Exiles Forum

Lisburn, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland


Portmore welcomes Paddy the konik pony

Portmore Paddy which was born at Portmore Lough on St Patrick's Day.

Portmore Paddy which was born at Portmore Lough on St Patrick's Day.

THE RSPB is celebrating the birth of a konik in Ballinderry - the first ever foal from the Polish breed to be born in Ireland. 'Portmore Paddy', as he has been aptly named, because he was born on March 17th St Patrick's Day, came from a herd of koniks that arrived at Portmore Lough reserve two months ago.

RSPB's Portmore Warden John Scovell said:

"We are very pleased that the recently arrived koniks have settled into their new homes at Portmore.

"We were even more excited when we realised that one of the Polish ponies was an expectant mum and on March 17 she gave birth to a healthy foal, which we have named 'Portmore Paddy'.

The mother has been very protective of Paddy over the past few days and both are doing well.

This is a fantastic coup for the RSPB Reserve at Portmore Lough, it is our understanding that this is the first konik born in the wild, anywhere in Ireland".

John continued: "The koniks arrived in late January to assist with an important conservation project on the reserve. The ponies have been grazing the area to help prevent re-growth of scrub.

"Too much scrub is unsuitable for ground-nesting birds and may stop birds like lapwing from breeding.

"They have played an .important role over the winter months in helping to boost Portmore's reputation as a wildlife haven."

The koniks originated in Eastern Europe and are the closest living relative of the last breed of western European wild horse, the tarpan, which is now extinct.

The Konik ponies

Ulster Star