foals facing slaughter each Autumn and operates a dedicated centre for their promotion and
Opened in 2006, The Exmoor Pony Centre was a dream that the charity’s founders had after seeing
the plight of these rare and endangered foals. Since then over 50,000 visitors have discovered the
wonderful native Exmoor pony breed and over 300 moor bred foals have found a future either as
riding ponies or within conservation grazing herds throughout the UK and abroad.
This week, following several years of rising costs and decreasing income, the Trustees have sadly
announced that unless the charity can find a minimum of £20,000 it will be unable to stay open.
“This will also mean the closure of the popular riding, education and community outreach activities
enjoyed by local visitors and tourists.” said Linzi Green, Centre Manager “We are all terribly worried
about the imminent threat of closure at the end of the summer, our target of £20,000 means that we would be able to continue for the rest of 2017 while we work to raise further funding which we hope will ensure our long-term survival.”
The Exmoor Pony Centre provides a vital service for the free-living Exmoor pony herds. With
closure not only would the foals have nowhere else to go but also public access to the breed would
end. This unique interaction and opportunity to ride, developed over the last 11 years, fulfills a vital
need in marketing the breed and encouraging future sales and support for the ponies.
In an attempt to prevent closure a Crowdfunder Appeal is being launched to raise funds, organised
by volunteer Gail Cheeseman. The Appeal will be launched on April 21st on Crowdfunder.co.uk.
Gail’s dedication to the centre and work in setting up the Appeal has been praised by the Trustees
“I just couldn’t sit by and watch the Centre close without us all having fought as hard as possible to
raise the funds to stay open.” she said, “I have been supporting the charity for years and have seen first-hand the good work undertaken by trustees, staff and volunteers to improve the lives of these ponies.”
So many people and ponies have benefitted from the work of the Centre and although the charity
Moorland Mousie Trust will continue, with a much smaller and less effective presence, the closing
of the Centre will be a blow for all future foals bred on Exmoor.
Sarah Bryan, chief executive of Exmoor National Park Authority stated: “The Exmoor pony is an
important part of Exmoor’s heritage and one of the National Park’s special qualities. Visitors and
locals alike delight in seeing the free living herds grazing the moor and we are sorry to learn that the
Centre’s future is uncertain. We have worked with them for many years and we hope that people
across the country and indeed the world will feel able to help.”
Fiona Dickson veterinary surgeon to the Moorland Mousie ponies commented: “It will be a
devastating loss and a massive backward step in the safeguarding of the breed if the Exmoor Pony
Centre were to close. The Moorland Mousie Trust and their work through the Centre is an integral
part of the Exmoor pony's future in finding homes, education and the rescue of ponies in difficulty. I
hope this fundraising initiative helps to secure the future of the Centre and raises awareness of their plight.”
Activities will continue as normal throughout the summer, as revenue brought in by activity days
and visitors will also assist in raising funds. You can find the centre’s activities on our Facebook page.
To help or register your support log on to our Crowdfunder page and pledge whatever you can. There are some great rewards on offer by donation through the appeal site and a video showing the work of the charity and centre. You can also see some of the cute foals, all of which have had nowhere to go. The charity will also be pleased to accept donations by post and over the phone.
November 7th, 2016
A voluntary position for a new Trustee has arisen to join the existing board of four trustees. Ideally candidates will have some experience in Business & Accounting, Human Resources and Marketing & Fundraising. You should have an interest in animals and in the welfare of our native Exmoor Pony. We would like the applicant to be located in the South West so they are able to attend meetings held at The Exmoor Pony Centre near Dulverton, Somerset on a regular basis.
Applicants should have an understanding of the role of a Trustee and be prepared to commit their time to supporting the current Board of Trustees in raising awareness of the charity and in supporting the smooth running of The Exmoor Pony Centre. Download document Being a Trustee for the Moorland Mousie Trust
Interested applicants should send a cover letter and CV by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post addressed to Linzi Green, General Manager, The Exmoor Pony Centre, Ashwick, Dulverton, TA22 9QE. Applicants are also welcome to arrange a suitable time for an informal telephone chat or to visit the Centre.
