Dales Pony Festival Update

Dales Pony Festival and Spring Show Update

After the Government announcement on Monday 14 June 2021 of the continuance of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, spectators will not be admitted to the show on Saturday 26 June. Only those people who have already registered with DPS Track and Trace will be allowed on the showground.

DPS Festival – Numbers in Classes and Update

DPS Festival and Spring Show – Numbers in Classes and Update

Numbers in the classes are attached here.

Please be aware that the situation with respect to Covid-19 is still under review. Information will be posted on the website after the Government announcement on Monday 14 June.

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: enquiries@hblb.org.uk    phone: 020 7333 0043    web: www.hblb.org.uk

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.

Urgent from Defra – Equine movements on or around 1 January 2021

Urgent from Defra – Equine movements on or around 1 January 2021

“In the interest of protecting animal welfare, and with the possibility of traffic disruption in Kent after 1st January 2021, Defra would strongly advise equine transporters to consider using vehicles with a combined weight of less than 7.5 tonnes, enabling them to proceed to the Short Straits using the Operation Brock contraflow between J8-9 of the M20.

If you are transporting equines in a vehicle with a combined weight above 7.5 tonnes and there is traffic disruption in Kent, Defra strongly advises against travel and if you do choose to travel you plan your journey carefully, in anticipation of the possibility of delays. These vehicles will not be prioritised to use the Operation Brock contraflow. The animal welfare of equines in transit should be a priority for all equine movements. Make sure that you have the correct authorisations and certifications to transport live animals, find out more here

Horserace Betting Levy Board Publishes International Codes of Practice for 2021

Horserace Betting Levy Board Publishes International Codes of Practice for 2021

The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) has published the 43rd edition of the Codes of Practice on equine disease, in preparation for the 2021 equine breeding season. These are available online only at codes.hblb.org.uk.  

For more details please see the Policies and Procedures page.