Each year, the wild Welsh Ponies of Painscastle are rounded up and brought down into the village for their annual check – a visual once-over, plus reading the microchips to ensure that the purity of the breed is protected. Tails are trimmed to show each pony has been checked.
This semi feral herd has lived on the hill here for centuries – under the careful stewardship of three families who have farmed this area for generations. Incredibly hardy, the herd lives in some of the harshest conditions, while bringing unique environmental benefits to the land. They roam freely on a huge area of ground – and as a small herd, they sometimes are virtually impossible to find!
‘I’ve travelled the world photographing horses, but over the last few years became fascinated by our native breeds – and fell in love with the Painscastle Ponies. I’ve been out on the hill in sunshine and snow, and to photograph the annual round up was a real privilege. Watching this amazing herd make their way down from the hill just highlighted their beauty, strength and unique characteristics that make them so precious.’