Many Thanks to the Horserace Betting Levy Board

Many Thanks to the Horserace Betting Levy Board

The HBLB has been supporting the rare native equine breeds for many years and in particular the Dales Pony Society. The Society uses its grant to support many of the breeding, registration and testing services rather than passing on the full costs to breeders and owners.

This its latest press release:

HBLB Supports Rare Native Equine Breeds as Part of Commitment to Improving Breeds of Horse

Non-thoroughbred rare breed societies will benefit from funding from the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) in 2021, with grants awarded in accordance with HBLB’s statutory objective for “the improvement of breeds of horses”.

As well as the significant investment made in the interests of the thoroughbred, for many decades HBLB has sought to protect and enhance specified British rare breeds via grants to societies to support their pure breeding programmes.

The range of breed societies assisted has varied from time to time, and HBLB now takes advice from the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) on which native British breeds are most in need of help.  The HBLB Board received a presentation from the RBST at its May meeting on current initiatives and activities.

The HBLB grants are used to support breed improvement programmes.  This can include premium payments to encourage pure breeding of quality bloodlines, genetic analysis, gene banking, DNA testing, registration subsidy, licensing fees, stallion fertility testing, artificial insemination schemes, maintenance of the breed stud book, support for breed shows and show judge training.  The individual societies are required to add 20% from their own resources to fund their programmes.

In addition, HBLB backs the annual Rare Breeds Heritage Show, now being managed by the RBST.  Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 Show, which was to have been the eighth, had to be cancelled.  The RBST is working to organize an event in 2021, taking into account the continuing limitations.

Below are the 12 breeds supported in 2021/22 and the relevant RBST categorisation.  The total allocation is £165,500.

RBST – Priority

Cleveland Bay Horse £21,500

Dales Pony Society  £9,000

Dartmoor Pony Society £9,000

Eriskay Pony Society  £9,000

Exmoor Pony Society  £9,000

Hackney Horse Society £18,000

Suffolk Horse Society £25,000


RBST – At Risk

Clydesdale Horse Society £11,000

Fell Pony Society £7,000

Highland Pony Society £7,000

Shire Horse Society   £30,000

New Forest Pony Society £5,000


Rare Breeds of the Year Show £5,000


HBLB Grants Manager Annie Dodd said: “Our native British horse and pony breeds are integral to this country’s landscape and history.  Alongside its essential support for the breeding of the racing Thoroughbred, HBLB is also committed to helping the most vulnerable native breeds survive and thrive in the modern day.  Breeds such as the Dales pony or the Suffolk Punch demonstrate the same qualities and aptitude for sport, work and leisure riding as the Thoroughbred, and deserve the same high regard. They are part of the great British equine scene and the Board wants to help preserve them in the future. “

RBST Chief Executive Christopher Price said: “RBST is a conservation charity dedicated to the promotion and conservation of our native livestock and equines.  RBST was founded in 1973 and, since then, no UK-native breed has been lost. Our work includes cattle, sheep, pigs, horses, ponies, goats and poultry. We produce the RBST Watchlist, an annual assessment of the conservation status of all our native breeds, taking account of both the numbers and the extent of inbreeding. 

“Our conservation strategy is based on the Watchlist’s findings: firstly wherever possible we promote the use of our native breeds, secondly lobbying for government support where appropriate and thirdly running conducting specific conversation projects where necessary.

“We are enormously grateful for the support HBLB gives us and the wider native breed sector, which will make a real difference to our work and help ensure a thriving future for our rare native breeds.”

For further information, please contact HBLB Grants Manager Annie Dodd on 07785 390922


HBLB’s statutory objectives are to apply Levy funds to one or more of the following:

  • the improvement of breeds of horses;
  • the advancement or encouragement of veterinary science or veterinary education;
  • the improvement of horseracing.

Horserace Betting Levy Board
21-27 Lambs Conduit Street, London, WC1N 3NL  
email:    phone: 020 7333 0043    web:

DPS Festival Closing Date for Entries

DPS Festival Closing Date for Entries

Just a reminder that the closing date for entries is Monday 31 May 2021

Please remember that all entries are required to be sent in by using the entry form available on the Dales Pony Festival page.
The easiest way to pay is by using a bank transfer using the DPS account details at the bottom of all the pages on the website.

Dales Pony Festival Update

Dales Pony Festival Update

The schedule and forms for the show have been posted on the Events page link below. Please note that the Spring 2021 Despatch, together with the schedule and the entry forms for the show, has been sent for distribution and should be with members by this weekend.

