of the Highland Pony
Compiled by Christine Stevenson
Frontpiece Centre Knocknagael Marksman, top-left Heather Prescott and Rannoch of Trailtrow, top-right Wedy Shearman and Nashend Sea Otter, bottom Christine Bassett and Jamie of Glencree. 2
Contents Foreward Part 1 Highland Pony Studs Part 2 Highland Pony People Part 3 Highland ponies Part 4 Highland pony related articles Part 5 Highland pony photo gallery
Highland Pony Studs
Achnacarry Stud I fell in love with Highland Ponies, lets say a number of years ago when I was about seven or eight. My father was a schoolteacher and as a consequence we were lucky enough to spend most of the school holidays in Easter Ross. On our journey up, we used to pass loads of Highland Ponies grazing in fields around Kingussie and Newtonmore. They were obviously the Ormiston ponies although at that time I was none the wiser. That was when my love affair with Highland Ponies began. I used to beg and borrow ponies of any description and breed to ride until my Uncle gave my parents £35 to buy me a pony! My brother had died at the tender age of 24yrs and as I was only 15yrs old I took it badly and my Uncle decided a pony would be the cure. He was. His name was Drumloist Jock, Sire: Pharic of Hunthall, Dam: Culvouie, and I had him for a long time. In 1977 I decided I wanted another Highland Pony for riding so I contacted George Baird at the Highland Show and arranged to pay him a visit with a view to buying a pony. Of course, in those days Whitefield had fields of ponies, probably a few more than they have today and the choice was limitless! Saying that, when I saw one I liked the reply was “Oh that is my son Alan’s!!!! I think she was Gyp of Whitefield! I obviously had good taste as she went on to be Supreme Champion at the Royal Highland Show in 1983.
After looking at lots of mares, I chose Ella of Whitefield a six year old mare who had had three foals and was in foal (hopefully) to Crusader of Whitefield. She was a big scopy mare around 14.2hh with lots of bone and looked as if she would be a good riding pony which, remember, was my reason for buying her! She was unbroken and I had great fun breaking her in myself and then the following year, she presented me with a beautiful filly foal which I named Mollaig of Achnacarry. That was the beginning of Achnacarry Stud. Achnacarry seemed the right name to choose as I am a Cameron and our house at that time was called “Achnacarry” after the seat of the Camerons. My next purchase was a 7 month old foal at Alston Arbuckle’s Dispersal Sale. She was called Julie of Lundie, her Sire was Kestral of Whitefield and her Dam was Fiona of Lundie, who was Supreme Champion at the Royal Highland Show in 1979. It is from these two mares, Mollaig and Julie (Teenie) that most of the Achnacarry stock has come from. In 1989, I swapped a daughter of Mollaig for the filly foal, 5
Xanthe of Whitefield whom I had admired and coveted. Xanthe has been a great pony having only bred one foal, Zeus in 1997 whom we sold to Wyoming, USA. She was such a good ridden pony first with Tim riding her with some success and latterly as my Western Ridden pony. She has however, been plagued with laminitis so we will try and put her in foal again in 2007. The only other pony I bought in was the yearling colt, Tarka of Orangefield whom we kept entire and is now 10 years old. Tarka has bred us lots of good foals and at the moment we have four of our mares in foal to him. Our other stallion, Rannoch is 5 years old and is by Tarka out of Midge of Achnacarry who is a daughter of Julie of Lundie.
Before I bought Tarka, the stallions I used were, Sergeant Major of Whitefield, Major of Whitefield, Jura of Whitefield, Viscount of Whitefield, Marksman of Gleneagles, MacBeth of Gleneagles Glen Aigas, Glenaylmer and recently Carlung Feargus and of course last but not least MacGregor of Achnacarry. I suppose you would say that Whitefield lines have been the most influential bloodlines in our Stud, but if you analyse these bloodlines there are a lot of Knocknagael bloodlines and also Derculich in our ponies. MacGregor of Achnacarry is a pony that I was proud to have bred and he has a lot of influence in some of the ponies which are being used for breeding today, namely the stallions, Echo of Achnacarry and Eros of Achnacarry and Cameronian of Tower. 6
Offspring from these stallions have gone on to win top places at major shows. Another stallion, by MacGregor, Kestral of Glencree, is a young stallion, who is beginning to make his name known, and I would think he will also be one to watch for the future.
Meg of Achnacarry, a daughter of Julie of Lundie was a mare with whom I had a lot of success and like Xanthe was a great ridden mare. I think that Julie of Lundie has been a great influence in our Stud but Mollaig of Achnacarry was a great mare also. The question “If I could keep only one pony who would it be and why?” would be too difficult to answer as I love all my ponies for different reasons. If I was pinned down to answer that question I think it would be Corrie Bheag of Achnacarry, Mollaig’s daughter by Sergeant Major of Whitefield as she is a very sweet pony nature wise, perhaps doesn’t have the bone and feather that I love in a Highland, but she is just such a character and of course is a grand-daughter of Ella of Whitefield. The plans for the future are to keep breeding and hopefully win the Royal Highland Show one day in-hand or with a ridden pony. Our young stallion, Rannoch of Achnacarry, grandson of Julie of Lundie, is being broken at the moment so perhaps he is one to watch for the future under saddle or even in hand I am also interested in Western Riding as mentioned above and am planning to have a young gelding broken western so who knows the path that may lead me! So long as I have Highland Ponies in my life I shall be happy. Jean Connell Auchtermuchty, Fife 2006
The Atholl Stud Although ponies are no longer bred on the Atholl Estates at the present time there are many Atholl bred ancestors in a great number of present day pedigrees. A very long way back in history ponies were bred there and pony breeding was taken seriously by enlightened and knowledgeable men. As what happened there has had a strong influence on present day ponies it is very fortunate that we have some excellent first hand information on the stud, stud records, actual descriptions of the ponies from reliable sources, in addition to photographs.
Mr Thomas Dykes, in an article on the Highland Pony in the ‘Transactions of the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland” for the year 1905 writes the following, “Undoubtedly the Atholl ponies have a very ancient history, though the early portion of it has not been recorded. In 1540 Henry VIII sent to the Scottish King, whose favourite hunting and hawking quarters were the Forest of Atholl, under Sir Ralph Sadler, ambassador, a number of Spanish jennèts and Barbary horses, which were evidently intended for breeding purposes. James IV had previously introduced into Scotland several Spanish stallions. Louis XII presented the ill fated monarch of Flodden with twelve of his choicest French horses, no doubt the grey horses of Normandy. Most likely breeding operations in Atholl were seriously disturbed, as in Glenorchy, by operations during the rebellions of 1715 which, as readers of Scott novel ‘The Legend of Montrose’ are aware, were chiefly conducted in this part of the country. Still the old strains were never seemingly allowed to die out, though mayhap changes of blood were introduced from time to time. We have exceedingly pleasant mention of these ponies, some of which were models for Landseer’s pictures, in our late Queen Victoria’s ‘Life in the Highlands’. Writing on 18th September, 1842, when at Blair Castle, the guest of the Duke of Atholl, her Majesty says: “We set off on ponies to go up one of the hills, A riding the dun pony and I the grey, attended only by Sandy McAra in his Highland dress. We went out by the back way across the ford, Sandy leading my pony and Albert following closely, the water reaching above Sandy’s knees”. On the occasion of the King’s visit to Edinburgh in May, 1903, we had, on the invitation of the Marquis of Tullibardine, the pleasure of going over the representatives of the Atholl Stud, as in their military capacity they were in Edinburgh acting as mounts for members of the detachment of the Scottish Horse. Four were greys, one a stylish mare, winner of a first prize at bay tree…..”Has, both as to quality and numbers, reached a higher plane within the past decade. In some respects the association with the Polo Pony Society has not been an unmixed blessing. There has, on the part of some breeders of Highland ponies, been too great a tendency one had almost said anxiety to promote the objects of that society so far as relating to the breeding of riding ponies only! In practice, the result has been that a sacrifice of power and substance has not infrequently been made 8
with the hope of inducing narrower shoulders, with more of the slope desired by the rider. If the general utility of the breed is to be preserved, the aim must be to prevent this trait. The real value of the Highland pony lies in his capacity to successfully perform a great deal of hard work of a very varying nature and to live inexpensively in those districts where the natural fatness of the land is not proverbial.” He goes on to stress the usefulness of the pony to crofter and sportsman, both in harness and in saddle; “Surefooted as a goat, he will transverse with unflagging pace and untiring energy long reaches of the roughest country”. He quotes the description laid down by the Highland Society at a meeting in 1901; “It shall be of great substance and power, with firm, hard feet, flat bone and short, covered ribs. The eyes should be bold and prominent, but with a kindly expression Height up to 14h 2ins.,” and he says “No stud of the breed more closely approximates to the standard thus set than that of Atholl.” In the last page of his comprehensive article the Duke gives details of the early records of the stud: “Of the recorded stud from which the present stock is sprung, the earliest stallion of which we have mention is Morelle, a piebald, foaled in 1853. The records, unfortunately, contain no reference to either his sire or dam, and he was destroyed in 1872, having left one colt foal in the stud in 1871. In 1864 there was bought from Mr Donald Cameron, Clunes, Glenmoriston, for the sum of £13.lOs., a dark grey entire colt, foaled in 1862. He was exhibited by the present Duke of Atholl at the Inverness Highland Show in 1865 under the name of Glen Tilt, in the class “not exceeding 14 hands,” and obtained first prize. He grew to l4h. lin. In 1869 he won a medium gold medal at the Highland Society’s Show, and was that year sold to the Earl of Southesk for £60. In 1864 there was bought from Mr Rolford, a shooting tenant in Foss, a dun pony mare, Polly, about fourteen hands. She had been bought by Mr Holford a year or two previously either in Fort William or Muir of Ord Market, and was a typical “garron,” with the characteristic black “list” along her back from mane to tail. Glen Tilt was the sire of many good hill ponies, and out of Polly he produced, in 1867, the notable Lady Jean, afterwards used as a brood mare, and in 1868 the even more famous colt Glengarry I. This colt was kept as a stallion, and was of a grey cream colour, with white mane and tail and standing 14h. 2in. At the Highland Society’s Show in 1876 he obtained first prize for “Highland stallions, 14½ hands and under”, and in 1877, at the same show, was awarded, a medium gold medal. In 1879 he was sold to Mr J.C. Cameron of Garrows, Glenquaich, afterwards serving for some time in the Breadalbane district of Perthshire.
The next stallion to do service in the stud was Glengarry II, a son of the first horse of that name out of a garron mare bought at Innerhadden in Rannoch, a horse which won second prize at the Highland Society’s Show in 1879. Each Glengarry was the sire of several notable ponies. The most successful stallion the stud has ever known 9
was Herd Laddie, bought in 1887 as a six year old from Mr Donald Mackenzie, Glengloy, Fort William. He was bred by Highland Laddie out of Jeanie, and won third prize at the Glasgow Highland Show of 1886. He was again shown at the Edinburgh
Highland Show in 1907, when he was awarded a medium silver medal, and at the age of twenty six years won general commendation, being universally admired as the most typical Highland pony of the day. He died two years ago, after serving in the Atholl district for twenty two years, and the general improvement in the ponies in the neighbourhood directly due to his inpress is well nigh incalculable. A glance at Vols. VII and VIII of the Polo Pony Stud Books makes it plain that his memory will be perpetuated in many different strains. His son, Bonnie Laddie, a typical dapple dun, foaled in 1901, now serves in his stead. The dam of Bonnie Laddie was Minnette, an excellent brood mare, by Glengarry II, out of Minnie, Minnie being a yellow dun foaled in 1861 by a creamâ€”coloured garron, name unknown. Bonnie Laddie, as a three year old, won the championship of the Perth Highland Show in 1904, gaining also the special prize given by the Polo Pony Society, and won the championship at the Glasgow Highland Show the following year. By his performances he bids fair to outrival the fame of his sire. Of the other Highland showyard achievements of the Atholl Stud without which no notice would be complete reference must be made to the progeny of Lady Louise, a dun mare of great character and style, bred by Mr Grant of Struie, Beauly, from a horse belonging to the Duke of Sutherland, and bought as an aged mare in 1902 for ÂŁ30. Her first foal (1903), Lady Anne, by Herd Laddie, was champion of the breed at 10
Edinburgh in 1907; her second (1904), Atholl Laddie, by Herd Laddie; was second at the same show and was afterwards sold to Mr Perrins of Ardross. Her third in 1905, died when a few weeks old; but the fourth, in 1906, Lady Jean, by Bonnie Laddie, was champion at Dumfries in 1910. Blair Laddie (1907), also by Bonnie Laddie, was third as a yearling at Stirling in 1909, and first as a two year old at Dumfries in 1910, after which he was sold to the Duke of Westminster for service at His Grace’s Highland home in Sutherlandshire. For the first time, in 1908 the mare was yeld, and her promising filly foal of 1909 died from strangles in the winter of that year. Her 1910 foal has not been shown, but Tilt Laddie, her foal by Bonnie Laddie in 1911, was this year second at Cuper Fife to his stable companion, Glen Banvie (Bonnie Laddie out of Nell II) against whom as a two year old he had to compete in the same class. Lady Louise was herself shown as a very aged mare at Inverness in 1911, in the class for mares of three years old and over, when she was placed sixth in a class of thirteen — probably the strongest section of Highland ponies seen at the National Society’s shows in recent years. Her shapely youngster this season died from lockjaw in the cold wet weather of June, but the mare is again in foal, and it may be that future honours lie ahead for her stock to add still further to the lustre that attaches to her name. Nell II was bought by the Duke of Atholl from a small farmer and contractor in the district by whom she was regularly used in carting loads of about fifteen cwts over long stretches of road of a hilly nature. The evening of her days is being spent solely as a brood mare.” Author?
