Dramatic images capture Konik ponies in full flight

Wild Konik Ponies sparring at Wicken Fen

Konik ponies captured in full flight at Wicken Fen Nature Reserve as the foaling season begins. - Credit: Terry Harris

For these Konik ponies, spectacular sparring in a fight for dominance has become very much the norm when foaling season hits. 

The ponies at Wicken Fen Nature Reserve are captured sparring and play-fighting, which is thought to be natural behaviour during the mating season. 

Carol Laidlaw, grazing ranger at Wicken Fen, said these dramatic scenes “aren’t a commonplace event in herd life. 

“During the mating season, males can engage in sparring, which is a natural part of their behaviour.” 

Konik ponies in action at Wicken Fen

Konik ponies captured in full flight at Wicken Fen Nature Reserve as the foaling season begins. - Credit: Terry Harris

Konik ponies at Wicken Fen Nature Reserve

Konik ponies captured in full flight at Wicken Fen Nature Reserve as the foaling season begins. - Credit: Terry Harris

It is thought to be rare to see the Konik ponies, who first arrived in Wicken in 2001, in action. 

“Horses spend most of their time grazing, sleeping and forming bonds with one another,” said Ms Laidlaw. 

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

Konik ponies at Wicken Fen

Konik ponies captured in full flight at Wicken Fen Nature Reserve as the foaling season begins. - Credit: Terry Harris

Konik ponies at Wicken Fen Nature Reserve

Konik ponies captured in full flight at Wicken Fen Nature Reserve as the foaling season begins. - Credit: Terry Harris

Konik ponies at Wicken Fen Nature Reserve

Konik ponies captured in full flight at Wicken Fen Nature Reserve as the foaling season begins. - Credit: Terry Harris

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”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 at Wicken Fen

Konik ponies captured in full flight at Wicken Fen Nature Reserve as the foaling season begins. - Credit: Terry Harris

Konik ponies at Wicken Fen Nature Reserve

Konik ponies captured in full flight at Wicken Fen Nature Reserve as the foaling season begins. - Credit: Terry Harris

Konik ponies at Wicken Fen

Konik ponies captured in full flight at Wicken Fen Nature Reserve as the foaling season begins. - Credit: Terry Harris