Dales Pony Festival

Good News – Dales Pony Festival

Good News – Dales Pony Festival

We are all hoping that any outstanding government restrictions with respect to Covid-19 will allow the Dales Pony Festival to go ahead on 26 June 2021 at the Richmond Equestrian Centre.

It has been decided to amalgamate the majority of the classes from the Spring Show with those already planned for the Festival by making use of four rings.

The schedule and timetable will be sent out to all members with the Spring Dales Despatch.

NPS Scotland Native Pony Discussion Evenings

NPS Scotland Native Pony Discussion Evenings

NPS Scotland are delighted to announce a series of Native Pony Discussion Evenings starting on Tuesday 23rd February with the Highland Ponies.

The evenings will start at 7.30pm running for approx. a half hour covering the breed type, characteristics, conformation, and show production with a question-and-answer time at the end.

We are delighted to have some of the best judges, breeders, and producers in the country to share their knowledge at these evenings which start with


DATE            @7.30pm BREED PRESENTER
Tuesday    23rd February Highland Mrs Jo Jack (Craiglaw Stud)
Tuesday      2nd March Dales Richard Telford
Tuesday      9th March Welsh Section C’s & D’s David Blair (Waxwing Stud)
Tuesday    16th March New Forest Miss Pat Rennie  (Lomondside Stud)
Tuesday     23rd March Connemara Mrs Jane Somerset (Tesremos Stud)
Tuesday     30th March Fell TBC
Tuesday       6th April Dartmoor TBC
Tuesday     13th April Exmoor Mrs Jill Graham  (Kebroyd Stud)
Tuesday     20th April Shetland Mrs Sarah Ross MRCVS (Transy Stud)
Tuesday     27th April Welsh Section A’s & B’s Tom Best (Waxwing Stud)
Tuesday       4th May Riding & Hunter Ponies Mrs Marie Clare Nimmo (Duntarvie Stud)

These evenings are open to everyone, and we would encourage members, competitors and in particular all potential and current Young Judges to attend. 

Everyone interested should email to express interest.  They will be emailed a copy of the breed characteristics to print off and look over along with the zoom login details.

Look forward to hearing from you, and hopefully seeing you at the event.

British Dressage – Elite Equine Associated Championship 2021

British Dressage – Registration for the 2021 Elite Equine Associated Championships is now open!

Show off our breed with pride & aim for the Elite Equine Associated Championships this year! Register your interest in competing to receive all of the latest competition information from British Dressage:

New sponsor, Elite Equine, is a 100% Organic Rosehip supplement, rich in Vitamin C and valuable in ????????? ??? ??????? ?????? ?? ??????, protecting cartilage, supporting joint health, reducing inflammation, and promoting the overall performance of horses find out more by visiting:

National Equine Forum – First special interest webinar

From the Organising Committee, National Equine Forum:

Our first special interest webinar, Just in Time – Using Science to Save our Breeds, on Wednesday 13th January 2021 hosted by Eventbrite.

Webinar access for those who DID NOT register for the live event 

Those who did not register to watch the webinar live, but would like to watch it on demand, can register here, tickets cost £5. This link is also available on our website.

Deadline for watching the replay

The replay of the webinar will be live until 23:59 on Monday 1st February 2021.

Future events

The Great Weight Debate (Equine), taking place at 7pm on Wednesday 27th January 2021, is our second special interest webinar. Tickets can be purchased here.

The 29th National Equine Forum takes place at 10am on Thursday 4th March 2021 (#NEF21), ticket details will be circulated via our e-newsletter. Please click here to subscribe if you’d like to be kept up to date.

Thank you!

Thank you for your support of the National Equine Forum.

Questions about the event?

Contact the organiser

2021 South of England Show

2021 South of England Show

Elizabeth Crockford, Livestock and Events Executive, South of England Agricultural Society, writes:

After careful consideration and debate, it is with a heavy heart that the decision has been  taken by the SEAS Chairman and Board of Trustees to cancel all Equestrian showing classes at the 2021 South of England Show.  Having deliberated over the Covid restrictions required  on running equestrian showing classes (as stated in the Showing Council Blueprint) along with the financial impact of holding  classes with a shortfall in the usual sponsorship and the infrastructure costs, it was felt that for this year the South of England Show would only  run showjumping classes for the three days and a reduced livestock section.

This decision has not been taken lightly and it is the intention of the SEAS Chairman and  Trustees for the 2022 South of England Show to revert back to its usual format.