The Eriskay Pony Society was delighted to be announced as the winner of the inaugural RBST Scotland Food and Farming Sustainability Award for the Native Breed Society of the Year during a presentation at the Royal Highland Show. The award, which was sponsored by Sarah’s Rosettes, is for a native breed society, recognised by RBST, that has done the most to represent their breed during the year in Scotland.
The Society won the award for their ongoing work with their DNA project, the online breeding conference they had held, the use of SPARKS to identify good genetic pairings and their ongoing support for their members and breeders. It was particularly noted that the Society offered advice and support to pony owners whether they were members or not and that their DNA project was open to all Eriskay ponies. The award was presented by RBST Chair of the Board of Trustees John Atkinson to EPS Chair Catriona Rowan, Vice President Donald McGillivray and Breeding Advisor Mary McGillivray.
The RBST Scotland Food & Farming Sustainability Awards were designed to highlight the credentials of rare and native breeds as being part of the solution to many issues arising as a result of climate change and the changing environment and they identify that native breeds are a crucial part of our biodiversity having evolved to be here. They are part of the natural environment and RBST Scotland created the brand new initiative to reinforce the link between rare and native breeds of farm livestock and equines and the Scottish agricultural and cultural landscape. More information about the Rare Breeds Survival Trust can be found at www.rbst.org.uk