June 24, 2024

Eriskay Ponies

My primary reason for coming to Eriskay was to see the Eriskay ponies, an ancient breed reportedly to have been in existence during the time of the Lords of the Isles. They can be traced unchanged throughout history and are uncrossed descendants of the wild race which roamed Scotland before people lived there. There are very few of them remaining and most of them roam free, though they are owned and cared for by islanders. They are recognized by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust on their Danger List 2018 as a “Critically in Danger.”  The Eriskay Pony Society was founded in Eriskay in 1972 to save the breed from extinction. The Society’s stud book, which records the original stock of breeding ponies, defines the breed. It was a special treat to find some of these beautiful horses, including the only foal born this year. In the summer they are moved up the mountain and brought back down near the village in the winter.