TV farmer Gareth Wyn Jones has launched an appeal to find new homes this autumn for north Wales’ native Carneddau ponies.

Another 50 wild Carneddau mountain ponies will need to find new homes after the annual round-up takes place and surplus colts are removed from the herd that roams freely over Eryri to prevent overgrazing.

However, Gareth Wyn Jones, who is secretary of the Carneddau Mountain Pony Society, says this is an increasingly difficult task as the unique breed is widely misunderstood and thought to offer little opportunity to horse lovers.

Now, the outspoken hill farmer is preparing to shine a light on the versatility of north Wales’ unique breed at the upcoming GWCT Welsh Game Fair, which is being held at Vaynol Estate in Gwynedd on Saturday and Sunday, 9 and 10 September.

“Finding homes for all the ponies that need to be rehomed is a huge undertaking,” he said. “Many prospective homes wrongly assume the Carneddau mountain ponies will arrive bucking, rearing and being totally unmanageable – like a wild mustang in a cowboy movie.

“Understandably they do not like the idea of taking on an undomesticated animal but these clever ponies can adapt to their new, repurposed lives in just a few days. Those that have adopted go on to enjoy riding, driving and showing.”

Every November, over three weekends, the entire herd are round up for their annual health check.

Just seven families of hill farmers, covering 13,500 acres of north-east Eryri, have the rights to graze ponies on their land and this mass gathering of the herd draws in visitors from all over the world.

“These wild ponies date back to the Bronze Age,” explained Gareth, adding: “Some people think they are just a tourist attraction but they are integral to the ecology of the mountains.

“Their grazing style keeps everything in balance and even helps some species thrive such as the endangered red-billed chough and dung beetle.”

As well as having an exhibition stand at the GWCT Welsh Game Fair, the Carneddau Mountain Pony Society will give a demo in the main arena to show visitors how versatile and easy-going the diminutive ponies are.

“We hope that this PR exercise will help us raise awareness and prompt more families to enquire about adoption,” said Gareth. “We do not charge for the pony; new owners are only required to pay to have the animal microchipped.”