They did it!


Dru Butterfield of the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust, Paul Rendell, moorland guide and Sam Goodwin of 'Dartmoor Pony and Pack' with his ponies Billy and Jasmine, have done it! They have completed a real 'first' in the UK; a fundraising 100-mile Challenge walking across Dartmoor.

They were celebrating the role of the Dartmoor pony, critical to the livelihood - and ultimately the survival - of those who lived and worked on the Moor in centuries gone by. Sam made replicas of ancient pack pony equipment, the ponies had months of training and the team retraced historic pack pony routes, experiencing some of this country's most stunning - and treacherous - environments.

Why? To raise awareness of the heritage, temperament and capability of the Dartmoor pony and its historical role as a vital partner to people on Dartmoor; and to raise a target of £5000 towards the DPHT's Dartmoor Pony Conservation Grazing Research project with Plymouth University and Dartmoor Zoo. As previously reported on our website, this will study the ponies' benefit to biodiversity on Dartmoor and ultimately for conservation grazing across the UK.

Dru sums up the feelings of everyone at the end: "I have worked on Dartmoor and with Dartmoor ponies for over 10 years, yet this Challenge opened my eyes in so many ways. My love - but also my respect - of Dartmoor has been rekindled."

"I also truly realised just how amazing the ponies are to cope with the terrain, carry the packs and look after the rather less sure-footed humans travelling with them; to face wild ponies on the open Moor one minute and a crowd of school children in a town centre the next. I also certainly appreciate the relationships needed to create a close knit team, vital to ensure that everyone stayed safe. We will remember this adventure for ever."

Dru concluded: "If we have brought people's attention to why Dartmoor ponies are so special and how much we owe to them over the centuries, then we have succeeded. The DPHT and its partners will use the money raised through our Challenge to help keep ponies on Dartmoor for the generations to come."

The Pack Pony Challenge highlighted just what these tough, capable but gentle little ponies have achieved in the past, what their role is on the Moor now, and how vital it is to keep them there for the future - the Rare Breeds Survival Trust has confirmed that the Dartmoor pony is on the endangered list.

Please help and donate via the sponsor page. Thankyou.

Cheers - celebrations at the completion of the 100 Mile Dartmoor Pack Pony Challenge at Lukesland ©Kathy Tipping
ITV News filming at Dartmoor Zoo ©Kathy Tipping
Sam Goodwin cuts the celebration cake at the Finish Line! ©Kathy Tipping
Guest walkers for the final day - Vanessa bee and William Butterfield ©Kathy Tipping
Sam, Jasmine and Billy - ready for the off on the final day from Dunstone Farm ©Kathy Tipping
There's Wally! Philippa Waddell and the coveted hat - worn by fashion guru Paul Rendell ©Kathy Tipping
Reaching high - here in the Clay Pits of Wotter. ©Kathy Tipping
At Dartmoor Zoological Park with Benjamin Mee. ©Kathy Tipping
Plympton Stannators, past and present with the 100 mile Dartmoor Pony Challenge team. ©Kathy Tipping
Jazz Hands! - Jasmine with Sam Goodwin and Stannator, John Gilding at Plympton Castle Green ©Kathy Tipping
Walking proud and shoulder to shoulder - at Plympton Castle with Cath Anderson ©Kathy Tipping
The madness starts! Dru Butterfield offers Paul Rendell some fashion tips! ©Kathy Tipping
Penultimate Day - walking out of Sheepstor Village onto Ringmoor Down ©Kathy Tipping
Final lap of Day 5 - approaching Norsworthy Bridge, near Burrator Reservoir. ©Kathy Tipping
Mayor of Tavistock, Sue Bailey, signing her support to the Dartmoor Pony Declaration ©Kathy Tipping
For the fashion conscious "Man about Moor"! - Paul Rendell - DPHT Guide and Conservation Officer ©Kathy Tipping
From out of the mists of time - walking through history at the Merrivale Stone Rows ©Kathy Tipping
Early morning routine, breakfast, saddling up and a photoshoot / video diary! - at Tor Royal Farm ©Kathy Tipping
Crossing the bridge at Hexworthy ©Kathy Tipping
On to the High Moor near Bellever ©Kathy Tipping
Having a rest by the clapper bridge at Postbridge ©Kathy Tipping
On to The Green at Widecombe ©Kathy Tipping
The team coming in to Widecombe ©Kathy Tipping

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Moorland ponies are an integral part of the Dartmoor landscape. In addition to drawing in visitors, they play a vital role in grazing the moor and maintaining its character. But in recent years, their numbers have been in decline.

The Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust (Registered Charity No. 1109196) was established in 2005 in response to widespread concern about the viability and long-term survival of the traditional Dartmoor pony. We are based at Bovey Tracey, Dartmoor where we operate a purpose-built, all-weather visitor and education centre.

Our mission statement and aims

Latest news

100 mile challenge featured in local newspaper

30 October 2015

Don't miss this article in the Western Morning News Horse supplement on 30th October. It can also be viewed online. [Read more]


27 October 2015


It's the perfect Christmas present!

ADOPT OUR YOUNG DARTMOOR PONY PUDDY - and follow her progress all year round!

To help fund its work to preserve the traditional Dartmoor pony on the Moor, the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust charity offers a "Pony Adoption Gift Pack", suitable for anyone, of any age, who loves horses and ponies, but for whom buying a real one is simply not an option. [Read more]

Dartmoor Hotel partners up with Puddy the pony

12 October 2015

The popular Two Bridges Hotel in the heart of Dartmoor National Park has adopted two-year-old Puddy (Dunstone Pudsham), a traditional Moorland pony precious to our natural heritage, as part of the Hotel's ongoing support of registered charity the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust (DPHT). [Read more]


05 September 2015

Dru Butterfield from the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust, is joining with Sam Goodwin of Dartmoor Pony and Pack and his ponies Billy and Jasmine, to take on an impressive challenge this Autumn - to walk across the Moor for some 100 miles. [Read more]

Okehampton Show

01 September 2015

Congratulations to everyone who took part in the DPHT classes for non-pedigree traditional Dartmoor ponies at Okehampton Show this year. [Read more]


01 September 2015

The Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust organises a range of volunteer work party activities on its land at Bellever, Postbridge, and at its Information and Education Centre at Parke, throughout the year, led by Dartmoor Guide and Conservationist Paul Rendell. [Read more]

Chagford Show results

01 September 2015

Congratulations to long term DPHT supporter, Jenn Whitehorn, with Mitchelcombe Peter Bear (aka Cubby or Bear) for winning the Dartmoor Heritage in-hand class at Chagford Show. [Read more]


01 September 2015

As part of its commitment to expanding its conservation programme on the Moor and to improving the facilities and experience for visitors to the Centre, the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust is looking for new volunteers. [Read more]

Dartmoor Pony Recognised Keeper Scheme

01 September 2015

Building on the success of the Dartmoor Pony Preservation Scheme the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust has created a new initiative known as the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust Recognised Keeper Scheme. It will endorse the high standards already set by the pony breeders in terms of their own management, and it has two primary aims: [Read more]


07 August 2015

In a demonstration of commitment and cooperation to help safeguard the future of all ponies on Dartmoor, the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust (DPHT) has brought together Natural England, Dartmoor Zoo and students from Plymouth University to undertake a research project that will study the benefits of ponies.... [Read more]

News Archive »

Visit Dartmoor

Visit Dartmoor is the Official Tourism Partner to Dartmoor National Park. We offer the best in accommodation, activities, attractions and all the information you need to make your trip to Dartmoor a memorable one!

We urgently need your support to continue our work. Please donate via this link, which takes you to the secure Charity Choice donation service. Donations can also be sent to DPHT, Parke Estate, Bovey Tracey, TQ13 9JQ.

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where to find us


Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust
Parke Estate, Bovey Tracey, Devon TQ13 9JQ

Call us on 01626 833234.

Watch this video which provides an update on the Plight of the Dartmoor Pony documentary recently shown on Horse and Country TV.

Visit our group page on Facebook (search for Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust)