Dartmoor's famous Clydesdales in race for a new home
PUBLISHED: 13:33 14 February 2019
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A fundraising campaign to secure the long-term future for Dartmoor's hugely popular Clydesdales has been launched, writes Lucy Johnson.
Adventures Clydesdale, founded by Tim Ancrum and Aileen Ware, has for the past six years worked within the existing set-up at Brimpts Farm near Dartmeet in the middle of Dartmoor.
Their 12 horses have a worldwide reputation for providing exhilarating horse-back riding experiences on Dartmoor, and also for raising thousands of pounds for charity through their racing exploits at Exeter Racecourse and Flete Park.
But Tim and Aileen have been told they must vacate the cattle shed from which they operate as the building is now required for calving.
Tim Ancrum said: “Andy Bradford and Gabrielle Cross, who farm at Brimpts, have supported us since we set up and have very kindly allowed us to work within their existing farming set-up, using half of their cattle shed.
“However, this is no longer sustainable and we need to establish a dedicated base to continue our work.”
A new site has been made available at Brimpts Farm, but the couple must find the funds to build a new shed for their horses. They estimate a new steel portal barn will cost £25,000, which will include five pens and a concrete area for working with the horses. However, with the Clydesdale breed classed as vulnerable by the Rare Breed Survival Trust with just 500 to 900 remaining, the couple is hopeful additional funds will enable them to build a classroom to further their goal of championing the Clydesdale breed and the National Park in which they live.
They also hope that by continuing their work in proving the breed’s all-round versatility as a riding horse over Dartmoor’s rugged landscape, this will heighten awareness of the Clydesdales’ plight and help to stop them being consigned to the history books.
Tim said: “Our belief is that through Adventure Clydesdale we can show what special and valuable horses they are by introducing people to riding and working with them and doing this in the exceptional environment of the Dartmoor National Park.”
He continued: “We have, over the last 18 years, been doing our best to draw people’s attention to the plight of heavy horses and in particular the Clydesdale. This has been our daily work and passion. There is little monetary reward, and sometimes it’s been a struggle keeping the wolf from the door, but we are passionate about our work, the breed and our heritage. It means we could never earn enough to buy the perfect home for our horses without the support of like-minded people who care as much as we do about the Clydesdales.”
For further details and to donate to the fundraising appeal, visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/adventure-clydesdale-home