The Eriskay Pony Society

Protecting and Promoting Scotland's Ancient Hebridean Ponies


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The Studbook - An explanation.

Posted on July 5, 2020 at 6:20 AM

The studbook of the Eriskay Pony Society is recognised as a studbook of origin for the Eriskay pony breed. The studbook maintained by The Eriskay Pony (Purebred) Studbook Society (CEnE) is also recognised as a studbook of origin for the Eriskay Pony.

Both studbooks have their origins in the original studbook set up by the Society for the Preservation of the Eriskay Pony in 1972.

All ponies registered in the Eriskay Pony Studbook can trace their ancestry back to that original studbook. The studbook is closed and only the offspring of two registered Eriskay ponies can be registered in the studbook.

The Eriskay Pony Studbook consists of the :

• Main Section

• Supplementary Section A - containing ponies which are not eligible for the Main Section but are eligible for the breeding up scheme

• Supplementary Section B - containing ponies which are not eligible for the Main Register or Supplementary Register A but are eligible for the breeding up scheme (this register is now closed).

A pony will be entered in the Main Section if the pony is :

• The progeny of a sire and dam who are already on the Main Section.

• The progeny of a dam on the Supplementary Section A and a Registered Stallion.

A pony will be entered in the Supplementary Section A if the pony is :

• The progeny of a sire and dam who are already on the Supplementary Section A.

• The progeny of a dam on the Supplementary Section B and a Registered Stallion.

Supplementary Section B is closed to new entrants.

The Eriskay Pony Society accepts that ponies entered in the CEnE studbook are genetically the same breed. They are eligible for entry into the EPS studbook by overstamp, and their offspring are eligible for entry into the EPS studbook if they meet the entry criteria that apply to EPS registered ponies.

The focus of the breeding programme is to preserve and improve the breed by preserving as much of the original genetic material as possible whilst encouraging breeding up. Although legislation permits the society to have a cross breeding programme to improve the breed, no such programme has been undertaken by the society.

The Eriskay Pony Society maintains a Part Bred register to record the offspring of an Eriskay pony and any other pony. This is not part of the studbook.


RBST publish 2019/20 Watchlist

Posted on April 10, 2019 at 12:20 PM

The RBST have just published the Watchlist for 2019/20 along with the Watchlist report.

The report highlights the situation facing the Eriskay pony and states  ''Conservation effort in 2019 will once again be on focussed on the perilously rare Eriskay, a versatile pony with a superb temperament, which sadly saw only 2 foals registered in 2018''.

The report further states ''Some equine breeds remain particularly vulnerable, and without the ability to freeze embryos successfully, the “living Gene Bank” of horses and ponies in the hands of dedicated breeders is especially important''.

To view the Watchlist and the report, please go to

RBST Equine Breeders Seminar

Posted on October 21, 2018 at 10:10 AM

The EPS was represented at the Equine Breeders Seminar organised by the RBST and held on Saturday 13th October 2018 at Stallion AI Services, Chapel Field Stud, Whitchurch, Shropshire.

A very interesting day with talks by Prof. Tim Morris, Vice-Chairman, RBST, Ruth Dalton, Northern Field Officer, RBST, Dr Andy Dell, Tullis Matson of Stallion AI Services and Jeannette Beranger of the Livestock Conservancy USA.

Following lunch there was a tour of the impressive facilities at Stallion AI and a demonstration of Equine Gene Banking and Equine Reproductive Technology.

Dr Andy Dell gave a talk on SPARKS as a breeding tool which highlighted the issues rare breeds face.  The slide used in his presentation can been found at


RBST Marsh Christian Lifetime Achievement Award 2018

Posted on July 11, 2018 at 10:30 AM
The EPS is delighted to announce that the RBST Marsh Christian Award 2018 has been awarded to Donald and Mary McGillivray. The nomination read as follows - Mary and Donald McGillivray have spent forty years helping ensure the survival of one of the most critically endangered equine breeds, the Eriskay pony. They began with two mares of original Western Isles stock and went on to breed a large number of ponies, many of whom were vital in other breeding programmes both on the mainland and on the islands. It is amazing to note that 25% of all living Eriskays were either bred by Mary and Donald, or are descended from ponies bred by them. They have bred and produced several Royal Highland Show Champions. Mary, with Donald's support, is a linchpin in the Eriskay Pony Society and has served on the Council in numerous roles, presently being the breeding advisor, and she has amassed an encyclopaedic knowledge of ponies and bloodlines. Active members of RBST Caledonian Support Group, Mary and Donald are always willing to turn out to shows and events taking ponies for display or providing a demonstration with a pony carrying authentic harness and creels. Donald is much sought after to provide the commentary at such events due to his knowledge of the breed and its history. The Eriskay pony owes them a great deal. The award was presented to them at the Royal Highland Show by Ruth Dalton of the RBST.