Judi Spiers

Judi is a long-standing patron of the DPHT and has given her full support to the work the Charity does to preserve the Dartmoor pony on Dartmoor and to make a difference to young people’s lives using Dartmoor ponies as the ‘platform for learning’ – its ‘Ponies Inspiring People’ programme. Commented Judi: “I can honestly say that there cannot be any organisation more proactive, motivated, determined and fun to be around, than the DPHT! Over the years, Dru Butterfield and her team of volunteers have given opportunities to hundreds of ponies and children and I love doing what I can to support them.”


Judi has a good understanding of the Charity’s work and the pony situation on Dartmoor. She is great at encouraging colleagues, friends, family and everyone she meets to find out more about the lives of the ponies, to visit DPHT, adopt a pony, and to take up the free guided walks at Bellever, near Postbridge - do whatever they can to help safeguard the future of the iconic symbol of the Moor.


In support of our Fresh Tracks programme that took 16 young people with a range of life challenges across some 10 miles of Dartmoor with ponies Lark, Chatty and George, as part of the Ten Tors Challenge, Judi was full of enthusiasm: "Yet ANOTHER wonderful idea from Dru and the team at DPHT. Not only do they come up with these ideas but they see them through with what has become their trademark enthusiasm, passion and energy! The Army AND DPHT how can it fail?!"

Malcolm Snelgrove

Photographer Malcolm Snelgrove’s images of Dartmoor and its ponies have brought him international acclaim.

He moved to Devon 20 years ago with his wife Juliette and his time spent exploring the wild and rugged landscapes, and studying the pony herds that graze there led him to combine working as an IT consultant with becoming a professional photographer.

He quickly established himself as a lifestyle photographer, with commissions ranging from outdoor adventure specialists to well-known clothing brands, and his photography workshops bring delegates from all over the world.


But Dartmoor has always been his passion and today his respect and admiration of the landscape has led to a particular focus on how the ponies are being used in conservation. The images he captures are astonishing, and have led to a huge world-wide following on Social Media.


Malcolm said: “I am fascinated by the ponies and how they live in their natural environment and using social media, I’ve been able to engage with people and capture their interest too.


“The DPHT is carrying out fantastic work at Bellever where they manage 82 hectares of moorland using ponies for conservation grazing and it’s been fascinating recording the very positive impact they are having in developing biodiversity.


“I’m so honoured to have been appointed patron as it means we can use my images to encourage people to understand both how important the ponies are for the environment, and why it is critical that we protect and manage our landscapes for posterity, while encouraging people to come and enjoy Dartmoor safely and with respect for nature.”


Malcolm first become involved with the DPHT in 2016 when he supported the charity’s Fresh Tracks programme enabling 16 young people with a range of life challenges to walk across some 15 miles of Dartmoor as part of the Ten Tors challenge accompanied by ponies.

He recorded their personal journeys, starting at the DPHT Centre at Parke, Bovey Tracey, where they were taught map reading, first aid, pony skills, how to put up and take down a tent, and prepare their own gear and pack their bags.

Each child was presented with a book of their own images as a record of their momentous achievements in completing the challenge.

Malcolm said: “The DPHT is a wonderful charity, not only in the work it is doing to help ensure a future for ponies through promoting their roles in conservation, but also because it has successfully found a way to use the ponies to benefit so many people through its equine assisted learning programmes.

“I’m very excited to be working with the charity, particularly as it continues to develop its activities at Bellever, inspiring and connecting people to Dartmoor’s wildlife, landscape and heritage.”



Councillor Avril Kerswell is well known within the Bovey Tracey and Teignbridge community, particularly for her roles in the local Council. She was Chairman of Teignbridge District Council for 2018/19, has been a Town Councillor since 2000 and Town Mayor three times. Avril has supported the work of the DPHT for many years and regularly adopts one of our Dartmoor ponies, George!

Says Avril: “My love affair with the Dartmoor Pony goes back to my childhood when as a pony-mad girl of twelve years old, my father bought me a six-month-old colt from Ugborough market.  He was a very dark bay and I named him Ebony.
“My daughter’s second pony was also a Dartmoor.  A bright bay - very like DPHT pony George – I bought him when she was six and he was five.  The most genuine pony I’ve ever known.  He gave her so many life qualities including caring, being responsible and most of all having fun. He remained in our ownership until he died at the age of thirty.
“Therefore I was delighted to be asked to be a Patron of The Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust and continue my association with this most wonderful of the native pony breeds of our country.
“The Dartmoor Pony is the perfect animal to give to nervous children, or those coping with any life challenges, as they will find the love and confidence to find enjoyment in the wonderful world of ponies.  I am proud to be able to help the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust in any way that I can.”

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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.

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