Dartmoor ponies gather for ancient annual 'drift'
Dozens of ponies followed their ancestors down time-worn paths off Dartmoor yesterday as part of the annual ritual of the Merrivale pony drift.
Carried out over a vast 10,000-acre terrain, the ponies are driven off the moor for their annual health check, weaning and sorting for either forthcoming sales or to be returned to the moor.
The final leg of the drift sees the ponies step onto the steep road down to the Dartmoor Inn at Merrivale where they are ushered into a big corral.
Charlotte Faulkner, from the Dartmoor Hill Pony Association, said the foggy weather made it challenging.
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The first of the annual pony drift sales are at Tavistock Livestock Centre this Friday, followed by Chagford Market next Thursday, October 10.