Ponies who were among dozens rounded up in Scotland and rehomed by World Horse Welfare in 2001 are thriving in their new jobs for eventing legend Ian Stark.
For the roundup of the nearly 100 ponies on a remote farm in Dallas, Morayshire, World Horse Welfare teamed up with HorseBack UK, the Royal Marines and the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies.
In the above video, Stark explains the circumstances behind the roundup and how the ponies in his care are doing now.
The operation in May 2011 evolved after World Horse Welfare met an elderly farmer who had concerns about his Highland-type horses and ponies and realised help was needed to rescue them.
The herd of stallions, mares and foals had for many years been increasing in size due to uncontrolled breeding, and were running over more than 1000.
The horses and ponies which had naturally separated in different herd groups were rounded up in just two days by eight World Horse Welfare staff who were on foot, 14 Royal Marines, as well as six HorseBack UK representatives who were riding their own horses.
Each herd group was rounded up starting with those nearest to the farmhouse and then driven into a corral and a ‘race’ which had been constructed in the weeks before the operation. Each horse was sedated and microchipped; the mares and foals were then separated into a different field to the stallions which were then castrated by surgeons and student vets.
The vets dealt with any medical problems, sedated some for hoof trimming, wormed and microchipped the horses as well as providing passports for all of the animals.