A pony referred to as Alan Partridge – or Elsinore Alan Partridge to offer him his full title – 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 doubtlessly shield the breed’s future.
Society chairman Nigel Hill mentioned: “It’s our function to safeguard the way forward for the Exmoor pony, probably the most iconic native breeds within the UK. The Exmoor is a ‘precedence’ breed in line with the Uncommon Breeds Survival Belief and this implies they’re basically endangered.
“Instrumental within the launch would be the oversight of our just 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 nicely positioned to benefit from 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 steady title 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 had been delighted to be requested to participate within the gene financial institution marketing campaign,” mentioned 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 Yr Present below saddle and has additionally sired some stunning inventory who at the moment are additionally successful 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 cover of this uncommon breed. Studying from historical past, a disaster actually may occur. We’re proud to be concerned and contribute to defending this treasured native pony that faces the actual life risk of extinction, in addition to safeguarding Q’s uncommon genetic bloodline.”
The semen donated by Q and different stallions shall 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 restricted in Exmoors as pony numbers crashed to 50 throughout the Second World Conflict, so many bloodlines had been misplaced.
Preserving materials in gene banks implies that in future, a viable inhabitants could possibly be restored if wanted, or disappearing bloodlines saved.
Ecologist Sue Baker, a member of the Exmoor Pony Society’s scientific advisory panel, mentioned: “At present semen from solely six Exmoor stallions is saved within the Nationwide Livestock Gene Financial institution however solely three of those have enough doses.
“With the intention 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 attain this inside two to a few years.”
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