Even though most events to do with Fell Ponies have been postponed or cancelled the dedication of the preservation of the hill bred herds of Fell ponies continues on the FPHC's page. The Native Fell pony is still endangered, although our times are some-what different from the 1930's, but the challenge to succeed must remain. Roy B Charlton wrote a book called "A Lifetime with Ponies " first published in 1944. In it is a poem that I would like to share as it says so much about what is so important to preserve. The poem is about a group of Fell Ponies that were collected by Roy B Charlton from Cumbria and he and his grooms took them on a 600 mile railway journey to London and back, to win at the National Pony Society Show, at Islington.
4th March 1933 Stallion, Black Lingcropper owned by J. Relph, Birkett Bank, Threlkeld. Mares Moor Daisy IV and Moor Magic, owned by J. Bellas, Moor Farm, Keswick.
THOUGH here are the proudest ponies And the best that a man can buy There is one small group amongst ' em That catches a Northman's eye. Those three little sturdy beggars Were reared on a Cumberland hill, And the sound of a falling beck Is with 'em in London still. It's rather a nasty business, Unless you've been used to a stall To find you're to be paraded In a huge and crowded hall. You think of the well-known places, Where the Relphs and Bellases go, To shepherd their sheep on the uplands Or harvest their hay below. And you think of countless acres Where there's bracken and bent and ling, And changing sunshine and shadow That a day like this will bring The grouse are calling on Skiddaw, And perhaps the Blencathra pack Have put off a fox in Wanthwaite, And now are away on his track. Perhaps there's a raven croaking Round a dark, precipitous crag, Perhaps there's a fellow stalking Down-wind of a wayward stag. Though Cumberland farms are lile 'uns, And some of their fields may be poor We wouldn't take Southern pastures For Birkett Bank or the Moor. Those three little sturdy beggars Are as pure as their coats are black In the North their breed is precious And yonder they'll soon be back Those ponies are part of England Just as much as a church's bells, We hope they may always prosper And always be found on our Fells. Author un-known.