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The Eriskay Pony
The Eriskay Pony is the last survivor of the native ponies of the Western Isles of Scotland. Its origins are ancient, certainly with Celtic and Norse connections. Although numerous in previous centuries, numbers decreased dramatically around the beginning of 19th century. Eventually, only a handful remained on the small island of Eriskay, which lies between South Uist and Barra in the Outer Hebrides. The last survivors of this ancient breed have become inextricably identified with this tiny island, hence the name Eriskay Pony.
Modern Eriskay ponies are the last surviving remnants of the original native ponies of the Western Isles of Scotland. Recent DNA testing by the University of Leicester has proven that they are a distinct, primitive breed, with ancient origins. Certainly they have ancient Celtic and Norse connections and Eriskays have been proven by measurement to be of similar proportions to those found on ancient Pictish stones throughout the North and West of Scotland.