Balmoral Highland Pony breeding programme to be relocated to England

It is unknown how many jobs will be affected by the decision to redirect the programme to Hampton Court Palace near London.

The Highland Pony breeding programme at Balmoral Castle is to be moved to England.

Buckingham Palace said breeding would now be brought back to Hampton Court Palace near London.

It’s not known exactly how many jobs will be affected, but it’s understood that staff are now being consulted.

In a statement Buckingham Palace said: “Historically the Royal Highland Pony breeding programme has been based at Hampton Court Palace.

“In 2007 a small programme was opened on the Balmoral Estate.

The programme will be moved from Balmoral to Hampton Court Palace in London.STV News

“Breeding will now be consolidated back to Hampton Court Palace, during this period of transition the Royal Household is in consultation with staff who will be affected by the change.”

During Queen Elizabeth’s reign she bred many different types of horses from eventers to racehorses, as well as championing rare and heritage breeds like Highland Ponies.

The breeding programme was brought to Scotland because she wanted to breed Highland Ponies to be “typical of their type.”

That is, built for carrying deer off the hills and with an even temperament to match, the land around Balmoral Estate is traditionally what these ponies were bred to work in.

There is thought to be around 40 ponies at the castle.

Concerns have also been raised about what the move may mean for other historic breeds based at the Balmoral Castle Estate, including around 80 Highland Cattle and a herd of Cheviot sheep.

Buckingham Palace said: “We are in a process of consultation and cannot comment further at the present time.”

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