About The Moorland Mousie Trust
The aim of the trust is to provide a future for the Exmoor pony foals born to the free living herds on Exmoor. Since the charity was founded over 300 foals have been given homes.
The MMT owns The Exmoor Pony Centre where these foals are taken to be handled, giving them the best change of a future with a fosterer or on conservation grazing sites.
The Centre is open to visitors providing a base on Exmoor for people to come and see and learn about Exmoor Ponies. Riding sessions are also available. It is a small Centre which is run with 3 staff members, including the General Manager, and supported by volunteers.
October 15th 2016
Sue Wingate 1947 - 2016
It is with great sorrow that we inform you of the sad death of our dedicated and long serving Trustee and Co-Founder, Sue Wingate. Sue, an accomplished horsewoman and equestrian artist, sadly lost her battle with cancer in late September and will be deeply missed. Sue first met Valerie Sherwin in the summer of 1998 on Winsford Hill whilst she was photographing foals for a new work of art. Sue had her own Exmoor pony, Rupert of which she was very fond. Sue stayed with the charity throughout all of the highs and lows showing genuine conviction and belief in the work of the charity. The Trustees, Staff and Volunteers send their condolences to the friends and relatives of Sue, who will be dearly in the hearts of the charity forever.
Linzi Green, General Manager, The Exmoor Pony Centre
August 16th 2016
Tracey Gemmel has just published her debut novel Dunster's Calling and is kindly donating a percentage of the proceeds to our charity The Moorland Mousie Trust. A most enjoyable read featuring Dunster, an Exmoor Pony.
"When you'd grown up on Exmoor, it was hard to accept second best. That tiny corner of England was a combination of scenic glory, equestrian excellence, and clotted cream nirvana, making the rest of the world pale in Samantha's eyes. So how had she been matrimonially swept away to Blizzard Country, USA? How had she become an empty nester four thousand miles and two decades away from her childhood schemes? And away from Dunster, her handsome and loyal, though every hungry, Exmoor pony?"
click here to visit her website for more information and to buy a copy
July 12th 2016
We are celebrating our 10th birthday at Dunster Country Fair - come and join in the fun!
This year's Dunster Country Fair, on July 27th, marks a milestone anniversary for our Centre, and two equestrian celebrities are helping us celebrate and raise much-needed funds.
Author and Exmoor pony lover, Victoria Eveleigh, and Devon horse trainer, freerider and TV presenter, Emma Massingale, will be in our gazebo on the Village Green for a special birthday party for Exmoor pony Barney, one of the first foals to be taken in when the Centre opened a decade ago.
Join us to find out more about this wonderful iconic breed and support our fund-raising. There will be prize-giving and birthday cake for the ponies and people, and Victoria and Emma will be happy to sign books and programmes.
June 7th 2016
Summer Vacancy for a Trek Leader
June 3rd 2016
Unfortunately Michael Woodcock will no longer be riding in a jumping challenge at the Dunster Country Fair on July 27th 2016. Press Release dated 26th May 2016
April 13th 2016
Michael Woodcock, who first rode a horse in 2012 at the age of 69 at The Exmoor Pony Centre, is fundraising for our charity by competing at Dunster Fair on July 27th, 2016. Read more here about his exciting venture. Click here to donate to his JustGiving page.
March 28th 2016
A free competition is now open to children up to the age of 16 years. Please visit The Traprain Ponies of Exmoor for more details and to download the questionnaire. The competition has been compiled by a supporter and volunteer at Traprain, where there are 13 Moorland Mousie Trust ponies conservation grazing. All prizes have kindly been donated. Donations to cover the cost and support the charity welcome.
March 4th 2016
Do you have time to spare and would like to be around Exmoor ponies and help and charity? Whether you have an hour, a morning, an afternoon or a whole day or more we would love to hear from you.
January 27th, 2016
Vacancy for a Groom and Yard Assistant
For more details contact 01398 323093 (answer machine), email email@example.com or download an application pack.