A DARTMOOR pony charity based in Callington is looking for donations and support to help keep it afloat this winter. 

Hill Pony Resources was set up in 2014 by Mary Houghton from Lee Moor and Angela Pitts from Princetown. 

Living on the edge of Dartmoor, Mary and Angela became fond of the ponies that roamed freely on the moor. From this, the pair set up Hill Pony Resources as an attempt to find homes for a few foals off Dartmoor who were at risk of being culled for zoo meat or meat for human consumption. 

The charity initially started out with very limited facilities but still worked hard to find positive outcomes by providing care for ponies that have been surrendered due to change in owner circumstances as well as helping to re-homes foals, yearlings and elderly ponies. 

Mary explained: “Over the years we have managed to fundraise enough to care for the ponies appropriately and find suitable homes for over 100 ponies.  

“We have expanded our charitable aims by caring for older ponies, ponies who were at risk of being put to sleep due to behaviour issues along with ponies who had to be signed over due to owner struggles and ill health.   

“We have also organised and supported castration clinics for colts so that they can return to the moor where they do not add to breeding of more foals.” 

Ponies from Hill Pony Resources are adopted on an agreement that they will be returned to the charity if they cannot stay in their home. 

“We have pledged to care for any pony that comes through our gates for life.  Ponies can live for 30 years and as such we have to fundraise to ensure we can meet that pledge.” Mary added.

The charity is run entirely by volunteers on fundraising and donation funds to keep it running.  

However, due to an unusually soggy summer, and ongoing poor weather resulting in an increase in need to purchase more winter hay, haylage and bedding in addition to large vet bills the charity is struggling to find the funds needed to provide care for it’s residents. 

As a result a Crowdfunder page has been set up in the hope that people may be able to donate. 

Mary explained: “Without help it will be very difficult to continue to support the ponies this winter. We know that it is difficult for people this time of year but if our supporters were able to make a small donation into this Crowdfunder it will help us to continue with our work. Even a small donation of £2 will make a difference. Can you help?” 

The Crowdfunder has so far gained £182 out of a £2,000 target.