We are all caught up, in one way or another, by the National crisis caused by the Foot and Mouth Disease.
Some of you may be farmers, others might have land that is adjacent to farms, and all are certainly restricted from normal countryside activity. I know from personal experience the tensions, apprehension, frustration and bewilderment that this drama has caused. Two suspect ewes caused five families on my farm to be “locked in” and all others to be “locked out” for 10 days. Since being “released” we have lambed 600 plus ewes - we also cared for 250 ewes and 75 cattle for a tenant who was locked out.
So far we have got off lightly. I send my heartfelt sorrow to all members who have been hit even harder. Also, to those affected in so many other ways - members who have rural business, ie blacksmiths, and also those whose hobbies and pleasures have been restricted. The Fell Pony Egroup and Website have received many messages of concern and sympathy from all over the UK and overseas.
The future of agriculture and the countryside is being very seriously affected, and will damage all those who rely upon it for their livelihood. There is one peculiar advantage that will be achieved by the countryside restrictions. Nature - and by that I mean natural wild life (wild animals, flora and fauna), are inevitably remaining undisturbed during this spring and summer. It is the numbers game of “access” that is already moving and destroying the rural environment that public pressure now insists upon. That pressure will soon damage the very “pleasure” that we all wish to witness and enjoy. The skylarks in their hundreds have almost disappeared, as have the pipits and many others. Farmers and countryside workers on their daily rounds are known and accepted by animals in the wild - they are just part of the place and they preserve the habitat. Strangers do not. Wild animals know the difference!! I welcome at least 2,000 visitors to my small plot each year - but access is carefully managed and causes little detrimental damage. I have made mistakes - serious ones - and having seen the depletion of wild life, I have reverted to better control and privacy for their territory.
These views of mine may seem contentious - but please think clearly about them. The custodians of nature (the countryside) have preserved and enhanced the environment for centuries. Their mistakes, caused by production and financial pressures in recent years, are under constructive scrutiny and are progressing towards rectification. Those custodians (farmers, landowners and Environmental Institutions) are able to preserve our countryside and its nature.
You may find it peculiar that I write in such a vein. It is not so. My Great Grandfather was a “so called” Nouveau Townie Engineering Businessman in the late 1800’s. I remember him well - he died aged 101 in 1953!! He was then a knowledgeable Countryman and Naturalist living on the shores of Ullswater. I worked in industrial engineering for 20 years and that has given me the experience to understand the balance between those who know the Countryside and Nature, and those from urban backgrounds who wish to witness and enjoy it. It should be shared - but must be controlled and managed - and of particular importance there must be co-operation and education, as opposed to insistent unregulated Rights of future legal Rights.
Fell ponies have been a large part of our family’s life for over the last 100 years. The first ever National Park at Gowbarrow on Ullswater was given about 7 Fell ponies by my Grandfather. I am therefore taking this opportunity to send a message to you all to consider very seriously. As Fell Pony Enthusiasts, I am sure you know that we are part of that nature; our feral breed is a piece in the puzzle of the countryside. We all have our part to play - and I trust you will play your part in that puzzle. Cumbria, the heartland of the Fell pony, has been one of the most seriously affected areas. The Fell pony will have to play many rolls to help heal the people and the country that this disease has affected. I have had a long talk with the Chairman of the Dartmoor Pony Society, a breed in a very similar situation to our own.
Many of our events are being cancelled. We need to help and support our friends who so kindly host these events. It is impossible to know when we can proceed with freedom and hence various decisions still lie in the balance.
I realise I am using this letter as a “vehicle” to express my personal views. They are food for thought.
Thank you all for being patient and understanding. I look forward to the time when we can all be involved again with our ponies and enjoy the fun and joy they give us.
Chairman of The Fell Pony Society
It is always difficult asking for money, there is never a “right” time to ask!! I realise this, and that there are many calls on your hard earned cash, but the financial situation the Society finds itself in has been exacerbated to a degree by the current FMD problems. Our meetings and shows to date have been cancelled and this has added to further loss of revenue for the Society by way of raffles and the sales goods.
The situation is grim!!
Our annual accounts have shown a deficit for two years running. The Council is taking steps to redress the problem and, amongst other measures, a raise in subscription rates has been approved by Council and was due to be ratified at the 2001 AGM.
BUT ....... we need funds for the rest of this year and for this reason I am asking EVERY MEMBER to consider sending a donation, however small or large, to the Society NOW.
It has been suggested (by a member, I might add!) that those of you “saving” diesel or petrol by not attending as many shows as usual might consider donating some of those “savings” to the society??
Perhaps you could select some items from the sales goods for birthday presents?
Whatever you do, PLEASE do something to help the Society get through this most difficult of years. We are not, and never have been, in the business of operating for profit, but we must balance the books or the Society itself will be at risk.
Please, if you can send a donation, send it now whilst you think about it. If every member sent something, it would considerably ease the current cash flow problem.
Thanking you in anticipation…..!!
Find out more about some ways you can help:
[ 200 Club ] [ Merchandise Sales ]
The Annual General Meeting must take place within 15 months of the date of the last one (Article 4.1). It has therefore been decided to hold the 2001 AGM but only the MINIMUM LEGAL BUSINESS will be transacted (see below Agenda). A quorum of 20 members only is required. This will reduce the risk of Foot and Mouth infection spreading through the gathering together of a large number of members.
It is envisaged that this meeting will take no longer than 30 minutes.
NOTICE OF THE FELL PONY SOCIETY ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
To be held on Saturday 16 June 2001 at 1100 hrs.
