The Isle of Wight Mountain & Moorland Pony Society was formed by Gillian Ellis in 1980. Gillian bred Dartmoor ponies and was at the time a Committee Member of The Ponies of Britain. This
organisation was the forerunner of the Ponies (UK).
She noticed that there were a number of very good native ponies on the Island and came up with the idea of forming a Society to encourage the breeding and showing of registered native ponies and their crosses: she was particularly interested in promoting the versatility of these ponies.
The inaugural meeting took place in her farmhouse at Great Appleford and was attended by approximately 40 people. A Committee of 12 people was formed and the Society went on to hold shows and other events on a regular basis. After 25 years there are many of the founder members still active in the Society.
Over the years the membership has grown to around 200 each year, with a large number of these being juniors. Events have expanded to include in-hand and ridden showing, jumping, dressage, long distance rides, instructional rallies and fun events. There is an annual points award scheme and trophies and rosettes are presented at the Society's AGM in January each year. This is followed by a teas and coffees which makes it an enjoyable evening.
There is also an annual performance points scheme for the Gillian Ellis Memorial Trophy which is open to registered pure-bred ponies. Points towards this can be gained not just at the Society's events but all types of events on the Island and on the mainland. The score card is free and can be obtained from the Hon. Secretary.