Foreland Herd 423

Foreland Herd 423 Exmoor Ponies - The National Trust

Owned by the National Trust, Foreland Herd 423 runs on Countisbury, Exmoor National Park
Herd 423 was established in 2005 by James Bryant and Roz Leworthy, with the purchase of five mares from the Ilkerton herd of Exmoor ponies. The mares were in foal to Anchor Orange Juice. The National Trust took over the herd in 2017 and has now added the 'Foreland' prefix.

Since 2005, stallions used on the mares have included Tawbitts Golden Treacle, Tawbitts Victor, Acreswild Zeitgeist (Ziggy), Helmantor Hannibal and Hawkwell Great Gatsby. In 2013, there was only one foal as no stallion had been running with the herd in the previous year. This was due to the very sad loss of Acreswild Zeitgeist (known as ‘Ziggy’) in 2011 after he was hit and killed by a car. The roads traversing Exmoor National Park can be a hazard for the ponies and although they are well used to traffic, the odd accident does unfortunately happen. 

Herd 423 is free-living with around twenty five mares and followers, and one stallion. They run in 500 acres of common land known as Countisbury and around 60 acres is part of a ground regeneration scheme to return cultivated land back to moorland.  Countisbury is 1000ft above sea level and, being on the coast, therefore has some dramatic cliffs, particularly near the lighthouse, which the ponies have access to for grazing. There are no boundary fences from the moor to the sea so this area offers a challenging and diverse environment for the ponies, who have to learn to navigate the cliffs and moorland, as well as the busy tourist areas along the main road. 

The most famous Herd 423 pony so far is Bob 423/4 who is a Champion Working Hunter Pony! Exmoor pony gelding Bob is proving to be a fantastic performance pony, with many wins including BSPS, NPS, HOYS, Equifest, etc, as well as a generally brilliant all-rounder. Bob is by Tawbitts Golden Treacle H17/60 (by Ebony) out of Wortleberry 167/9 (by Loganberry A/201)


The 2016 moorbred Herd 423 filly foal, Isobella, stood Champion Foal at the 2015 MEPBG Exmoor Pony Show. In 2014 Herd 423 mare Que Sera Sera stood Supreme Champion of the MEPBG Exmoor Pony Show. 

In February 2017, the MEPBG and Exmoor Pony Project worked with James Bryant to ensure the pedigree registration and successful sale of the foals to good homes - including to Ireland, Germany and in the UK. On 28 February, Herd 423 transferred into the ownership of the National Trust. 

EXMOOR PONIES FOR SALE: There are no Foreland Herd 423 ponies for sale currently.

Location: Countisbury, Lynton, Exmoor, Devon EX35 6NE
Owners: The National Trust c/o Kelly Bezer MRICS, Killerton House, Broadclyst, Exeter, Devon, EX5 3LE. Telephone: 01392 883136. Email

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