Coronavirus: 2020 Stallions

08/04/2020

The CDA committee has decided in light of the COVID-19 pandemic to recommend to the Verderers that the number of stallions selected and turned out in 2020 is cut to just 10, the record low, for six weeks.

This has been a very difficult decision, but we can have no idea of the state of the economy in 2021, and whether the demand for foals will return to the good levels experienced in 2019. The committee is very aware that the already low number of foals sired on the Forest due to the Stallion Scheme means that many of us have not benefitted from a filly foal for several years, and they are also very difficult to find for purchase. This is a considerable concern, for the commoners concerned, for their mares, and for the Forest generally. Every one of our individual herds matters.

But it was the commoners who called for a stallion scheme around 20 years ago when up to 100 stallions grazed the Forest year round. Our intention was to boost the quality and reduce the quantity of foals. As a result of tight control the purebred New Forest Pony has become a rare breed, but the quality of foals sold at Beaulieu Road has seen many go on to achieve great things in their careers elsewhere. The scheme has been hugely successful, and we can all be proud of what has been achieved. We cannot jeopardise this hard-won reputation for quality and high welfare standards, so in such extraordinary and uncertain times we have once again taken the route that prioritises these concerns, whilst continuing to ensure that some commoners will have some foals next year.

The CDA Chair has recorded a short video explaining the decision: https://youtu.be/SmcLgRq9pPY

 

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