From left to right : Snippets, Nobby, Micheal and Jimmy Pigg
20 Siberian bred ponies were selected for Scott of the Antartic's fatal expedition, they were never intended to cross the glacier but were to be used as a source of fresh meat on the expedition's return from the Pole.
19 ponies were transported aboard the Terra Nova, one had already died. Stalls had been especially built for them, unfortunately they suffered dreadfully during a storm at sea and two of the ponies were killed.
Upon landing it soon became apparent that ponies were not suitable for transport in the Antartic as they floundered in the snow. Pony snow shoes should have been available, they had been unloaded from the ship, but all but one set were been left behind at Cape Evans.
The ponies trials were many, being attacked by ill fed and half starved dogs, lameness and exhaustion. Three of the ponies actually floated off on an ice flow surrounded by killer whales, one fell in and Oates killed him with an ice pick. The other two were hauled to safety but one was so weak that it couldn't get to it's feet and kept slipping back into the water. Bower's said, "I can't leave him alive to be eaten by those whales" and so this pony was killed with an axe.
Of course Scott's use of ponies has often been cited as one of the reasons that the Antartic expedition failed so tragically. One - Ton Depot was in a different place to the original plan due to the weakness of the ponies and it's believed that Scott and his companions would have suceeded in making it to the depot had it been placed where orginally planned.
The above photographs are from London's Atlas Gallery, they have a forthcoming exhibition of photographs of Robert Falcon Scott's ill fated expedition which opens on 3rd November - The Lost Photographs of Captain Scott. Photographs will be for sale and a book is to be published to coincide with the exhibtion. More details at the Atlas Gallery website.