THE Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust is delighted to announce the expansion of the team with Cath Anderson joining the charity.
In her role as Feral Pony Handler and Equine Advisor, Cath will assume various essential responsibilities aimed at safeguarding and preserving the unique Dartmoor ponies.
Cath's role encompasses managing all aspects of feral pony handling, visiting Dartmoor farms that maintain heritage and registered pony herds, responsibility for the herd at Bellever, a site managed by the DPHT by carrying out pony welfare checks.
She will also spearhead the development of new courses and events at the charity's headquarters at Parke.
Cath's background is deeply rooted in Dartmoor, where she has cultivated a lifelong connection with these exceptional ponies.
She has a passion for their preservation, acknowledgment of their ecological significance, and commitment to maintaining the distinct character of the moor are evident in her work.
With a solid educational foundation in Countryside Management and Conservation from Bicton College, Cath is well-equipped to support the DPHT's mission. She is also a British Horse Society coach and has a wealth of experience in rehabilitating racehorses.
Cath's personal connection to Dartmoor ponies dates back to her childhood, where she began riding them.
Her training at Bicton College and her experience working at Shilstone Rocks Stud under the guidance of Elizabeth Newbolt-Young, who established the DPHT in 2004, have contributed significantly to her expertise.
She also learned valuable skills from her uncle, Tom Anderson, who was a horse and pony handling expert. Her participation in Monty Roberts courses with Kelly Marks, highlight her dedication to equine welfare and management.
Cath shared her enthusiasm for her new role, saying: “I’m pleased to have joined the charity having grown up on the family farm, with the ponies always being a part of my life.
“They are part of our heritage, and their temperament is incredible."
Looking forward, Cath intends to introduce feral pony courses that teach ethical handling and trust-building with these iconic ponies.
She also plans to offer courses on native pony nutrition and laminitis, along with a range of educational experiences closely connected to the Dartmoor pony.
These efforts will be further enhanced by utilising the DPHT's custodial Dartmoor pony herd at Bellever, providing a valuable learning tool for understanding the importance of conservation grazing and herd behaviour.
Debbie Leach, CEO of the DPHT, expressed her delight at having Cath as part of the team, emphasising the importance of her role in supporting farmers and ensuring the future of Dartmoor ponies on the moors. Maintaining these traditional herds and their heritage is essential to the DPHT's mission, and Cath's experience and passion will be instrumental in achieving this goal.