Konik ponies fight for dominance as foaling season begins

Konik Ponies on Wicken Fen Nature Reserve.,
Wicken fen, Ely
Wednesday 17 March 2021.
Picture by Ter

Konik ponies fight for dominance as the foaling season begins at the National Trust's Wicken Fen Nature Reserve. - Credit: © Terry Harris

Dramatic photographs show Wicken Nature Reserve’s Konik ponies fighting for dominance in front of the picturesque Fenland backdrop as foaling season begins.  

Snapper Terry Harris captured the moment at the National Trust site in Wicken near Ely as the powerful Polish ponies reared up on their hind legs.  

Konik Ponies on Wicken Fen Nature Reserve.,
Wicken fen, Ely
Tuesday 16 March 2021.
Picture by Terry

Konik ponies fight for dominance at the National Trust's Wicken Fen Nature Reserve. - Credit: © Terry Harris

Carol Laidlaw, grazing ranger at Wicken Fen, said: “During the mating season, males can engage in sparring, which is a natural part of their behaviour, it dissipates quickly with very few injuries. 

Konik Ponies on Wicken Fen Nature Reserve.,Wicken fen, ElyWednesday 17 March 2021. Picture by Ter

Konik Ponies on Wicken Fen Nature Reserve.

“Horses aren’t territorial, but the lead males of a family group will keep other males away through displaying and sparring. 

Konik Ponies on Wicken Fen Nature Reserve.,Wicken fen, ElyWednesday 17 March 2021. Picture by Ter

Konik Ponies on Wicken Fen Nature Reserve. - Credit: © Terry Harris

“At a younger age, males often play fight and nip each other’s feet out from one another, as part of their development.” 

Konik Ponies on Wicken Fen Nature Reserve.,Wicken fen, ElyTuesday 16 March 2021. Picture by Terry

Konik Ponies on Wicken Fen Nature Reserve.


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She said that while the display looks “spectacular” it is not a common event in herd life, adding: “Horses spend most of their time grazing, sleeping and forming bonds with one another.” 

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