ONE of Britain's last pit ponies has died at a museum following a short illness.
Carl, a pit pony at the National Coal Mining Museum for England, at Overton, between Huddersfield and Wakefield, died aged 29.
Carl had spent 12 years at the museum.
The pony retired from Ellington Colliery in 1994 after 12 years service moving materials.
He was one of the last four working ponies brought out of the colliery.
During his time at the museum, Carl participated in All The Queen's Horses for the Queen's Golden Jubilee at Windsor in 2002. He attended many shows and events, allowing people to discover how such animals worked in the coal mines.
Tracy Commons, the museum's marketing manager, said: "Carl was a wonderful pony - full of character and very mischievous.
"We know Carl will be sorely missed as he was loved by all who met him."
To make a donation to the museum's pit pony appeal in Carl's memory call the museum on 01924 848 806.
* Horses and ponies were used in coal mines for many years.
* At first, they worked above ground, transporting coal and providing power.
* Later, they were used along the underground roadways.
* Employment for pit ponies peaked in 1913, when 70,000 were working.
* Their use declined as mechanical cutting and haulage systems became more efficient.
* Most pit ponies were stabled underground, only seeing the light of day during strikes or lockouts.
* The 1911 Coal Mines Act protected pit ponies through regular medical inspections, better diets and cleaner stables.
* In Yorkshire mines ponies where known to play "snap" by sneaking sugar lumps from their owners' pockets and trotting forward to snaffle the sandwiches and fruit that should have been the miners' lunch.