At the Penrith Rugby Club, Penrith. (See below for directions)
From Junction 40 of the M6, turn East - signposted Scotch Corner (usual turning as for Hackthorpe). At the next roundabout take the A686 signposted Alston. The Rugby Club is on the left ½ mile up this road. If you reach Carleton, then you have gone to far!! The Rugby Club’s telephone number is 01768 863462 for anyone getting lost.
** It would be helpful if members could indicate whether they are coming for catering purposes **
|19 May||- Stallion and Colt Show, Dalemain. CANCELLED|
|27 May||- Fell Pony Performance Trial, Hexham. CANCELLED
(The NPS Novice WHP qualifier is not being allocated to another show this year).
|2 June||- East Anglia Native Pony Society Show,
(The two Native Breeds WHP qualifiers from this show have been allocated to the Northern Horse Show).
|24 June||- Northern Horse Show, Wetherby. POSTPONED
(See new date and venue below).
|30 June||- Sizergh Show (Windermere), Kendal. CANCELLED|
|22 July||- Hexham Native Horse and Pony Show, Hexham. CANCELLED
(The two Native Breeds WHP qualifiers from this show have been allocated to the Northern Horse Show).
|22 July||- Northern Horse Show, Great Yorkshire
Showground. CONFIRMED AS RUNNING
(Holding six Native Breeds WHP qualifiers on behalf of the FPS).
|4 August||- Lowther Fell Pony Show, Penrith. CANCELLED|
|11 August||- FPS Breed Show, Penrith. CANCELLED|
|9 September||- Southern Breed Show, Oxford. CONFIRMED
(Holding the Fell breed NPS Olympia qualifier).
|16 September||- Fun Day / Handy Pony at Margaret Murray’s. CANCELLED|
|- Hairy Pony/Horse Fun Show, Wreay, Carlisle.
Contact: Mary Dodd, North Fell Dyke, Lamplugh, Workington CA14 4SH.
Telephone: 01946 861302. Fax: 01946 861397.
This event is kindly being organised by Mary Dodd (member) as a means to raise funds for the Society. This show is not just for Fell ponies, it is open to all horses and ponies whether they are registered or not. There are six rules - Number 6 being “All competitors and horses/ponies must enjoy themselves”!! Need we say more…?? Please come and support this show and have some fun with your four-legged friends.
Due to the Society not holding any events this year, it has been decided that all cups and trophies must be returned to the Office for evaluation and repair. We are therefore looking for the cups and trophies from last years Stallion and Colt Show, FPS Performance Trial held at Hexham, Windermere Show and the Breed Show. If you have any questions relating to a cup or trophy, please contact Mrs Margaret Murray, Park House Farm, Baldersdale, Barnard Castle, Co Durham DL12 9UT. Telephone: 01833 650474.
Members may, or may not, be aware that the Society is regulated by MAFF where we have to abide by EU Regulations. In January this year, a MAFF official inspected the Society. The outcome of this visit was that the Society had to review its rule on microchipping. You will see below that 1. a) is the alteration that the Society made to the current rule.
In any event all females born after the date of January 2001 must be
microchipped when they are to leave the holding of their birth. It is the
breeders’ responsibility to have any female’s microchipped before they
are passed on to the new owner.
If you have any queries relating to foal registration or need any forms, please contact the Office.
I would first like to ask ALL BREEDERS (including Native Heath) to consider forwarding their foal registration applications to the Office BEFORE October. A lot of forms were received in the last two weeks of December last year. This created a backlog of work with subscriptions also coming in and many forms had to be returned for amendment. This year if a form has to be sent back for amendment and it is not returned to the Office before 31 December deadline (excluding recognised Native Heath breeders) then the ‘Late Registration’ rule will apply. I would like to remind members that it does say in the Society’s Regulations “With few exceptions, all ponies born on or after 1.1.98 must be registered by 31 December in their year of birth…” - NOT registration forms must be submitted by 31 December.
This year due to the cancellation of all the Society’s shows and meetings, there will be a shortage of items for the Autumn Newsletter. Please can you consider forwarding articles and pictures for inclusion otherwise we will have a very short and dull Newsletter. You could write about what your Fell has got up to (or in to!!) recently or what makes your Fell so special, the list is endless!! Please forward all articles to Beth Slater, Hannam Cottage, Horton-in-Ribblesdale, Settle, North Yorkshire BD24 0HF or e-mail John-Beth.Slater@ukgateway.net. The deadline for the Autumn Newsletter is 1 September.
I am sending out a request for good quality clear pictures of Fell ponies or a Fell pony to be forwarded to the Office for the Society’s use. I am often requested for pictures from magazines running articles on the Fell pony and I would also like to brighten up the Office by putting some pictures around the walls. I would like either photographs or good quality scanned prints that I could keep indefinitely. Ideally I would like some show pictures (in-hand and ridden), jumping (XC, SJ, and WHP), endurance/le trec, driving and natural pictures. The age and sex of the pony doesn’t matter. Please can you include a short narrative on where the picture was taken and any results if applicable.
For those of you with Internet access, the Society regularly updates its website with news and information as decisions are made. The address is http://www.raresteeds.com/FellPonySociety.
Associate Editor - Valerie Russell.
Supported by Sue Baker (Editor/Publisher of “Going Native”).
“A must read” for all Native Pony Owners and Enthusiasts everywhere!!
For more information, please see the website at http://www.thenativepony.com
or contact The Native Pony, Hillaine Publishing, Ascurry Mill Cottage, Letham,
Forfar, Angus DD8 2QQ. Telephone: 01307 818919.
This Newsletter has been circulated (as near as possible) to one per household to keep costs down for the Society. If additional copies are required, please forward a self-addressed envelope and stamp. Thank you
forward to a happier 2002!!
This page last updated: 22 January 2008
© 2001 by The Fell Pony Society and Naked Essence Web Designs