Highland Pony Studs
Ballinton Dene Stud and Scott McGregor The sign at the gate reads, Ballinton Dene Highland Pony Stud, established in Scotland in 1956, with a lovely picture of the renowned stallion, Fyfedene, as the centre piece. Although attractive, this sign gives no clues as to the calibre of stud that is based behind the gates. The Ballinton Dene stud is world renowned for breeding and producing Highland Ponies of quality and substance, with Dene ponies continuing to win competitions at the highest level. Scott’s personal history is fascinating and quite worthy of a book. He has a vast knowledge and respect for horses with the native ponies and Clydesdales being his speciality. Scott is a respected judge all over the world and in a voluntary capacity has made a huge contribution back to the equine and farming world. A council member of Scotland’s peak body, The Highland Pony Society for nine years, holding the position of Chairman for 2 years, a Director of the Royal Highland Agricultural Society for 10 years and Chairman of the National Pony Society Scotland for several years. In 2005 Scott was awarded the highest accolade bestowed by the Highland Pony Society that of Breeder of the Year. He took part in 2 segments of the Lands End to John O’ Groats charity ride on his much loved Highland gelding, Tammy Norie of Fairlaw to raise funds for Riding for Disabled in the UK. Scott was destined to be a great horseman and his hard work, Scottish stoicism, open minded approach and talent has set him apart. Scott sits a horse naturally and has knowledge and understanding of a horse’s structure, make up and conformation based on his years of experience and an inherent eye for a good pony. From an early age he was immersed in his father’s stud in Stirling, at that time predominantly breeding Clydesdales. Scott’s father, Hugh, was a hard taskmaster and no concessions were made to his son for whom working from dawn till dusk was the normal and expected practice. A chance contract to provide 30 horses for the 1953 film, “Rob Roy”, starring Richard Todd, was pivotal in the change of focus for the famous Clydesdale breeder. With only one riding pony on the farm, which happened to be Scott’s, Hugh sourced ponies from all over Scotland to fulfil the contract. The horses were kept in a field at a popular tourist village during the filming, and visitors started to make enquiries about being able to ride them, especially as they were nestled in the beautiful Trossachs hills that made great riding country. Not one to miss an opportunity, Hugh saw a possible new business emerging and went on to lead the pony trekking movement in Scotland which, by the end of the 1960’s saw the McGregors with over 160 horses stationed at five pony trekking centres throughout Scotland and the Lakes District. Over time, Highland Ponies were identified as the perfect mount for the trekking job and Hugh started his Highland Pony Stud to fulfil the demand for these ponies, as many clients fell in love with them and wanted to buy them. They admired the 12
breed’s good nature, intelligence, sure footedness, strength and gentleness, being good doers and easy to winter out, in all climates. Above all, Highlands have big personalities. Two foundation mares, one of which Glenearn Beautility, purchased for the sum of 161 guineas and Calliach Bhan XVI, formed the cornerstone of the stud with almost all bloodlines of today’s Dene ponies tracing back to this stock. Stallions were brought in to bring new blood to the breeding program Merlin of Dercuilich (pronounced dirk-l-ck), was the first, and others of great note included, Glenaylmer (glen –elmer) and later his son, Falcon Frost of Sauchrie (sock-rie).
A guinea is a pound and a shilling, the traditional currency used in horse sales – indeed many livestock sales in the UK are still conducted in guineas. After a childhood spent working on the farm and later working as a partner with his father, Scott recalls an incident that was to see him leave the Highland Pony world for a time. His father wanted Scott to have the opportunity to begin his own breeding program and offered him a choice of any filly on the property to be registered in his own name and not that of H. McGregor & Son. Without hesitation Scott named a filly but his father quickly rebuked him as that particularly pony was already earmarked for a buyer in South Africa. Adding insult to injury, Scott then had the task of taking the filly to Liverpool docks for its long sea trip to South Africa. Scott turned his attention to farming and moved away from the showing and breeding world he knew so well. He travelled to Australia in 1974 on a Young Farmer’s scholarship, working on a huge cattle station of one million acres – quite a change from his home in Scotland. This fostered his love of the freedom and space in Australia and the pull of the country was to bring him back time and time again. It was on one of these return trips when he was working at a riding ranch in the Snowy Mountains, that Scott met Maryanne, an Australian lass from Sydney who was a client on a 5 day riding holiday. One thing led to another and Maryanne became his wife and joined Scott in Scotland to help run the stud in Stirling. It was not until the death of his father in 1985 that Scott’s interest in breeding and showing Highland Ponies was rekindled. With his skills and expert eye for a pony Scott set about a breeding plan which would expose Highland Ponies to a wider audience – travelling many miles to exhibit his ponies south of the border into England resulting in a meteoric rise to the very top of the showing world in the UK. He created interest and a demand for his stock across the channel, into Europe and beyond. Dene ponies continue to be held in the highest esteem across the globe. Scott recounts the many times he sold and delivered ponies to Sweden, Denmark and Germany. Ponies that went into Sweden were destined for great things in the driving world competing at the highest level in marathon driving. When a German businessman contacted him searching for ponies, it was to set up a long standing association resulting in a very happy customer, coming back several times for 13
Highland Ponies. Delivering the ponies himself, Scott set off in his truck with a full component of 7 ponies for the long journey to Harwich in the East Coast of England, waiting the required 24 hours in the Department of Agriculture stable whilst the ponies’ documentation and general health was checked. In the case of Germany a 20 hour sea journey followed and then the trip to their new home. The new owners were delighted with the ponies and the obvious care that had been taken with them. Eventually this client wanted his own stallion and visited Scott at his stud in Stirling where he had his sights firmly set on Falcon Frost of Sauchrie. Negotiations took place and Falcon Frost made his way to Germany. Scott was later to return to Germany to assist with the training of the stud groom who was to take charge of the Breeding program and, on another occasion stayed to break in some of the youngsters. Here in Australia we are familiar with the wonderful stallion Fyfedene, one of the consignment of top class Highland ponies that Scott brought with him when he moved to Australia in late 2005. Fyfedene, a home bred stallion by Falcon Frost of Saucherie out of the wonderful mare Salinadene, was a prolific winner in the UK both in hand and under saddle following in the footsteps of his parents. The highlight of his wonderful career was claiming both the ridden and the in hand titles at The Royal Highland Show in 2003, the first time this had been achieved in 30 years. In the same year he also took the Cuddy’s Championship and the National Pony Society’s Silver Medal. He has also been a sire of choice by Her Majesty the Queen at her Balmoral Stud in Scotland. Fyfe was much loved and will be remembered above all else for his wonderful nature, a trait that he undoubtedly inherited from his sire and dam and one which is significant in his offspring. The influence of the Dene bloodlines on the Australian Highland Pony and indeed Highland Ponies worldwide will be seen for many years to come. The two stallions Scott brought over from Scotland, Fourmerk Royal Scott and Fyfedene have given Highland Pony breeders in Australia a wonderful opportunity to have access to the best bloodlines in the world today. What of the future for the stud? 2012 was not a good year for the stud or Scott personally. Ill health forced Scott to cut back on his enterprise for a while. It was a very sad day too when his beloved Fyfedene was put to sleep in the paddock due to cancer. However, Scott still owns the foundation mares he imported into the country and some spectacular youngstock, both pure and part bred. His knowledge of the breed is unsurpassed and there are plans afoot to include Scott in a mentoring program for judges in Australia of Mountain & Moorland ponies, as well as producing an instructional video for general release. Scott is undoubtedly one of the larger than life characters of the horse world. With his vast knowledge of breeding he has much to offer the Highland Pony world. 14
Highland Pony owners and breeders in Australia should feel fortunate that he is on hand to impart some of this wisdom. We can also look forward to seeing more of his daughter, Mhairi McGregor as she begins to take over some of the reins â€“ her mare Steffiedene was Barastock Champion Performance Pony and Ridden Champion in Victoria as well as Royal Melbourne Show winner of in hand M & M championships and is now enjoying life as a broodmare. Mhairi is an accomplished horsewoman who has certainly inherited her familyâ€™s skills and love of the Highland Pony. The resilience and determination of the Scots cannot be underestimated and we will watch the progress of the Ballinton Dene Stud with much interest Many thanks to Scott McGregor, Maryanne Alderson, Mhiari McGregor and Tom Best from The Scottish Farmer Newspaper for their help in preparing this article.
Beechwood The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland have three Stud Farm Units near Inverness, and maintain Stud Bulls and Rams for the Crofting Counties as well as a small stud of Highland Ponies which are mainly based at Beechwood, although the mares go to the hill at Knocknagael when the foals are weaned and are only taken hack to Beechwood to foal the following year. The young female stock are kept at Bairobert Hill from the summer when they are yearlings till they are taken down for service at three-years old. The foals are wintered at Beechwood out of doors. The stallions are all wintered our, and are only housed during the service season. The present stud was founded in 1913 by the purchase of two mares, May Mist and May Dew both daughters of the famous Glenbruar, Prior to that date stallions were supplied to the Congested Districts from Penicuik and later from Monkstadt in North Skye, but when the Congested Districts Board became the Board of Agriculture and Beechwood was acquired the present stud was started. In time the Board of Agriculture became the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for Scotland, The stud was built up by the retention of the best stock bred from two mates and many of their sons were kept to meet the requirements in the islands etc. Some eighteen stallions were necessary to meet the requirements of the crofters, and grooms had to be hired and food sent with the stallions for the
season. Some stallions had to be purchased to keep up the numbers Circumstances have now changed and no stallions are sent out, but still eighty to ninety mares come in annually for service. These are kept at grass at a nominal charge if required and the selection of the stallion used is left to mare owners. The fees for the services are all the same. Some of the stud stallions used at Beechwood in building up the stud are worthy of note: Glenbruar by Herd Laddie and bred at Atholl Estates. This was perhaps the most impressive sire of all time, and while never at Beechwood was the sire of the parent stock, MacPherson bred in Skye. Sire Atholl Fender Laddie, bred by the Duke of Atholl, Sire Bonnie Laddie Boy David, bred by McKelvie, Arran. Sire Ranza.
Knocknagael Marksman bred by the D. 0. A. S. by Fender Laddie out of Morag of Knocknagael by MacPherson. This was a great breeding horse and was first at the Royal Highland Show in 1951. He served his last mare and left her in foal three weeks before he died at twenty-nine years of age. The stallions in use at the present time are as follows:
Ben Cleuch foaled 1953, Sire Ben Callum. 1st prize young stallion at Royal Highland Show 1960. Champion Highland Pony at Ponies of Britain Show, Kelso, 1965.
Strathspey foaled 1955, Sire Strathnaver. Second prize at Royal Highland Show
1959 and 3rd prize at Royal Highland Show 1960 Champion Highland Pony and Overall Champion Mountain and Moorland Pony at the National Pony Show In Harrogate 1961. Champion Highland Pony at the Royal Highland Show 1968, Champion Highland Pony and Reserve Champion Mountain and Moorland Pony at Ponies of Britain Show, Kelso, 1967. He also represented the Highland Pony breed at the Wembley Exhibition 1969. Strathbogie foaled 1955, Sire Strathnaver. This stallion was never exhibited at shows but breeds very well and rum out with his mares Glenmuick foaled 1959, Sire Strathspey. Champion Highland Pony at Royal Highland Show 1964, Male Champion at the Royal Highland Show 1968, Champion Highland Pony and Champion Mountain and Moorland Pony at the Ponies of Britain Kelso 1968. He represented the Ponies of Britain at Wembley Horse of the Year Show 1968. Glenkyllachy foaled 1963, Site Glenmuick. This pony was bred by Major Mackenzie of Farr and has lots of old Farr blood in him. He was purchased as a yearling and breeds very well. He won 1st Prize in the 2/3 year-old Stallion Class at the Royal Highland Show in 1966 the only time shown so far. Some of the mares worthy of note: Maude of Knocknagael foaled 1953, Sire Knocknagael Marksman, sold to Lady 18
Brooke, Mid Fearn, two years ago. Her yearling by Lady Brooke’s own stallion Pipe Major of Dunkeld was 1st prize Yearling Colt or Gelding at the Royal Highland Show this year. This mare was Female Champion and won the Kinmonth Cup at the Royal Highland Show when she was two years old. Four of her daughters form part of the present stud. One of her sire Glenfiddich is in the King Ranch, Texas, where he is having the desired impression on his progeny from the Quarter Horses to give them more power for the rope work which is practiced mainly in cattle handling on this ranch. Another son Strathord was a consistent prizewinner, especially in the saddle for Miss Smith, Barrhill, Ayrshire, including 1st prize under saddle at this year’s Royal Highland Show, and is now in possession of Mr. Sleigh, West Fingask. Old Meldrum, Ben Alder, a three-year old son was second in the 2/3 year’ Stallion Class in this year Royal Highland for Mr. Kellas, Gedloch, Her 1959 born daughter Marion was second at the Royal Highland Show in 1964, her 1964 born daughter Mairi was 1st and Female Champion at the Royal Highland Show 1966, her 1966 born daughter Maureen was 1st prize 3-year-old at the Royal Highland Show in 1969.
Rosemary of Knocknagael foaled 1954, sire Knocknagael, was never herself shown but has been a great breeder. She had five consecutive filly foals to Strathspey and was then served with Glenmuick, She had a colt foal to him, Glenrannoch, which won the Championship at the Royal Highland 1969 for Mr. and Mrs. Brooks., Mamore, Kinlochieven. He also won the ridden championship at the same show, Then she was mated with Strathspey again and had two fillies to him, Then she missed and was served by Ben Cleuch and has a filly foal at foot meantime. Three of her fillies have been retained in the Stud, In 1964 one of her fillies. Rena, was Champion at Inverness Wool Fair and was sold at the then record price by public auction of 260 gns. to the late Capt. Chrystal in whose hands she won many prizes. Rosa was sold to Mrs. and Mrs. Brooks and she has won many prizes at high level including Reserve Female Championship at. the Royal Highland Show, Rosabell was sold as a two to Mrs. Taylor, Tomatin Stud, Horley, Surrey in 1968 and was shown at all the major shows in the south where she was always placed at the top of her class and won a number of championships. Her best daughter is Rose, born in 1962, She was Ist as a yearling at the Royal Highland in 1963, 1st as a two year in 1964, and 3rd in 1965 when unfortunately she was lame, She went on to win the lst prize at the Ponies of Britain and Reserve Champion Highland Pony in 1965, She was never shown as a mature mare as she was always due to foal in the Royal Highland Show week, She breeds extremely well: her 1st foal Benromach had to be gelded owing to a fault in his genital organs and was 1st prize gelding at the Royal Highland Show in 1969, Her second foal Glenkyle is now stud horse with Lord Margadale in Islay. Her third foal, a very promising filly, now belongs to the Misses Robertson and Henderson, at Balinoe, Ardgay, Her fourth is a filly and looks good at the Stud, and she now has a nice colt foal at foot. 19
Shonaid, foaled in 1968, sire Ben Cleuch, has always been a consistent breeder but has always produced colt foals, One of her foals, Strathconon, was Champion at the Royal Highland Show in 1967, belonging to Mr. Nicol, Dunmhor, Letham; another, Glensuie, was 1st prize 2/3 year old stallion at this year’s Royal Highland Show, belonging to Mr Wright, Almond Cottage, Glenalmond, Her last year’s foal has been purchased to be used as an entire in Lewis. This mare was Reserve Champion at the Royal Highland Show when she was three years old and 1st and Reserve Champion Highland Pony at the Ponies of Britain Show, Kelso, 1968. Her foal at foot, Glensuie, was also first prize that day. The Department restricted the number shown at any show to not more than three animals for the past number of years and they never showed at more than two shows, the Royal Highland and the Ponies of Britain, generally. Since 1953 twentyfive first prizes, ten seconds and eight thirds have been won at the Royal Highland Show, as well as the Kinmonth Cup five times, the Overall Championship three times and the Reserve Championship four times.
Dispersal of the Beechwood Stud The Stud was started by the Congested Districts Board at the end of the nineteenth century when Professor Cossan Ewart, the well-known veterinary writer, was given the task of finding the best pony stallions to improve crofters’ mares. Factors influencing his choice were hardiness, cost of upkeep, utility on the land, suitability for hill work, service with the Mounted Infantry. To this end the Professor bought ponies from a wide range of breeds including Highlands, and mixed them in an attempt to find the best. This first took place at Penicuik, Midlothian, but later was moved to Monkstadt, the Board’s estate on Skye. The Board of Agriculture for Scotland took over the livestock side, and William Barbour, also in charge, disposed of the other breeds, retaining a few Highland ponies from a variety of sources. After some time, in 1913, the Board of Agriculture moved the Stud to Beechwood, outside Inverness. The policy in those days was two -fold: 1. to provide good stallions for crofters’ mares; 2. from two main mares, May Mist and May Dew, both by Glenbruar, to breed its own stallions. As James Dean recalled (Highland Pony News Autumn 1970, p.31) that eighteen stallions were needed, both home-bred and bought in mares tended to be sent in for service some 80-90 in 1970, and latterly no stallions were sent out! Numbers of mares in service had dropped to 44 in 1974 (1 from crofters) to 13 in 1977 (4 from crofters). The Department of Agriculture decided that as there was little demand for the stud, to disband it. Despite a spirited fight by several breeders—e.g. Mrs. Durham, Georgie Henschell and considerable efforts by K & Duncan McArdle to retain a nucleus for a National Stud, the proposed sale went ahead, by private tender. No official list of buyers has been published, causing some measure of disquiet. Over 20
100 bidders made offers for the 50 ponies, and the average price realised was cÂŁ340. We have only a partial list of new owners (see below), but others will doubtless appear once transfers are through. Molly of Knocknagael
Maureen of Knocknagael
Flair of Knocknagael. . .
Countess of Swinton
Rosie of Knocknagael
Rachael of Knocknagael
Rose Briar of Knocknagael. . . .
Morven of Knocknagael
Phylis of Knocknagael
Fenella of Knocknagael
Phoebe of Knocknagael
Shona of Knocknagael
Countess of Swinton
Rose of Knocknagael
Feolin of Knocknagael.
Countess of Swinton
Rose Maree of Knocknagael.
Topsy of Knocknagael. .
Myrtle of Knocknagael
Mirabelle of Knocknagael
Meryl of Knocknagael
Callum of Knocknagael
Rhuann of Knocknagael
Ruby of Knocknagael
Rosella of Knocknagael
J. Archibald & D. Munro
Birnham Highland Pony Stud On my 55th birthday my husband asked me for cardboard string, glue and matches to make my birthday present. My expectations were not high! He presented me with a lovely model of a field shelter. I tried to sound delighted, then noticed a slip of paper hidden in the straw. This was the Transfer of Ownership of the Highland pony mare Maymorn of Garnkirk - then I was delighted, and Birnam stud was founded. We have only bred 10 poniesâ€” two now in Germany one in Shetland, one in Northumberland, one in North Uist, three locally in Scotland and two remain with us. Maymorn is still with us now aged 20. Our ponies have been used for riding - long distance and endurance and very little showing. Brenda Searle, Ballater, Aberdeen.
(Brood Mares: Maymorn of Garnkirk, Rhoda of Campsie, Lady Xara of Whitefield and home bred Tia of Birnam) 22
Broadshade: Aileen Ritchie Miss Ritchie must be one of the best-known figures in Highland Ponies today. With her extraordinary stamina in tackling very long distances, rarely missing any available show, local or national, she is a one-woman Public Relations Department for the Highland Pony. Her name has even become a byword for many unconnected with ponies, especially in the North-East, where she has lived since her childhood at Netherley (near Stonehaven). Shetland ponies were her first love, and these she still breeds at Broadshade, but with the Netherley stud name, now world famous among breeders. Last year, for example, Shetlands were exported to both Holland and Australia In 1955, she sold Netherley and moved to Broadshade of Skene, a farm of about 70 acres arable six miles west of Aberdeen, facing south over the Loch of Skene. The same year she began breeding Highland Ponies with two foundation mares, Bonnie Doon 10404 (Benbecula x Doon), and Misty Island 8711 (Callum Og x a mare by Faillie Rover), bought from the late Annie Wilson. Misty Island that same year won the yeld mare class at the R.H.A.S. (Highland Show) and the Reserve Championship for the Kinmonth Quaich. Bonnie Doon was Reserve Champion Ridden Class at the R.H.A.S., 1957, and was three times H.P. Champion at the Ponies of Britain, Peterborough. Misty Islandâ€™s granddaughter, Broadshade Starlight (Strathspey x B. Moonbeam), born 1961, won in all seventeen Championships, with fifteen First in Ridden Classes; retired in 1974 with an arthritic shoulder, she is now a brood mare at Broadshade of Skene. She is the granddam of B. Moonlight (B. Monteagle x B.Skylight), a filly who has had much success this year. About 1970, Miss Ritchie decided to participate more regularly in Ridden Classes, with home-bred mares (which she always rides). Broadshade Nightlight, a grey dapple (Strathspey x B. Moonbeam), her personal riding pony since B. Starlight retired, won over twenty-five Firsts in Ridden Classes; but on returning from a Highland Pony Society Council Meeting in Perth in 23
November, 1976, she found the mare had died, inexplicably, from a ruptured stomach, at only nine years old. For long a keen supporter of the Highland Pony Society, Miss Ritchie has served on the Council several times, over many years, and has appeared as judge in numerous shows, including the Royal, Stoneleigh, and the H.P.S. Stallion Parades. She would judge more often if she were not usually in the show ring as a competitor, and certainly some of our local North-East shows owe the continuance of their Highland Pony classes to her perseverance in lean years. In years past, she has been the only exhibitor in some classes In-hand, and frequently alone on horseback, but for her long-standing companion and helper, Ann Conlan, mounted on another Broadshade pony. She normally goes on Mrs. Calvert’s weekly cross- country ride at Dess, Aboyne, to keep her hand in. One of her home-bred stallions, Broadshade Culardoch (B. Monleagle x 13. Bruiach), born 1973, is now standing at Miss Wilby’s stud, Nashend, in Gloucestershire. Another stallion, Broadshade Monteagle (Ian of Derculich x B. Midnight) was Reserve Overall Champion and Male Champion at the R.H.A.S. in 1970, now owned by D. Jack in the Black Isle. The only non home-bred mare currently at Broadshade is Cherry of Whitefield (Highland Chief x Audrey of Glenbuckie). Born in 1968 and bought from her breeder George Baird in 1973, Cherry was Champion at the Royal Show in 1973 and 1974, first in the Yeld Mare class at the R.HA.S. in 1974, and this year, 1976, (unbeaten in her class), with three Championships and six Firsts (including the Brood Mare class at the R.H.A.S.), has brought her Championship total to twenty one. But a home bred filly mentioned earlier, brought Miss Ritchie something of a surprise this year: previously in the shade of Cherry, Broadshade Moonlight, a cream dun 3 y.o. came “from behind” to take the Female Championship and Reserve Overall at RH.A.S. Ingliston this year, and has since gone on to win Championships at the POB. Peterborough, the Royal Show Stoneleigh, and one of the biggest North-East shows, Turriff, where she took the Overall Horse and Pony Tricolour. “Creamie”, as she is affectionately called, started her year of success in fine style with the Reserve Championship of the R.N.A.S. at Aberdeen in February, behind Mr. Arbuckle’s yeld mare, Jane of Gowrie (reversing the positions later at the Highland). With Broadshade Barmekin a 4 year old. riding mare (B. Monteagle x B. Bruiach), (two championships last year including the NP.S. at Stirling), and other young stock coming along, we can look forward to many more years of Miss Ritchie’s home-bred ponies winning In-hand and Ridden show classes the length and breadth of the country. (Written in 1976) Author? 24
Calgary Stud - the Early Days When my Father, the late J.H. Munro-Mackenzie, moved from Cumberland to manage the Calgary Estate in the north west of Mull for his father towards the end of the last century he took with him his hunter thoroughbred stock, but finding that their progeny only developed to the then polo pony size, be decided to turn his attention to the native breed of ponies. It was largely through his activity that the Highland Pony Section of the then Polo and Riding Pony Society Stud Book (now the National Pony Society) was started. My interest was first awakened at the age of two, when my Father and the late Lord Arthur Cecil returned from a visit to the outer islands, where they had been to study the ponies being bred there and probably buy some mares, A Barra pony yearling had been presented to my Father by Mr. Mackenzie, Proprietor of the Lochboisdale Hotel “as a gift to his baby daughter”. I was the lucky and very proud daughter. The yearling was named Boisdale and dedicated to breeding. Her first foals were by the Arabian stallion The Syrian. By this time several other Island mares had been acquired, and a further journey to the Uists resulted in the purchase of lslesman, a beautiful dark brown Highland Pony stallion, Islesman was bred and worked on a croft and bore the marks of hobbling on his fetlocks all his life. He was a good ride and wonderful worker doing all the “policy” Estate carting of firewood, coal from the coal boat, etc., and on Sundays taking a full load in a big tub cart five miles to Church and back, The arrival of Islesman was the real founding of the Calgary Stud. To return to Boisdale, she bred a colt and three fillies to Islesman, all dark brown and as like as peas in a pod. The first of these fillies, Foligary, was put to stud, and like her mother, bred many good foals. She was mated to Roy 2nd, a son of the famous Glen Bruar, and the resulting foal, Tor Lochan, became the sire of the best riding type Highland Ponies that I know. His son, Dun I, out of Iona IV is now the property of Sir Alfred Goodson, and in his twenty fifth year is looking splendid and still getting good stock. Another son, Talisker, won the Country Life Cup for Mountain and Moorland ponies at the National Pony Society Show at the Agricultural Hall, Islington in 1937, and hunting with the Old Berkeley founds could cross the Vale of Aylesbury with the best. Another outstanding mare was White Polly. She was bred in Mull 25
and was reputedly over twenty years old when purchased. She bred three greys to Islesman, first a filly, Gometra, unbeaten in the show ring a wonderful ride and later brood mare, second, a colt, Skerryvore, Champion three times at the Highland and Agricultural Society Show and sold to King Edward VI for Balmoral. The third a colt, Hysker, was exported to Perth in Australia The Calgary ponies were continually driven by my Father and Mother (and members of the family) to meetings, social events, picnics and, of course, to church, I remember how well they went as a pair in a four wheeled dog cart. The underlying policy of the Calgary Stud was to use the small quality mares of the Islands (12.3 to 12.2) and gradually breed up to a rather larger pony of about 14 hands with emphasis on straight action, good shoulder, quality head, and plenty of good flat bone. The Calgary ponies were consistent prize winners not only in Scotland, but at the Royal and National Pony Society Shows, and were also exported to America, South Africa and Australia. Lady Ramsay â€“Fairfax (written 1969)
The Calgary Stud in depth WAS it Napoleon who said “Ability is of little account without opportunity”? John H. Munro-Mackenzie certainly had the first quality and the second circumstance was awarded him by the fact that way back in 600 BC the Persians were very enthusiastic about a game called polo. Although the sterner sport of war curtailed the Persian game, the interest spread among other oriental horsemen and by the 19th Century polo was being played in India. No sooner had the game been seen by the British than it became the prized pastime of the army. The very first game in England was played in Richmond Park on ponies of 13hh and so popular was this new sport that in 1873 Hurlingham, hitherto devoted to pigeon shooting, added a polo-match ground to its amenities and a polo club was formed. The first Hurlingham height limit for ponies was 14hh but the less scrupulous frequently rode larger ponies with great advantage so eventually the height was fixed at 14.2hh and enforced by a measuring scheme. Later, of course, the height limit was removed altogether. In those days the pony was not the power in the land that he is today but appeared chiefly as a trap animal or a child’s mount. As the craze for polo grew apace the supply of suitable ponies was rapidly exhausted. Prices soared and breeders turned their attention to this new market. The increased height limit allowed the playing of small Thoroughbreds and ponies specially bred up from the Moorland animals. In 1898 the Polo Stud Book Society was formed ‘to promote the breeding of Ponies for Polo Riding and Military purposes and to encourage the Native Breeds’. A Stud Book for Polo and Riding ponies was opened. (After sundry changes of name we all know this society today as The National Pony Society.) In 1898 special sections in the Stud Book were begun for Mountain and Moorland ponies and in 1901 each breed was placed under a Covener who, with a local committee, was responsible for the inspection of ponies and their subsequent registration. Mr. Munro-Mackenzie was appointed Covener for the Highland pony. Thus ability and opportunity were married to each other and the result was of great benefit to this breed. John H. Munro-Mackenzie was born in 1849 and in 1875 he married Jeannie Helen Chalmers, a niece of the great Dr. Chalmers. In his early married days Mr. Mackenzie lived in Cumberland where he bred hunters. He was a good horseman, having hunted as a boy with the Lanark and Renfrew, and he was in later life Master of the Whitehaven Harriers and hunted with the West Cumberland Foxhounds. He was also a keen whip and frequently drove a four-in-hand. In 1886 he succeeded his father, moving from Cumberland to manage the Calgary estate where for many years he took a prominent part in public life. He always rode to all meetings—on one day alone he rode from Calgary to Auchnacraig and back, a total of 63 miles. The move from Cumberland to Mull was accomplished by hiring a boat to carry the household direct to Calgary Bay. This formidable undertaking included moving the 27
hunters who were to be bred on the island. However, the environment did not suit the young stock so after much thought and observance of the native ponies Mr. Mackenzie decided to turn his attention to the Highland pony. He registered a home bred mare, Calliach, in Volume I of the Polo Stud Book and from then on a Mackenzie registration appears in every volume, I.H.Munro-Mackenzieâ€™s last registration being in the year 1937, His efforts were crowned with the greatest success and his famous stallion Skerryvore was three times champion of the Royal Highland Show, once for his breeder, once for King Edward VII and once for King George V. Calgary exported Highland ponies to South Africa, Australia and the U.S.A. and in 1935 Mr. Mackenzie was acknowledged to be the greatest living authority on the breed. In 1901 the Highland Section of The Stud Book was prefaced by a brief history of the breed written by Mr. Mackenzie himself. He concluded, after much study, that the original Highland was a small animal. Records for his own property in Mull for 1780 show that in addition to a large number of cattle, over 80 ponies were run. These would have had the inferior grazing and must have been small and hardy in order to exist. He described the ponies of Barra and the Outer Isles of his era as being small with good legs and feet, rather large plain heads and shoulders a bit straight, but neat useful hardy ponies who improved enormously if put on good keep. He records that the ponies of Perthshire and the Central Highlands were known as Garrons (which means gelding but was applied to both sexes). Some of these were found up to 15hh but Mr. Mackenzie considered that they were bred up from smaller animals. These ponies had good game heads, shoulders a bit straight again, rather long bodies but the best of legs and feet. He added that the Garron was a most useful animal, fit for all work on a Highland farm and for carrying deer and game, and with an improvement in the shoulder it would make a good riding pony for hill work. Lastly he noted a high class riding pony standing l3.2 - 14.2h. and showing a very strong Arab cross and found chiefly on Mull, Tiree, Skye, Uist and in parts of the Western Mainland of Scotland. The Arab blood could he explained in several ways, one being that Highland officers when returning home often brought their chargers, often of Arab or Barb blood, with them, using them subsequently for breeding. This type of pony was an excellent 28
riding animal with great staying power but at the time of writing Mr. Mackenzie regretted that they were all too few in number. This was the type which he sought to re-establish and it was his declared policy ‘to get better backs and shoulders on Highland ponies’. In an article written in 1905 he said, ‘I like the Clydesdale as much as any man hut the cross is not a success. I am crossing my Highland mares with The Syrian (Arab 14.1hh) and am putting the fillies of the cross back to Islesman (Highland). I am quite sure that the Arab blood made the ponies of Mull what they were in the old days and I do not see why they should not go back to them again.’ John Macdonald tells us that Mr. Mackenzie fixed a type of his own. They were beautiful ponies of their kind and were much in favour in the show yard. ‘The craze for the Calgary type left the breeders of sturdy Garrons very dissatisfied with their successes - and as a result the Highland and Agricultural Society was called upon to have two classes - Highland Ponies and Western Island Ponies.’ This was, in fact, done but a nonsense was made of the whole idea and eventually the two sections were once again amalgamated. Calgary ponies found a profitable market in the south, as did stock from the original hunter mares put to a Highland stallion. One of the Miss Mackenzies hunted a gelding bred thus for many seasons with the Atherstone Hounds. The Highland cross also proved useful for polo and Leslie Cheape of Tiroran (an officer in the King’s Dragoon Guards) played a Thoroughbred Highland cross with much success, as did Hugh Mackenzie of the Royal Scots. The gathering together of breeding stock by the Calgary Stud took some time and during one expedition Mr. Mackenzie was accompanied by his friend Lord Arthur Cecil whose family owned Rhum at that time. While visiting the Outer Isles a Barra pony yearling was presented to Mr. Mackenzie for his baby daughter. The lucky and proud child was Norah Mackenzie, who became Lady Ramsay-Fairfax-Lucy and was to be an eminent breeder in her own right, a staunch member of the Highland Pony Society and the N.P.S. and a noted judge and who, after eight decades, is still an active and much respected power in the pony world. The Barra filly was christened Boisdale and was dedicated to breeding. Her first foals were by the Arabian stallion The Syrian. Further expeditions to the Uists resulted in the purchase of Islesman, a dark brown Highland stallion with a particularly good shoulder and length of rein. All the Calgary stallions were worked and ridden and Islesman was no exception. He was frequently ridden by his owner and every Sunday he took a full load in the trap the 10-mile round trip to church and back. The arrival of Islesman was the real founding of the Calgary Stud and 20 of his progeny were registered between 1904 and 1918. Boisdale bred a colt and three fillies to Islesman—the first of these being Eoligary, who was put to stud and like her dam bred many good foals, one being Tor Lochan, probably the best sire then bred to produce riding type of Highlands. It was not 29
until she had married Sir Henry Fairfax-Lucy that Norah Mackenzie bred the great pony stallion Dun I from her mare Cora IV and by Tor Lochan. Dun I ran on the island of Rhum for a time and had a noticeable influence on the ponies there. Later he sired many good ponies for Sir Alfred Goodson. Sadly for the Highland breed many of these were crossbreds. However, Dun I lived to a ripe old age, only being put down a couple of years ago, and he left several strong pure-bred lines of his breeding notably in Yorkshire, Co. Durham and the SW. Peninsula of England. Geometra, born in 1904 and by Islesman, was another great mare (see next to the camera in the driving pair). She managed— between being ridden and driven—to breed many good foals, the last registered one being Innis Maree, born in 1925 and sired by Glencruitten, a son of Islesman. The other pony in the pair is Rheudle by The Syrian. She features in the extended pedigrees of many Western Isles-type ponies today, as does Boisdale and also Mary Carmichael one of the four Marys registered in 1915 and called after Mary Queen of Scots’ ladies-in-waiting. Two of the Marys were sired by Islesman and two including Mary Carmichael by the black stallion Lord Arthur, the second stallion to leave his mark on the Calgary ponies. Bred by Lord Arthur Cecil, this stallion went back on his sire’s side to the Rhum ponies who had been removed from Rhum by Lord Arthur’s father and bred at Hatfield House. This black pony threw somewhat small stock but of great quality and all as like as peas in one pod. Major Hugh Mackenzie, the son of J.H. Munro-Mackenzie, bred Highland ponies at Carnforth in Lancashire. His stallion, White Heather I was worked on the estate and also ridden. He was by Islesman and out of a mare called Laudle Polly. This mare was mated on another occasion to the Fell Pony Heather Jock to produce Little Polly III. Major Mackenzie felt that this might achieve a better set to the heads. There has been much confusion over this in some people’s minds as Norah Mackenzie bred a Heather Jock 387 in 1904, a Highland, out of Boisdale and by Islesman Major Hugh Mackenzie also bred Grey Jock who perhaps has had more influence than any other Mackenzie pony on the Western Isles-type of Highland bred in the south. Between the wars the pony trade dwindled sadly with the mechanization of the Army and the dismal economic situation. Perhaps the sun would have set on the Calgary ponies if Norah Mackenzie had not come south to Reading University to study horticulture. After qualifying, Miss Mackenzie spent a short time in this field but was soon to become, once again, involved with ponies. She managed one of Capt. Younghusband’s establishments and eventually took over the riding school at Rickmansworth. Ponies came south to her from her father’s stud and were used both in the school and for breeding. All went well until the onset of the war in 1939 when many acres of grass land came under the plough and grazing for ponies became increasingly difficult to find. A former pupil, Miss Melor-Brown, who was farming nearby, took the ponies for some time and also bred quite a number from 30
the Calgary lines on her own account. Her 90 acres of arable land were farmed entirely by using these Highland ponies. In 1948 Miss Melor-Brown migrated to Exmoor where she bred Highlands for nearly 10 years and the descendants of her Calgary ponies are sprinkled liberally all over the West Country. Mr. and Mrs. A. Phillips also farmed near Rickmansworth and helped Miss Mackenzie with grazing. They too bred Highland ponies and stood several stallions at their establishment. These included Grey Jock who came south from Major H. Mackenzie, Grey Jock’s son Fingal, ex Mary Carmichael, and Islesman II, bred by Mr. Munro-Mackenzie by Tor Lochan ex Merry Lass. In 1947 the Phillips also moved to Exmoor taking with them some 30 Highlands and Highland crosses, but before they left Buckinghamshire their small daughter Sylvia was detailed to ride her favourite of all Miss Mackenzie’s ponies, Stronbuie, to the station as this mare was sold. Sylvia did not know where the pony went and was very upset and it was not until 25 years later that she saw a great- granddaughter of Stronbuie at a stud in Devon and, while discussing the pony’s breeding with the owner, the whole history was revealed. Stronbuie had been sold to Mrs. H.P. Warren as a foundation for her New Calgary Stud which she established and maintained for a period of some 20 years in Sussex. Mrs. Warren also used the Mackenzie stallion Grey Jock on her mare Newhall Lela to breed her first stud pony Mackoinneach (which is Gaelic for Mackenzie). He was the corner-stone of her stud and also spent several seasons on the island of Rhum. Mrs. Warren had a great interest in the unique pony herd on this island and when she died in 1970 she left her ponies to the Nature Conservancy in Scotland who own and maintain ponies on Rhum and at Bein Eighe in Wester Ross. Mackoinneach went to Miss Flora Stuart at Old Place of Mochrum in Wigtownshire where at 27 years of age this remarkable old gentleman is fit and well and still siring good stock. When Mr. J.H. Munro-Mackenzie died in 1935 and his estate and stud was broken up, and when a few years later his daughter Norah gave up her riding school, it might well have been assumed that that was the end of the Calgary ponies and the Western Island type, but fate decreed otherwise. By virtue of the sudden and wide dispersal of the Calgary ponies there was in fact no End—but, rather, very many new Beginnings. Margaret Mason of the Woodbeer Stud 1975
Carrick Stud This is not only the story of a stud founded from one mare, it is also the story of one person’s hard work and dedication to her animals. Sheila Smith, like most small girls, had always wanted a pony of her own, but living in a town as she did this was not possible. When she grew up she took a three year Horticultural Course at Auchincruive, the West of Scotland College of Agriculture. While here she won a prize of a Book Token in a Botany class; this she spent on a book about Modern Fruit Growing, however, there was a little money left over, so after browsing round the shop she bought, for 3s. 6d a copy of Macdonald’s book on Highland Ponies! This was the start of her interest in the breed and the seed was now sown to want not just a pony, but a Highland pony. After leaving Auchincruive she went to London for a year to take a Constance Spry Diploma in Floristry, following which she had her own florist’s business in Ayr for ten years, and won many gold medals for Trade Stands at Flower Shows. The yearning to have a Highland Pony still persisted and in 1958 she bought the mare Staffin Princess (12284) from Colin Campbell, Glenshiel, Rossshire. She was really bought purely to ride, but as it so happened the stallion Pride of Garnock (3393) by Knocknagael Reiver (2352) out of Barbara Buidhe (9342) was just down the road from where she was kept, so the temptation arose to breed a foal. It was from this mating that the Stud began and the resulting cream dun filly foal, Skye (5/63 was also retained for breeding along with Staffin’s four subsequent daughters (sired by Strathord), Catriona (62/68), Islay (31/71), Shuna (2/72) and Gigha. There are now also two of Skye’s daughters, Kilda (12/71) and Uist, as well as Eriskay, out of Islay, and Vatersay, out of Kilda. Proving that it was not only at Flower Shows that she could win top awards, Sheila Smith began showing her ponies, and at Ayr Show in 1962 won the Reserve Championship with Skye and the Championship with Staffin Princess in 1963. Recent wins include a 32
Championship at Largs in 1973 and Reserve at Ayr in 1972, both with Kilda, and Uist won a mixed breed class at Lanark Foal Show in 1972. Her first stallion of her own was the cream dun Strathord (16/65). Laddie, as he was known at home, was a full brother to Marie II of Knocknagael (41/66) the 1972 Royal Highland Show Champion; he himself was shown many times and won over £100 in prize money. In 1969 he was Male Champion and ridden class winner at the Ponies of Britain, Kelso and at the Highland Show in 1970 was best Highland under saddle and Reserve Champion Mountain and Moorland under saddle. As he was coming onto his own stock he was subsequently sold to Mr. Sleigh, West Fingask, Aberdeenshire. In 1968 Sheila Smith bought the hill farm of Standard, Barrhill, and moved there from Hollybush outside Ayr, with all her ponies. Anyone who has visited Standard will know what a beautiful place it is with its views of the Galloway hills and lovely surrounding countryside, but they will also admire her courage in taking on such a place all on her own, as it has no electricity, no telephone, no main water and a very rough road up to it. However, quite undeterred, she is gradually improving the land, the fencing, and putting up a new hay shed to replace the old one blown down in a gale. In fact one knows that every need of the livestock will be catered for first and her own comforts in the house will come only when this has been achieved. The stud at present consists of seven mares and with youngstock numbers about twenty animals. The third generation of home breeding has now been reached and every pony which has been shown (and all but a very few youngsters have) has won a ticket of some kind. Carrick was chosen as the Stud name, this being the district of South Ayrshire in which Standard is situated; the colts are registered with this as a prefix and the fillies as a suffix and all (with the exception of Catriona) are named after Western Islands. Miss Smith is quite clear as to what she wishes to breed — “A nice active riding type of pony”. They are mostly grey and cream duns, with one yellow, Catriona, and one bay, Gigha. Her present stallion is the grey dun Glen Trool (34/70) by Glen Muick (4206) out of Feolin at Knocknagael (13/65). There are now quite a few daughters of his growing up and for them the young dark steel grey Fingal of Whitefield (13/73) is being brought on. Both his sire and his dam were by lain of Derculich (2984) so he is to bring in a double line of Derculich blood, but also through lain he traces back to Faillie Diamond (1475) and therefore to May Dew (2836) as do all the Carrick ponies. Fourteen hill cows are kept on Standard, including some attractive White Galloways, and this number is being increased to twenty. There are now two Greyface ewes and when the time came to clip them last summer, a neighbour offered to do this for Miss Smith, but she was determined to try herself, so he lent her his shears plus a large tin of Stockholm Tar (the standard ‘repair kit’ for cuts made while clipping), however, it hardly need be said that this was not required! 33
Very few fillies have been sold to date, but Tiree, Risga and Taransay went to Mr. Murdoch, Ayr, to start a new stud. Catrionaâ€™s colt Arran (112/72), by Glengarry I (2802) is now with Mr. Isla Fenton as a stallion. Miss Smith goes to many shows, virtually single handed, and last summer even travelled down to the Ponies of Britain at Peterborough. When she only had a small trailer, she would often make the journey to the Highland Show, then return home for a second load, which, of course, involved the same double trip at the end of the week. In winter all the ponies are brought in and tied up for a few hours each day while they eat their hay and oats. This allows each one to get its fair share and avoids any kicking or bullying of the younger ones. It also provides a good opportunity for handling the youngsters and as a result, at the end of its first winter, any pony can be led on a halter without difficulty and will go in and out of a trailer, also can be tied up wherever wanted and has learnt elementary stable manners. Staffin Princess, the mare who founded a stud, died last year at the age of twenty three and is greatly missed by Miss Smith; but her daughters and grand-daughters continue to flourish and I think that anyone who has visited the Stud will agree that the ponies are all very much of a type, so much so that it is, in fact, extremely difficult to tell one from another, which surely proves that the breeding policy must be right and that the ownerâ€™s aims are being achieved. Flora Stuart
Carse of Trowan Stud Mrs. Mitchell Davidson comes from a farming background. Her grandparents emigrated to Australia and her father was born there, her granny, whom she is called after, used to ride on the ranches in Australia and in the Melbourne races, and she still has her father’s saddle he used in the ranches. Mrs. Davidson, when she had more time, was a keen rider, and the love of horses is passed on to her daughter, Heather, a natural horsewoman, who although now bringing up her own young family, still helps with the ponies at shows, as also does the eldest son, Robert. The first pony she ever rode was a Highland pony which was on loan from the late Sir David McCowan, Monzie Castle. She stroked his ponies every day as she walked through the fields to school at Monzie, one was a mare called Fiona of Monzie—the mother of Callum Og, termed a Western Isle type and champion of the 1926 Highland Show. On their farm, the Carse of Trowan, near Crieff, Mrs. Davidson leads an extremely busy life, actively farming herself and looking after a busy household comprising her husband and four sons. At her home can be seen boxes of rosettes, including no less than thirty Highland Pony Society Championship rosettes, as well as silver cups and medals—among the earliest of which are a swimming medal, a school dux medal, two medals for stockjudging three medals for breeding collies and she even was champion butter- maker at the Edinburgh Fatstock Show! open to the United Kingdom. It should be obvious from the foregoing that whatever Mrs. Davidson does she believes in doing well and tackles with enthusiasm hard work and effort, as well as the gift for discerning what is the best. It is therefore most interesting to note the manner of her approach to the breeding of Highland ponies, which became her great interest and pleasure, and to see how, in time, she built up the Carse of Trowan Stud, now one of the best known and most successful of the smaller studs of Highland ponies, all from the progeny of two mares. That these mares must in the first place have been very well selected the stud has gone on to prove. In 1954 she bought two Highland colts at Perth, from Col. Moncrieff: one of them was kept as a stallion and was Rob Roy out of June XIII and by lain of Derculich. This was her first stud horse and from him she bred two pure Highlands, Trowan Princess and Trowan 35
Bluebell, before he broke a leg and was put down. Their dam was a nineteen year old mare bought from Col. Moncrieff in 1957 and she was Lady Jean V, bred in Atholl, her sire was Beinn Odhar. The foal she had at foot when purchased was named Glenartney and is now in England. About the same time Mrs. Davidson also bought Trowan Marigold bred by Col. Moncrieffâ€”she too is a daughter of Lady Jean V by Glen Affric. The next purchase was in 1963 and was the six year old mare Betsy of Nottingham, by Strathnaver out of Hillhead Duchess; (formerly owned by the late Dr. Sinclair, Nottingham Mains, in Caithness). She had a yellow dun filly at fool by Ben Cleuch, who was named Trowan Heather and was in foal again to Ben Cleuch and produced Trowan Honey, and 2 years later to Ben Cleuch produced Trowan Hazel, then Helena to Hallmark. Along with Betsy Mrs. Davidson bought her black yearling filly by Marksman, Trowan June. All the ponies now in the stud are the progeny of the two mares Betsy of Nottingham and Lady Jean V. The stud has had a tremendous number of show ring wins in proportion to its size, and particularly in the last five or six years. I think it would be fair to say that in selecting her original mares Mrs. Davidson was not just following fashion, but rather that she knew what she wanted and knew what was good when she saw it. At the Highland Show Trowan June was Female Champion and Reserve in 1967 and Supreme Champion in 1968. Betsy of Nottingham was Female Champion at the Highland in 1969 making three Female Champions three years running. Trowan Bluebell won the prize for Best Brood Mare and Foal in 1968 and 1970 and her foals won first prize for three years running. Bluebellâ€™s daughter by Donald of Keir, Trowan Blue Mist, was Champion at the Ponies of Britain, Kelso in 1969. At the Stirling Foal Show she has had two Championships and at Stirling Show four times first of Native breeds with different animals. Besides this the stud had many wins at smaller shows, winning the Braco Show Championship seven years in succession and being Reserve on the eighth; also won a medal and shield riding a Glenartney pony at Aberfeldy. Trowan Marigold has produced three stallions all standing at stud now: Trowan Hallmark, at home; Trowan Topper in Lochgilphead (now owned by Mr. Wilson, 36
Achnabreck); and Trowan Cavalier, in Aberdeenshire. Trowan Bluebell has produced two stallions, Boy Blue by Donald of Keir, owned by Mr. Campbell, Succoth, and Trowan Blueprint, by Hallmark, owned by Mr. Isla Fenton.
Mrs. Davidson keeps two mares for cross-breeding as she did not wish to part with them and also because she is a great believer in the mating of ’Time’ Thoroughbred mares and the Highland Stallions. They are the TB. Blossom Time and the crosshighland T.B. Gay Time by Rob Roy and she breeds them both to her Highland stallion. Also Trowan Marigold when mated to the Arab Shrimrix produced the successful junior jumper Nutcracker. Last year she herself judged the Highland Show’s huge classes and it was a pleasure to see her sincere love of quality coming out in a very well-balanced judging. At the end of the day we heard fewer complaints than are usually the order of the day. Mrs. Davidson’s views on Highland ponies she clearly states, “We’ll need to get rid of the big heavy flat-shouldered, plodding Highland pony. Length of rein, good withers and well-sloped shoulders, nicely set springy pasterns are needed. Their use now is riding and as long as they have the riding qualities there is room for the smaller and the larger ones to suit different sizes of people. A nice head is important”.
Castle Green Highland Ponies Based on the edge of the ‘Dark Peak’ region of the Peak District National Park, Castle Green Highland Ponies graze the Pennine Hills of South Yorkshire at altitudes of around 800 feet above sea level, living out all year round. This provides them with the same natural setting, as they would experience in their native Highlands of Scotland. The first foals to be bred as part of this small herd were born in 1988, although the prefix/suffix ‘Castle Green’ wasn’t registered or used until 1993. Since then, on average one foal per year has been produced. The general aim is to create stock, which is of quality; strong, hardy and active, making the ideal performance pony. At Castle Green all but one of the foals can trace their origins back to the foundation mare Cara of Carrick, through either their sire or dam’s line. All the mares used here are also Carrick bred or are bred at Castle Green out of Carrick mares. Further more all Carrick ponies can be traced back to Sheila Smith’s original foundation mare Staffin Princess (12284). Therefore a strong line breeding policy has emerged. Cara of Carrick was purchased in 1981 as an unbroken brood mare and had been previously shown in a limited way, but most notably was Res. Ch. at the Royal Show 1977. She went on to take the championship at many shows both in-hand and under saddle, including:- Champion and Olympia Qualifier Denbigh and Flint County 1984, Reserve Champion Ridden RHASS 1985, Champion Highland NPS Area 4 1985, Champion Large Native NPS Area 5 1985, 1986 and 1987, Reserve Champion Ridden and In-hand Midland Counties 1986. Cara retired from competitive classes at the end of 1986 and returned to being a brood mare, having a further six foals including the stallion Langsett Tearlach and the gelding Fingal of Castle Green, both extensive prize-winners. Cara died in 2002 at the age of 28. 38
Gometra of Carrick was purchased in 1987 from Sheila Smith and typically, because she wanted me to have her, Sheila charged me about half the asking price! Metra a beautiful black mare, who is sadly now very rusty in colour due to Cushing’s disease has been a successful performance pony, competing in a wide range of events including WHP, one-day-events and BHS Trec. She was the Performance Points champion in the HPEC Seamas Mor Competition in 1994. Her son, the black stallion Carrick Raasay is a notable winner and sire of foals in the south of England Shona of Carrick was presented to me by her breeder Sheila Smith shortly before she died in 1990. Shona produced five foals at Castle Green. :- Flora Mhor, Eilidh Bhan, Mhairi, Cairngorm’s Callum and Maggie. She died in 2004 at the age of 25. Between 2000 and 2001 three more mares joined Castle Green from the Carrick stud. These were Staffin of Carrick (dam of the stallion Carrick Valtos and the mare Coney of Carrick – an Olympia Qualifier in 1992), Fidra of Carrick and Lismore of Carrick. Sadly, Staffin died in September 2005 at the age of 26. Now homebred daughters are being used to breed from as the older mares are retired. The aim is to find stallions, which complement the lines of this close-knit herd. The younger mares are Gigha Ghlas, Eilidh Bhan and Catriona, all of Castle Green and Lilidh of Langsett (Langsett Tearlach x Foura of Carrick). In 2005 Gigha had a lovely mouse dun son Cameron (by Cameronian of Tower) who will hopefully be kept entire. I am now awaiting the arrival, in the next couple of weeks, the 2006 crop of foals. Alison Payne 2006
Dalbrack Stud It is almost five years since my last article (in The Highland Pony’ News) and since then our pony numbers had built up from 30, to the 50 we had at this time last year; and now down to 5. My routine of past years would run something like this. Apart from the trekkers to cater for, in September the foals would get their second small worm dose before going down-country with their mums for a two-month bite of grass before weaning. Ever since losing a 10-week old filly, when a knot of worms caused telescoping of the intestine I have given the foals a small dose at two months and again at five months. The other young stock and trekking ponies would be dosed too, so that all would go onto winter grazing free from worms. You’d think without all that and the trekking, I’d be wearied but my day still runs out too soon. What with men to feed on the farm and the family and friends who, fortunately, are always about, I seem to be as busy as ever. We had a very eventful year in 1973 -the 21st anniversary of pony-trekking and the 50th of the Highland Pony Society. For us, it was our third successful year at the Royal Highland Show when our 5 ponies all came home with a ticket. The pony-trekking celebrations started in Newtonmore on April 20th with a mounted parade. Our two, Craig and Brandy wore tartan blankets under their saddles, their riders in matching sashes with the name of the centre. The same day I.T.V. started to make a film, finished here in the first week of September, with Jack McLaughlan and Lesley Blair, the actors, riding our specially chosen trekkers. In spite of many muddles etc., it was tremendous fun. A week later we were at another celebration, with Gordon leading our own trekkers over the hill to Ballater. The ponies stayed overnight at H.M. The Queen’s farm, Dalliefour, where ponies and riders received the finest of Scottish hospitality. The next day we rode back to Glenesk on the track used by Queen Victoria (mentioned in the book Victoria in the Highlands). Our riders included representatives of the Highland Pony Society, Scottish Tourist Board and the Scottish Sports Council, Mrs. Compton organising the H.P.S. side and myself the rest. The highlight of the occasion was the arrival of H.R.H. Princess Anne at Dalliefour to see us on our way after more drams, and cups of tea. She was looking lovely and soon had us all at ease, chatting to every one of our 24 riders. She was in no hurry to leave, grateful for the lack of publicity for a change. A ceilidh in the local ball eventually sent us to bed at 6 am., 25 hours after getting up the previous morning! The following year, 1974, was Sally of Knocknagael’s 21st anniversary, which she celebrated by producing her first black foal, a colt. We decided to retire her, feeling she had done her bit. Towards the end of 1975, my plans for the two stallions (Monach and Muldoanich) and Carraigh Dubh (Sally’s colt) to come inside to prepare for the Highland Show (hoping to sell two of them) were thwarted by fate; 40
leaving my very busy man with even more to cope with, inside and out. The colt was never brought home, spending the winter on a moor with a gelding. In spite of 2,000 new brochures and 5,000 postcards of our trekking (anyone like to buy some?) preparations and many advance bookings, we had to let the trekking go. Since we were forced to employ a girl as the ponies returned from winter grazing, this meant our stud would now have to become very small indeed to cope without help. While not a worrier, our foaling was the next problem, and past births constantly came to mind — the time one foal wriggled through a fence trying to get up that time one could not stand because of vitamin deficiency — the time the thick navel cord on another caused a hernia as it broke, and which needed an immediate operation. All this, lying awake at night, until Gordon would he prodded into another tour of inspection in the dark. The heart-rending bit was deciding which to sell, but as the auctioneer was shouting for numbers, it was decided they would all go except Sally and Kim. Trade was poor at the time, but we put firm reserves on them, and all made the price, some a bit more. Forfar Auction Mart was chosen as it was handy for us, central, and with suitable facilities, for June 5th, after the foaling and in time for buyers to get them home for trekking. The trekking ponies made higher figures than expected, averaging 434 gns. (from 190 gns to 525 gns). Strathleven Stroma, 19 yo., (bought yeld 10 years ago from Mrs. Hamilton), and her filly foal, Mingulay (by Muldoanich) went to Mr. Dykes, West Linton, at 520 gns. He also bought Stroma’s 3 y.o. filly, Mealasta, who had a slight injury and did not appear at the sale. Maiden, a yearling filly (Monach x Stroma) went to Mr. Dixon, Lintrathen, 405 gns. The same buyer took Carraigh Dubh, 340 gns. Kerrera (Strathglass x Sally) 9 y.o., was the hardest to part with for me as we had come through a lot together. She and her filly foal (by Muldoanich) went to Sir William Lithgow, Ormsary, for 620 gns. He also bought Tresta (Strathglass x Kim) 6 y.o., at 700 gns with her filly foal Roan (by Muldoanich), and Taransay (Croila Chieftain x Kim) 3 y.o., for 400 gns. Tronda (Strathnaver x Kim) 4 y.o., although not looking her best, and despite her foal, Islay (by Cameron) having had an infection a few weeks previously, went to Mr. Brown, Glendoll, for 675 gns. Sally of Dalbrack (Strathglass x Sally of Knocknagael) 4 y.o., so quiet a pony she would stand without a halter, and went in saddle her first time with no fuss, went to Mrs. Compton for 590 gns. Swona (Croila Chieftain x Kerrera) 3 y.o., was bought by Mr. Lang, Muirhead for 430 gns. Annraidh (Monach x Judy of Dalbrack, a Glenartney bred mare) a 2 y.o. filly with the same fine spirit as her mother went to 41
R. Lockhart, Gartmore, Stirling, for 360 gns. I have always preferred riding mares to geldings for their willingness and intelligence. Sandray (Cameron x Kerrera), yearling, was bought by Mr. Campbell, Lochgoilhead, for 330 gns, as well as Muldoanich, our 3 y.o. stallion (Croila Chieftain x Sally) for 410 gns. This pony has a canny nature and great presence, covering his mares without fuss or temperament. The other stallion, Monach (Strathnaver x Sally), 6 y.o. went to Mr. Ivin, Tomintoul, for 320 gns. A bonnie horsie and super riding pony, I expected he would make more. Since the sale most of the buyers have been in touch, and we hope to take them up on their kind invitations to visit the ponies. The only sad news was that Muick a gelding bought by Mrs. Todd, Tibbermore for 440 gns. has since died of grass sickness. We hope the new owners will have much pleasure with them, and we wish them every success. Lastly, and most important of all, my sincerest thanks to my family and the many friends who gave of their time and energy to get everything ready. They did a tremendous job, and I know it was not easy for them they too had known and worked with the ponies for many years. Nancy McIntosh
Derculich Stud Between 1929 and 1930 the late R.W. Honeyman, Derculich, Strathtay, Perthshire bought the mares which founded the Derculich Stud of Highland Ponies. From Donald Mackelvie he bought four prizewinners—lolaire, Winnie II, Grisel and Glaster. All of these were sired by Glen Bruar. Also purchased was a mare from the late James Cairns. This was Moira (5090) sired by Bonny Laddie and she had already foaled Moldagh (by Dougald of Luing), later the dam of Monarch. After she came to Derculich she had 6 filly foals in succession—Marigold, Mary, Marina, Mariposa, Moira and Myrtle, so it is from this mare that the tradition of homebred stock began. Of these 6 foals, Marigold herself bred 6 good fillies, and also the colt Majesty of Derculich (by Glen Boltichan), later sold as a stallion to the Department of Agriculture. Marina was supreme champion at R.H.AS. Glasgow in 1934, while Mariposa was 1st and Reserve Champion at Perth in 1938, but died foaling as a young mare. Moira (7906) was Champion at Perth in 1949. In 1948 she had a colt foal by Samson of Derculich, later kept as a stallion—Mascot of Derculich. She also left in 1954 another colt—Dusky who as a gelding won in 1961 the Hill Pony class at the Highland. Stallions owned in the early days were Beaufort of Glenfarg by Beaufort and out of a mare of James Cairns’—Sheila of Coulshill, by Bonnie Laddie. Also used was Jason of Derculich by Beaufort of Glenfarg. In 1936 he was 1st in class and male Champion at the Highland in Melrose. Mares were also sent to D.O.A.S. Inverness to Fender Laddie, and travelling stallions such as Faillie Comet, Marksman and Strathbran were used.
In 1944 however, the stallion which was to have a tremendous impact on the stud was bought as an aged horse (21) from the Department of Agriculture. This was Faillie Diamond, sired by Hebridean II, and out of May Dew (2836), a daughter of Glen Bruar. In spite of his age when he came to Derculich, he retained his presence, gaiety of character, kind temperament, and perfect action until he died in 1949 at the age of 26. His flowing mane and tail made him one of the best furnished Highland Ponies ever seen. These characteristics he passed on not only to his own colts and fillies, but also to succeeding generations, stamping on the Derculich ponies their own distinctive type. In 1948 a foal sired by him was born -to Iolaire. He was 25 and the dam was 22. This foal was lain of Derculich, with a good dash of Glen Bruar blood on each side. As mentioned already, in 1948 Mascot of Derculich was foaled so the two stallions that were to have quite an influence on the stud were foaled in the same year. 43
Later Knocknagael Prince (by Moultavie and ex May Dew—back to Glen Bruar again!) was bought, and in the 1960’s Strathavon (by Ben Callum and out of Moira of Knocknagael whose great grand sire on her dam’s side was again Glen Bruar), was bought.
The above pedigrees can perhaps best explain the intents behind the stud. Showing was not of the first importance—indeed only the “Highland”, Perth and Aberfeldy shows were on a regular basis; the emphasis was to breed ponies of a true type and character strains. It is interesting that after the initial purchases in the 1930’s rather, no outside mare was bought in until 1947. This was Bessie of Kinmonth (by Glen Bernesdale, and himself a son of Glen Bruar), purchased from Lt.Col. Moncrieff. She was reserve champion at R.H.A.S. in 1948. Thereafter all breeding mares were again home bred. lain carried on the influence of Faillie Diamond, passing on his good breed characteristics to his progeny. Among his prizes he was male Champion and Reserve Supreme at R.H.A.S. Aberdeen in 1951. He was left many beautiful colts and fillies, notable among them being Mayfly (now owned by Mr. Baird), with whom she was
Mayfly of Derculich
Supreme Champion at R.H.A.S. in 1970); Marina II many times a winner, including a Champion at Aberfeldy as a foal, then in 1964 female Champion at the Highland; also good breeding mares were Mollie, Mandy, May Morn and others lost through 44
grass sickness. There are also his colts, Broadshade Monteagle, Turin Hill Angus lain, Highland
Chief, and Merlin of Derculich (owned by Mr. McGregor) a living image of his sire. Other ponies sold from the stud to have made names for them selves include Jasmine II (by Samson) who went south to Miss de Beaumont with a filly foal in 1960; and in 1965 Mrs. Learmonth bought a gelding, later to achieve fame in riding classes as Islay Mist. In the 1960â€™s the stud at last began to gain the recognition it had long deserved, and ponies from it were in demand. Probably the stud was at its peak when the blow came- In Highland Show Week in 1965 lain took grass sickness and died. This disease was the curse of the stud during its lifetime as many of the best ponies were lost through it, including a filly by Mascotâ€”May Mist, said by many to be the most perfect Highland Pony seen. In September, 1965 the stud was sold. Author 45
Langsett Stud and Langsett Tearlach In 1974 the Payne family moved to a farm in the Langsett area of Yorkshire and in response to an advert in the Yorkshire Post took on loan a Highland gelding, Robbie. He was a good strong sort of highland of nice quality but didnâ€™t have any papers (like many at that time). However, he did give the family a love of Highland ponies and as with most people one Highland quickly developed into several. In 1977, the mare Sheenadene was purchased, along with her son the yearling gelding Prince of Gowrie from Olwyn Allonby who had bought them at the auction featuring the Gowrie, Lundie and Campsie ponies. The prefix/suffix Langsett was registered in 1983 by the late Betty Payne and the Langsett stud was born. In 1990 Betty used the mare Cara of Carrick to breed a foal. The sire of the foal was Turin Hill Moss Crop, who went on in that year to be Male Champion and Reserve Overall Highland at the RHASS. The foal, which was born in the year 1991, was named Langsett Tearlach (Teddy) and he has remained in the family ever since being the resident senior stallion of the stud. Teddy is a family pony, and having lived with the family all his life, is friendly and easy to handle, very kind and respectful to his mares and an excellent baby sitter of young-stock (foals are his speciality in his crĂ¨che). He has not recently competed but has in the past had numerous prestigious wins including qualifying for the Picton Novice where he was placed in the finals, the Novice Ridden Champion at the HPS Breed Show and qualifying for the Ffrithi Intermediate Ridden Championship (where he was second in his class at the final) to name a few. All of his progeny are very like him in personality and looks; as he certainly stamps his stock. By the end of 2007 he has sired 28 foals. Alison Payne 2007 46
Nashend Stud We have written over the years many times about Nashend and the foundation of the Highland Pony Stud. So this is a brief history. In 1944/45 Miss Wilby purchased three mares and these started our three female bloodlines:- The Sea line, the Bird line and later the Whisky line - The policy of the stud was to have a closed female herd with out crosses coming from the male line. The mares are active with elevated paces and this attribute has been established in our ponies enabling them to compete in all ridden disciplines. Miss Wilby was one of the first breeders to realise the potential of the active balanced and enthusiastic ridden pony and as a stud we have always had an emphasis on performance ponies while not loosing the special breed characteristics. The herd lives out as semi feral, having had the weanlings in for their 1st winter enabling us to handle and discipline one to one. Then they run with the herd and receive their ‘chastising’ from the dominant mares. Unless shown they stay out until we need to start their education. Clive and I joined Miss Wilby in 1966 after the death of Miss Dobson. Clive came as stud manager ‘I was thrown in for good measure’ In the early days Clive did all the breaking, showing under saddle and in hand. After the death of Miss Wilby we inherited Nashend and applied to the Highland Pony Council to maintain her Prefix which they agreed with I believe unanimously, we felt it a great honour.
Of course things had to change a little - in the first few years we did not show as much and slowly I became the one who was producing the ponies. We have over the years used some wonderful stallions and they leave their legacy in our progeny we try to keep one female at least from each bloodline - the mares all go back to the original three. The plans for the future lie with Adam - he is now the person who shows and although Clive and I are still involved we no longer ‘trot up sound’. We are fortunate in having a talented and enthusiastic person in Adam who has served his apprenticeship from a very early age, we all consider Miss Wilby “Nashend” and she still is, through us. The most influential bloodlines must be the Sea line and the Bird line. The bird line through a mare St. Kentigerna purchased from Mrs. Warren and Miss Hare. She was covered by Loch Buie and this produced Sanderling of Nashend. Sanderling produced many fillies - the most famous being 47
Nashend Sabine. Sabine by Broadshade Cullardoch won many championships but a brood mare is proven by her offspring and she has produced many wonderful ponies. The most important being Nashend Swallow x Balmoral Dee.
Sea Storm of Nashend by Callum Og out of Sea Mist home bred stallion sire of many ridden ponies. His major achievement was as a ridden pony in 1973. Winning the ultimate:- Supreme Ridden Mountain and Moorland Champion at the Royal Highland Show - The first time a Highland had gained that title - the competition is no longer overall, Miss Wilby achieved her ambition with the help of Clive riding Storm. We continue enjoying our ponies - They are a passion for us - not a possession and feel our breeding programme would be one that Miss Wilby would also be proud of. Penny Smith, Bisley, Gloucestershire.
Nashend Stud – Clive Smith -1939-2007 Clive was born in 1939, the youngest of five. His father served in the First World War as a member of the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars, taking his own horses with him to Alexandria, so Clive’s love of horses was inherited. As a child he hunted the VWH and Beaufort hunts accompanied by his eldest brother. In the late 1950’s he undertook his National Service, one of the last draft. Again his connections in the horse world saw him detailed to the Kings Troop, where he became a lead driver in A section. Ben Jones, his equitation officer was an exacting taskmaster and laid the foundation of Clive’s wonderful abilities; particularly, breaking and producing young horses. After leaving the army he continued breaking and schooling locally. Miss Dobson died and Miss Wilby needed somebody to help with the running of the stud of Highland ponies and approached Clive. We came to Nashend in the late autumn of 1966. Clive and I were married in 1968, continuing to produce and show the Highlands with much success. Clive achieved the ultimate supreme ridden Mountain and Moorland in saddle at the Royal Highland Show in 1973 with Miss Wilby’s home-bred stallion, Sea Storm of Nashend. Clive became more involved with the farm, at Nashend where we had a milking Jersey herd with home-bred bulls, a cross breed stock of ewes and we were selfsufficient in hay, straw and grew and mixed our own concentrates. Gradually Clive took over as Miss Wilby became less able. When Miss Wilby died in 1985,she left Clive and me Lower Nashend and her herd of Highland ponies We applied to the HPS Council to retain the Nashend prefix and where delighted when it was granted. 49
After the death of Miss Wilby, Clive decided to convert and renovate what had been our saddle room and Miss Wilby’s office into holiday lets. Always able to turn his hand to anything, he did the majority of the work himself. It was always Clive’s aim to maintain Miss Wilby’s polices and ponies; producing ridden performance ponies whilst maintaining breed type. The Nashend herd of mares are mostly home-bred so our outcross blood has come from the stallions and over the years we have been fortunate with Broadshade Culardoch, Gary and Brigadoon of Whitefield. In 1988 Clive was approached and asked if he would have Her Majesty the Queen’s well known pony Balmoral Dee and produce him in the South. This he felt was a great privilege and honour. Dee was shown with great success and produced some wonderful stock, his last being foaled in 2006. Clive always felt honoured to be trusted to continue with Nashend Ponies and we have been truly blessed with a wonderful life. Lately Clive continued to deal with his illness with strength and dignity as he had his life and he was supported by his son, family and many friends to whom I will always be in debt. Penny Smith, Nashend, 2007
Orangefield Stud Based on the cream of the old Glenearn and Dunira studs which were largely representative of the ancient Atholl blood, the Orangefield ponies were established in November 1962 with the purchase of the mouse dun filly foal Glenearn Topmast. She was presented with her famous dam Bess 11th of Dunira, a mouse dun then 24 years old and looking a picture, at the dispersal of the Glenearn Stud which had brought many honours over the years to its founder James Drummond Hay of Glenearn. He described Bess 11th as the winner of cups and medals galore, the dam of Glenearn Colonel, Supreme Champion at the RHS in 1961. Bess 11th of Dunira and Grey Lady of Dunira formed the basis on which James Hay founded the Glenearn Stud, the progenitors of a dynasty of championship and other winners at all levels from over half a century ago to the present day. Bess was by Glen Boltichan, her dam Morag of Dunira by Chalmadale, an inbred son of the great Glen Bruar out of his daughter Kilbride. Grey Lady of Dunira was a daughter of Chalmadale. It appears from a study of the Glenearn pedigrees that James Hayâ€™s policy was to line breed to Glen Boltichan and his son Monarch. They were both mouse duns and brought him the greatest success in the progeny they left. I have been involved in livestock breeding since my very early boyhood: first in pedigree long distance Racing and Pouter Pigeons and later in breeding my own line of Border Collies for over forty years through the direct female line. In all of which over a span of 70 years now, I am all the more convinced that a policy of careful line breeding is essential to success in any sphere of live stock breeding. Accordingly, and perhaps with some sentiment for my friend James Hay, I decided to endeavour to follow as far as practicable his policy in the selection of stallions and thus conserve in some measure the nucleus of his achievements in producing his famous stud of Highland ponies. For the record however the first stallions used, Pipe Major of Dunkeld, Glentromie Trooper, Arran and Eagledene, were through the generosity of Bill Rattray and IsIa Fenton. Eagledene was put on old Topmast, producing the colt foal Blair of Orangefield, which was to be her last. Eagledene was chosen to give a line to Grey Lady of Dunira and also another line to Bess 11th. Ian of Invervack provided bloodlines to Glengarry III and Monarch through both his sire and dam and also to Glenearn Ambassador, a son of Grey Lady of Dunira and to the great line of Atholl mares. It is perhaps of interest that Ianâ€™s dam was a black mare by Lochearn of Ardvorlich and out of a mouse dun mare Nellie X by Glenearn Ambassador. Her dam was a mouse dun Atholl Nellie VIII (8493) f1943. In the course of my inspections under the Riding Establishments Act I met in with Nellie VIII at Blair Castle in 1976 and checked her annually until 1986. She was a marvellous mare with a star and white hind pastern. Hugh MacLachlan the Atholl farm manager told me that in 1985 at 42 years of age, they sent for her and she came out of a difficult ravine carrying a 51
stag which neither of the two ponies on that beat could or would tackle. Hugh said she came out with the stag ‘as if it were a summer day’. Through the generosity of Atholl McDonald, Fiona of Orangefield (Pipe Major of Dunkeld x Glenearn Topmast) bred three colts in succession to Ian of Invervack: Monarch of Orangefield, mouse dun and Champion M&M at Alcester; Fingal of Orangefield, 1st Over l4hh RHS 1993 and Reserve Ridden Champion; and Pipe Major of Orange field, presently retained as a stud horse. Monarch, bred to the yellow dun mare Eilidh of Orangefield (Arran x Glenearn Topmast), produced the much admired mouse dun stallion Merlin of Orangefield. He in turn sired Fruin of Orangefield (owner Isla Fenton), Bess 12th of Orangefield (owner Ian Brown) our only mouse dun filly to date, Ilona of Orangefield (Jim Wilson) and the two stallions at present retained. These are the yellow dun Arran of Orangefield, used in 1994 to hopefully provide a female line to Eilidh, and the much admired Farquhar of Orangefield, a lovely grey dun and the last of old Fiona who is now aged 27 years, still ‘the boss’ and going strong but retired from breeding. As the stud evolved, three lines of mares were derived from Topmast, who left in succession two fillies, twin colts (one stillborn), a further five fillies and lastly a colt. The first line was Fiona who won her class at the RHS, shown for me by Isla Fenton, both as a yearling and as a 2yo, by Pipe Major of Dunkeld, Male Champion as a junior stallion at the RHS (by Glen Falloch - Glengarry I -Monarch). The second line was Moraig, a yellow dun by Glentromie Trooper, a grandson of Monarch. She was Arran’s first mare and they bred a filly Shona and three colts. Restricted accommodation necessitated the sale of her two subsequent fillies, Bluebell by Trowan Blueprint, and Morar by Ian of Invervack. The third female line was by Arran (by Glengarry III) by whom Topmast had three daughters: Ailsa, Eilidh and Jura of which the two yellow dims Eilidh and Jura were retained. Eilidh proved to be an unfortunate breeding mare. Her first foal, a yellow dun filly of great substance and promise by Ian of Invervack, died soon after birth from haemorrhage of the umbilical blood vessels at the navel. Her second foal a splendid colt to Dougaldene died at 3 while on loan. The third a mouse dun colt Merlin of Orangefield by the mouse dun Monarch of Orangefield, developed into an outstanding stallion. The fourth foal was Arran of Orangefield, foaled in September. Eilidh had run all summer with Ian at Invervack and came home late in the season and was put in with her neighbours who were still running with her son Merlin for lack of other grazing. She unexpectedly came in season and was covered by Merlin which was perhaps providence, for the following year Merlin was loaned out to make room for Pipe Major who came home to run with the mares. Tragically Merlin contracted grass sickness which I personally diagnosed, and from which he made a full recovery constitutionally, but which has left him completely sterile due to the effect of the toxins invading his system. Thus Arran has been used in 1994 in preference to Farquhar or Pipe Major to hopefully maintain a breeding line to 52
Eilidh. He is an excellent Highland stallion with a splendid head, top line, tail setting and well-filled quarters of good length, a very good forehand, wealth of quality bone and absolutely straight action; otherwise he would not have been used in the stud. It is hoped that there will be five foaled to him this season of which there should be a good proportion of yellow or mouse duns. The fourth line to Topmast was through her son Blair (Eagledene x Glenearn Topmast). Blair bred lolaire from Feolin (Arran x Fiona) then Karen and Siskin from Shona and Kirsty II from Kirsty (Ian of Invervack x Shona). Kirsty was full sister to Staffin of Orange field, Supreme Champion Royal Show 1993 and several other successes for Stuart and Wendy Shearman. For a number of years mainly for reasons of motor accident trauma and indifferent health, and the â€˜teething troublesâ€™ of using young stallions and restricting the foals retained, the number of youngstock has dwindled, but we had three very good foals in 1994 to Pipe Major of Orangefield, a cream dun filly Fhada from Feolin, a yellow dun filly Morag from Karen and a top class dark cream dun colt from Kirsty II Chieftain. This story of the Orangefield ponies might never have been told as my hitherto robust constitution was severely challenged by serious recurrent attacks of brucellosis from 1960 onwards with periodic hospitalisation and by abdominal surgery in 1967. Then a dramatic loss of weight from which recovery was gradual but sufficient for me to go on duty at the Perth Bull Sales in 1968. I must record the generous help of many good friends especially that of lsla Fenton over all the years, Bill Rattray and Atholl McDonald, Arthur Gudmundssen and Ian Brown; and since retiring to Stirling the help and friendship of John Paterson. Bert Macrae MRVS
Ormiston Stud The Ormiston Family have been breeding Highland Ponies in the Badenoch area since the 1800’s and are definitely the oldest family with the longest bloodlines still involved with the breed today. Our earliest written records mention Gaick Callaig in 1830 and her daughters Polly and Tibby who were foundation mares. It all started up in Grampian Mountains where old Edward Ormiston was the Head Forester of the Deer Forest of Gaick near Kingussie which is on the road south over the hills to Blair Atholl. The foundation bloodlines came from highland ponies kept by the most famous highland drover of them all Corriecholillie from near Spean Bridge. Stallions and services were swapped back and forth with the Duke of Atholl and old Edward married the head housekeeper from Blair Atholl Castle as a result of these visits over the hills with ponies. Edward’s son Ewan kept up the tradition and also used the Prefix Glentromie which was an estate on the road up to Gaick. Cameron used the stud name Croila which is very well known today and the family also used Strathmashie which was the Farm at Laggan and is still used for their Fold of Highland Cattle. Today Cameron’s son Ruaridh uses Creag Dhubh which is the hill behind Newtonmore and Dochy uses Gaick again. Croila is the name of a hill you pass as you drive up to Glentromie and Gaick and if you look across from Newtonmore or Kingussie you can see the shape of a Highland Pony Galloping in the scree on the hillside. The Ormiston Family are still very active today and are still breeding ponies but not on quite as large a scale as before, during the 1950’s for instance Ewan had over 200 hundred ponies at anyone time. Currently the family has three stallions but they are not available for public service. Youngstock is always available for sale and the family also specializes in supplying working ponies for the Highland Estates for carrying deer and other duties. The tradition will definitely be kept on as all the sons are still involved and Dochy and Ruaridh both have wives who are both very much involved in the Highland Pony World in their own rights. The stud is probably best known for the Croila line of ponies right now and they are seen all over the country excelling at work and in the show ring. We have exported to many countries including Australia, America, France, Belgium, Germany, Spain etc. Although if you ask Cameron he will tell you the most successful pony he ever owned was the stallion Glentromie Trooper who was Reserve Champion Overall at the Horse of the Year Show In hand over all the other breeds in 1966. Croila ponies are very well known for their good temperaments and size and of course prominence of colours. Cameron and Ewan before him has been careful to control the male lines to ensure that Croila bloodlines still remain rare and in demand.
Foundation of the Gaick Stud In 1833 Mr. William Mackenzie brought some of the best mares that had been bred in Lochaber by John Cameron of Corriehuillie the legendry drover and breeder of that time back to the Gaick deer forest. Callaig [meaning girl in Gaelic] was out of Gaick Sally by Young Glengarry [a son of Glengarry] and was a black mare with a splash of white inside her hock probably originating from the Corriehuillie mares who were all colours including piebald. She was born there in 1886 and had 9 foals before she was sold in foal to the New Forest under the ownership of Lord Arthur Cecil. Two of Callaig’s daughter s G Polly and G Tibby [1890 and 1891 ] both by the influential Herd Laddie were retained by the stud which was then managed by Mr. Edward Ormiston the head forester at that time, and passed on to his son Ewan Ormiston on his return from World War 1. .Gaick Callaig bred the black mare  Mountain Polly also by Herd Laddie and another black Highland Polly. Her bloodlines continue to the present today in the Croila mares owned by E.C Ormiston, the son of Edward .Callaig also bred Atholl  by Herd Laddie who was one of the original stallions of the Congested Districts Commission [later Board of Agriculture] when it was on Skye then taken over to Beechwood. He was said to have been a grand upstanding 14.2 and a grey .He was bred at Gaick and sold to The Board where he was renamed Atholl although he was Gaick bred. There are strong links in the bloodlines of the Atholl estates highland pony stud and Gaick through the use of Herd Laddie and Glengarry. As the dam of ‘Jean’, Gaick Sally was the grand dam of Glenbruar who next to Herd Laddie is the most influential Highland pony sire in the history of the breed. Pony Trekking was started in Newtonmore at the Balavil Arms Hotel by Ewan Ormiston and his son Cameron in conjunction with the old Scottish Sports Council in 1952. After the Second World War Ewan realized that the demand by the army for Highland Ponies for divisions like the Lovat Scouts was going to decline and although Highland Ponies were still very much in demand to carry deer they did not really have any activities to keep them busy over the summer. Pony Trekking was a perfect activity to keep the ponies busy and to ensure they were quiet and well handled later on in the season before going to carry deer. Often at the Balavil during the 50’s and 60’s there would as many as 60 people and ponies going out trekking everyday. The family ran centres in Newtonmore, Aviemore, Kingussie, Laggan, and even Dundee over the years and every member of the family has worked as a Trek Leader at some time or another. Pony Trekking ensured that plenty Highland Ponies were kept occupied before they became popular and plentiful as family ponies like today, which never really happened until the 70s and 80s. Without pony trekking the surviving bloodlines in the breed would have been much more limited. Probably the Highland Ponies that we have fondest memories are the ones we used as Trek Leaders rather than the ones that excelled in the show rings because you 55
worked with them everyday and because they had such characters. Some of the famous leaders were: Dolly, Gay Lady, Starlight, Hazel, Polly, Sasha â€“ all mares you will note as we rarely ever used gelding in pony trekking as the mares we kept were required to breed in later life. Pony Trekking is a lot different today with the need to wear hats and with everybody ready to sue everybody else, it has taken the fun out of it. Our last year of operations was 1997 at Kingussie so you can say we had 46 years of continuous operation and would love to start up again.
Ewan Ormiston (pointing) outside the Balavil Arms Hotel in Newtonmore around 1955. Cameron, his son is riding the horse on the left. These are pony trekkers getting ready to leave for a day in the hills of Badenoch.
Ormiston Highlands The Ormiston Family have been breeding Highland Ponies in the Badenoch area since the 1800â€™s and are definitely the family with the longest bloodlines still involved with the breed today. Our earliest written records mention Gaick Callaig in 1830 and her daughters Polly and Tibby who were foundation mares. It all started up in the Grampian Mountains where Edward Ormiston was the Head Forester (Deer Stalker) of the Deer Forest of Gaick near Kingussie which is on the road south over the hills to Blair Atholl. The foundation bloodlines came from highland ponies 56
kept by the most famous highland drover of them all Corriecholillie from near Spean Bridge. Stallions and services were swapped back and forth with the Duke of Atholl and old Edward married the head housekeeper from Blair Atholl Castle as a result of these visits over the hills with ponies. Edward’s son Ewan kept up the tradition and also used the prefix Glentromie which was the glen on the road up to Gaick. Cameron used the stud name Croila which is very well known today and the family also used Strathmashie which was their Farm at Laggan and is still used for their Fold of Highland Cattle. Today Cameron’s son Ruaridh uses Creag Dhubh which is the hill behind Newtonmore and Dochy uses Gaick again. Croila is the name of a hill you pass as you drive up to Glentromie and Gaick. If you look across from Newtonmore or Kingussie you can see the shape of a Highland Pony Galloping in the scree on the side of the Croila hill. The family are still active today breeding ponies and cattle but not on quite as large a scale as before, during the 1950’s for instance Ewan had over 200 hundred ponies at anyone time. Ponies were supplied to the Lovat Scouts by Ewan. Youngstock is always available for sale and the family also specialize in supplying working ponies for the Highland Estates for carrying deer and other duties. The tradition will definitely be kept on as all three sons are still involved and Dochy and Ruaridh both have wives who are both very much involved in the Highland Pony World in their own rights. Sylvia looks after the Meggernie ponies and Joyce is well known for her own Caimbe ponies The stud is probably best known for the Croila line of ponies just now and they can be seen all over the country excelling at work and in the show ring. We have exported to many countries including Austrailia, America, France, Belgium, Germany, Spain etc. Although if you ask Cameron he will tell you the most successful pony he ever owned was the stallion Glentromie Trooper who was Reserve Champion Overall at the Horse of the Year Show In hand over all the other breeds in the 1960’s Ormiston Highland Ponies are very well known for their good temperaments and size and of course prominence of solid colours. Cameron and his father Ewan before him were careful to control the male lines to ensure that Ormiston bloodlines still remain rare and very much in demand today. E. Ruaridh Ormiston
Xylophone of Croila
Kinmonth Stud My father who had been breeding Shetland ponies for a number of years bought two Highland Pony mares from Lord Arthur Cecil at the end of the 1914/18 war. In 1921 he bought the fillies Isla Ormiston and Lona of Coulshill from Mr. Cairns, the former pony having been bred by Edward Ormiston, the well-known stalker at Gaick whom I saw frequently on the Gaick march when we were the tenants of Bruar Lodge. Both these ponies did well in the show ring and were excellent for their work on the hill. Though Isla Ormiston was the better pony it was Lona of Coulshill which certainly produced the better stock, her fillies Dorothy, Nancy and Fiona of Kinmonth being well placed in their time at the Highland and Agricultural and Perthshire Shows. In 1923 my father bought Glenbernesdale and Isle of Arran Bonnie Jean. The former was our stud horse until 1937. He won the Championship at the Highland Show in 1922 and in 1929. Though a good-looking horse his stock save out of Lona of Coulshill was disappointing. My father died in 1930. Bonnie Jean won the under 14 hands Championship in 1924, and in 1932 when there was only one Class combining the Mainland and Western Island type she won the Championship with Nancy of Kinmonth as the Reserve Champion. Bonnie Jean had two good filly foalsâ€”Jane of Glenbernesdale and Janet by Macpherson. I sold the former and I still have a daughter and grand-daughter of Janet. In 1931 I purchased the lovely grey mare Staffin Princess from John Cameron, bred in Skye and probably the best Mainland type Highland mare of her time. Unfortunately she was not a good breeder and the two colt foals she had by Glenbernesdale were not up to the standard of their parents. I exhibited her twice at the Highland Show where she was Champion and Reserve Champion and once at Perth when she won the Championship. She had a wonderful Staffin Princess (6236) disposition and was an excellent hill 58
pony. She died in 1946 at the age of 24 years. At the invitation of Mr. Donald McKelvie my wife and I went to Arran in the Autumn of 1931 where we saw the well-known stallion Glenbruar, though I had seen him in his hey-day now he was a shadow of his old selfâ€” he died about two months later. Mr. McKelvie was anxious that I should buy Biorach, Glenbruarâ€™s last filly foal, unfortunately I did not buy her until six years later. In 1934 I bought from the Beechwood Stud the black Stallion Macpherson he was a success and produced many good animals, the best being Janet of Kinmonth and Kinmonth Laddie. The latter was sold to the Department of Agriculture in Northern Ireland.
MacPherson Following Macpherson who died in 1937, Fender Laddie an Atholl bred pony came to our stud. He died in 1941. Most of the progeny of these two horses had to be sold owing to my being away and the difficulty of maintaining too many ponies during the war. For the next few years I used Faillie Diamond, Glenalmond or Knocknagael Prince in different seasons from the Department of Agriculture. During the fifties I bought the stallion Glen Affric a son of Boy David from the Department of Agriculture, a sturdy old-type of pony, also June XIII a daughter of 59
Boy David. He is still alive and active. From Mrs. Warrenâ€™s stud I picked a yearling colt Seoras of New Calgary who sired some excellent ponies including Olive and Stella of Kinmonth. Unfortunately June, Seoras and Rachael of Kinmonth died between 1955 and 1959. The last named was one of the best ever bred here. In 1964 I bought Daibhidh of New Calgary, a full brother of Seoras. He had been the Nature Conservancy stud horse on Rhum and he is with us now. In my early days I was attached to what was known as the mainland type but have gradually gone over to the lighter type which is undoubtedly more suitable for riding and on the hill. A good 13.2 or 14 hands pony can carry a heavy man or a 1520 stone stag on the hill. A bigger pony requires more human effort to load a stag and with his own weight is more likely to go down in the moss. Normally I like to send yearlings to Sutherland until they are four years old so that they get used to and know soft ground, and this enables them to be sure-footed on the hill during their working life. What is required is strength, docility, good withers, and feet. Also the pony should be a good walker. It does not seem to be realised that the old type of pony was usually smaller than many of those of the present day. When the Rosehaugh Stud Saddlery was sold it was found to be small for the normal pony of a later period. Looking back I have always thought that the Atholl and Rosehaugh studs were the main-spring of the supply of good ponies. Rosehaugh was lucky in having Glenbruar and good mares. Later when he went to Mr. McKelvie he had not the same class of mares except the beautiful Kilbride, though many good ponies came from his stock throughout his life. I know that I have made many mistakes but if one could bring to life some of the ponies which have been here or whose stock we have had I would like the stallions Macpherson or Seoras of New Calgary and the mares Isla Ormiston, Fiona II, June XIII, and Nancy of Kinmonth. However I am lucky to have the type I prefer as I have five descendants of these horses and mares with me now. Lt. Col. D.G. Moncrieff
New Calgary Stud Mrs. Kathleen Warren’s interest in Highland Ponies began one day some thirty years ago at a National Pony Show at Islington, A big class of grey and dun ponies under saddle suddenly caught her attention and on consulting her catalogue she found them to be Highlands. They were the first she had ever seen, but from that moment on she was determined to have one of her own. Finally in 1938 she purchased a mouse dun gelding named Pepper he was out of a Uist mare and sired by Ronald II who was a son of Bonnie Laddie. The following year he won under saddle at the National Pony Society Show and was reserve for the Linnell Challenge Cup, ridden by Miss Rosemary Hare, who was to become Mrs Warren’s partner in the Stud for many years. As Pepper was getting on in years Mrs Warren decided to buy a younger pony that would he ready to show and ride once the war was over, She contacted Miss Norah Mackenzie (now Lady Ramsay-Fairfax-Lucy), the daughter of the late Mr. Munro Mackenzie of Calgary, Mull. She had helped her previously to find Pepper and it was now hoped that she might have some Calgary bred ponies for sale. She was able to let her have a yellow dun colt called St Boswell and suggested keeping him entire and perhaps start to breed a few Highland Ponies, Mrs. Warren did not think about it at the time, but gradually the idea became more. and more appealing. She and Miss Hare visited Miss Mackenzie once again and bought St. Boswell’s full sister, Celtic Glen, and borrowed a four year old mare, St. Cyra, to put to him, Celtic Glen was sent to a stallion called Caber Feidh, who stood near Aylesbury. After St Boswell was used on St Cyra and an old polo pony mare the war was making things very difficult and he was reluctantly gelded. The following spring St Cyra unfortunately slipped premature twins after a heavy air raid, so his pure bred stock was lost for ever The polo pony mare had a colt foal, who grew up to become a successful event horse. Celtic Glen produced a much hoped for yellow dun filly to Caber Feidh. She was named Glenbuie and was at once destined to be one of the New Calgary home bred foundation mares. During her long career she has won many prizes and bred very well, her daughters have all been retained in the Stud and in 1969 she had her fourteenth foal and at twenty seven years of age. is still in the Stud today. The next pony to be bought was the old yellow dun Calgary mare, Stronbuie, who was the dam of St. Boswell and Celtic Glen. She too was sent to Caber Feidh and produced a son, Maxton and a daughter, Bhantigearna Gold. In 1943 Mrs Warren was offered the last remaining ponies of the Newhall Stud, the stallion Caber Feidh and the mare’s Newhall Lela and her half sister Cora VI. These ponies were all bred from Rosehaugh mares and were grandchildren of Glen Bruar. The Rosehaugh Stud was in its turn founded from two little black mares, Phoenix and Phoenice, bred on Rhum by the late Lord Arthur Cecil, so the New Calgary Stud was therefore based on ponies with Calgary, Newhall, Rosehaugh and Rhum 61
bloodlines and with Glen Bruar featuring prominently in their pedigrees. Newhall Lela had the dark brown filly foal Bonnie Mary at foot and Cora VIâ€™s yearling daughter, Lady Seaforth, was also bought, Cora then produced Seagull III, so including Glenbuie Mrs. Warren then had four fillies all sired by Caber Feidh, plus the two Newhall mares, the three Calgary mares and Caber Feidh himself. Seagull III proved another successful pony, breeding many good foals, and winning prizes both in hand and under saddle, she too is still in the Stud today. Now that the war was over Mrs. Warren was able to begin showing again, this time with home bred, home trained animals, and at the first show she went to her ponies won the three classes that they were entered in. Soon the problem arose as to a stallion to use on Caber Feidhâ€™s daughters. This was solved by Newhall Lela producing a silver dun colt in 1948 to a stallion called Grey Jock, who had a good deal of Western island blood in his veins and a line of Glen Bruar. He was now standing at stud in Buckinghamshire, she already knew and liked his stock as, he was the sire of Celtic Glen and St Boswell. The colt was named Mackoinneach, the Gaelic for Mackenzie, as each of his parents was bred by two families of that name (Munro-Mackenzie and Shaw-Mackenzie). He grew up to become her senior stallion and chiefly from him and the mares Glenbuie and Seagull the New Calgary Stud was built up to what it is in the present day.
When Mackoinneach was a month old Mrs. Warren took him and his mother up to the first Royal Highland Show since the war, which was held that year at Inverness, a journey of some 700 miles, Two years later he returned to the Highland again, this time at Paisley, and was a prize winner in the class for two and three year old colts. When the Nature Conservancy bought the Isle of Rhum in 1957, Mrs. Warren lent 62
Mackoinneach to them and he spent several years on the island. She advised the Conservancy on matters concerning the ponies and also lent them two more of her stallions, the dark brown Daibhidh of New Calgary and the yellow dun Islesman of New Calgary, who is there at present. To mention all the prizes and championships won by ponies bred at the Stud would probably fill a separate article, in recent years her Seamas Mor of New Calgary, a cream dun son of Mackoinneach, was very successful both in-hand and under saddle and was the winner of many championships all over the country. In 1967 he was Champion Highland at the Ponies of Britain Stallion Show and in 1968 Reserve Male Champion and Ridden Hill Pony Champion at the Royal Highland Show. Last year her Rhum Bloodstone, another son of Mackoinneach, was the Highland Pony Champion at the National Pony Society Show at Stoneleigh and Reserve Champion Ridden Mountain and Moorland at the same Show. All her ponies were of wonderful temperament and beautifully schooled, the stallions being particularly gentle and easy to handle, they could be ridden in company or with one another and always behaved perfectly, Mrs. Warren policy was to run them out with their mares: which not only made them very sure foal getters, but also that they could, if required, be kept stabled in a yard with mares all around them and would he no trouble because they never served mares in hand. Mrs Warren bought several animals off Rhum including the stallion Rhum Bloodstone. She was very interested in the rare chestnut colouring with a silver mane and tail, which has always occurred among the ponies on the island, it varies considerably in shade ranging from liver through to golden: some being the colour of a conker and others a bright fox red, Bloodstone is a very dark liver, which contrasts strikingly with his pale mane and tail; she used him extensively on her mares, many of which carried this colour gene through their early Rhum ancestors, and succeeded in breeding several silver maned foals. Another feature inherited by some of her ponies that appears among the Rhum stock are hazel coloured eyes. She had a great many plans for the future, not only along these colour breeding lines, but 63
unfortunately was not spared to carry them out, However, generous as always, she left her Stud to the Nature Conservancy, and it is nice to think that a nucleus of the ponies will be kept on their Reserve at Beinn Eighe in Wester Ross. So the New Calgary Stud will continue, a living memorial indeed. Flora Stuart. January, 1970
The New Calgary Stud at Beinn Eighe
When the Nature Conservancy bought the Island of Rhum in 1957, we thereby undertook the management of the stud of Highland Ponies which had been there since the beginning of the 18th century. During these early stages, invaluable guidance and advice was given by Mrs. Kathleen Warren whose New Calgary Stud of Highland Ponies in Sussex was founded on one or two mares from the well known Calgary Estate in Mull. Such was her affection for the Rhum Stud that when she died in December 1969 she bequeathed her stud to the Nature Conservancy. The rocky terrain of the Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve in Wester Ross was a natural choice for the new home of the nucleus of seven brood mares retained by the Nature Conservancy. There is at Beinn Eighe a small low ground farm and land along the banks of the Kinlochewe river suitable for wintering; we have also built several loose boxes and a tack room from Mrs Warren’s bequest. The stud is in the charge of Richard Balharry, Chief Warden. The remainder of the Stud was sold by private offer. In May 1970, Mo’Run Geal Dileas (Monkey) died of a long-standing infection leaving a colt by Rhum Bloodstone and of the remaining six, four are daughters of Glenbuie and one is a grand-daughter. Also in May both Leannan and Bean Sithe had foals by Rhum Bloodstone. Diluan by Rhum Bloodstone out of Glenbuie is the only pony with recent Rhum blood and though not quite typical of the Calgary stock is a fine, sturdy pony and moves nicely — we have hopes that she will make a good deer pony, Nighean is a lovely mare out of Seagull but unfortunately has so far had no foals. The two foundation mares, Glenbuie and Seagull were considered too old to bring to Wester Ross but we have been most fortunate that Miss Gillian Barron has given them homes. The home bred stallions at New Park were too closely bred to the mares and the prominence of Mackoinneach blood, both in the Rhum Stud and the New Calgary Stud, precluded our finding a use for them. It is, however, hoped that the best of them will leave their mark on ponies near to their new homes. Of these: Tachara is with Mr. N. Theohald at the Yeld Bank Farm Arabian Stud; Rhum Bloodstone is with Mrs. A. Smith, Gaveston Hall; Seamas Mor was bought by Mrs. A,J. Davey, Stoke Mandeville; and Miss Flora Stuart has given a home to Mackoinneach at Port William, Wigtownshire. Glen Garry IV was recently purchased from Mr. Donald Lamont and with the mares 64
at Beinn Eighe this year. A good pony with a fine head â€“ a characteristic of the New Calgary Stud that we shall endeavour not to put at risk - he is the son of Glen Garry I out of a well-spoken of mare from Caithness Maura 11699. His pedigree can be traced back to Glen Bruar on both sides and it is interesting to note that on his sireâ€™s side he can be traced hack to Rhum Star. by P.A. Hardie
The West Whitefield Highland Pony Stud Our recent series of stud articles has aimed at collecting for our readers as much information as possible about recent High and pony history, about ponies and studs famous during the past thirty or forty years. Some of these studs are still flourishing, but others have been dispersed, and those who possess ponies of their breeding are always interested to know more about the ancestors and families of their ponies. We now hope to write a little more about what present day studs are doing, and there could be none better to start with than that of Mr. George Baird. It has many links with the older studs, and since its beginning about eleven years ago it has grown and flourished and it must be the largest in the country today with a total of one hundred and twenty ponies including seven stallions. Mr. Baird started farming on his own at eighteen years old, he changed later to farm contracting, and then back to farming. His first Highland pony purchases were more for the purpose of a family hobby, and this it certainly has been. Mr. and Mrs. Baird, their daughter and three sons must have put a tremendous amount of energy into the ponies both at home and at the shows, and it is a pleasure to see such a happy family enterprise. There is nothing haphazard about ponybreeding at West Whitefield, and it is really astonishing to find that the breeding of every pony and foal on the place, either of their own or visiting for stud purposes, is immediately known to both Mr. and Mrs. Baird without any hesitation or reference to â€˜notes. The Bairds are generous with their time in showing visitors over the stud, and since most of the youngstock are sent out to grazings in the hills of Perthshire a whole day is really necessary to see them all. What an education it is Highland pony-wise! