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HM ponies leave Balmoral

Balmoral has been home to HM The Queen’s Highland pony breeding programme since 2007.

Buckingham Palace has confirmed that Her Late Majesty’s Highland pony breeding programme is to be moved south from Balmoral Castle to Hampton Court Palace. 

The Highland pony stud moved to Balmoral in 2007 to provide ponies to work on the 64,000-acre estate. The ponies are bred to carry back the carcasses of deer shot on the estate but similar ponies to those bred at Balmoral today were used to move around the estate by Queen Victoria with her favourite servant John Brown in the mid-1800s. There are currently about 40 ponies at the stud. 

Captain Harry Sayer of the Blues and Royals, who was the final captain of The Queen’s Life Guards on the day of the monarch’s death last year, said: “Change can be difficult, but it is good to see that the future of the Balmoral Highland ponies breeding programme is secure. When it is consolidated at Hampton Court there will be a greater opportunity to make the programme more accessible for the enjoyment of the nation, which is a positive.”