The Eriskay Pony Society in its current form, was founded in 1995 as the successor to the unincorporated Eriskay Pony Breed Society. It was the first of the Eriskay Pony Societies to achieve recognition as a breed society for the Eriskay Pony under UK and EU regulations. The Eriskay Pony Society is recognised as a holder of the studbook of origin of the Eriskay Pony (Mother Society) and as a passport issuing organisation for the Eriskay Pony by the Scottish and UK Governments as well as the EU. It is the largest Eriskay Pony Society and exists to promote the breeding and use of the Eriskay Pony in the present day.
As the numbers of ponies are very low, the Society works hard to ensure that numbers can increase in a healthy population and, to achieve this, we work with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) and use the SPARKS genetic programme provided to us by Dr Andy Dell. Their support and advice, together with grant funding into breeding technology and DNA research from the Horse Race Betting Levy Board (HBLB) and our own breeding grants system, helps us to support and encourage owners to choose pairings that minimise inbreeding and help us preserve as much of the ponies genetic material as possible.
The Society puts considerable effort into promoting the Eriskay Pony and takes stands at equine and Rare Breeds events to showcase the breed. It has worked hard to ensure there are Eriskay classes in as many shows as possible, stages their own breed show and gives demonstrations of the versatility of the Eriskay Pony at many events.
The Council meets at regular intervals to discuss on-going Society matters and is always available to give advice and support to members, Eriskay pony keepers and anyone else with an interest in the breed.
Professor Derek Knottenbelt. OBE, BVM&S, BVM&S, DVM&S, DIPECEIM, DACVIM, MRCVS
Professor Knottenbelt is a specialist in equine internal medicine, a Diplomat of the European College of Equine Internal Medicine and the primary author of 10 equine veterinary text books and over 100 scientific papers. He has received numerous awards, including the Animal Health Trust Scientific Award, and in 2005 he received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his services to Equine Medicine.
Hon. Vice President Donald McGillivray
Donald has been involved with Eriskay ponies for over 40 years and, along with his wife Mary, has bred a substantial number of foals under the Braincroft prefix. In fact, it is amazing to see how many of today’s ponies have Braincroft somewhere in their blood line. Donald also provides the commentary at many shows and events usually having taken a pony along to showcase the breed. He is a fund of knowledge which is happily shared in a calm and reassuring manner and his acceptance of this role is a boost for the Society and the breed.
Council Members 2023-24
|Vice Chair||Kathryn Hamilton|
|Breeding Advisor||Mary McGillivray|
|Membership Secretary/Events||Fiona Misselbrook|
|Council Member||Gillian Clark|
|Council Member||Judith Harris|
|Council Member||Catriona Cochrane|
The Society also has a BREED CONSERVATION COMMITTEE which is chaired by the Society Vice Chair and is tasked with forming a breed protection plan, increasing numbers of ponies on the ground and investigating all methods of reproduction that could help safeguard the breed. Its important work has just started and if you would like further information, please use the ‘Contact Us’ form on this website.
The Eriskay Pony Society is a Company Limited by Guarantee,
Registered in Scotland no.161020
Regd office : Farries, Kirk & McVean, Dumfries Enterprise Park, Heathhall, Dumfries, DG1 3SJ.
Recognised Scottish Charity No.SC024277 Give as You Earn Registration No. 000288774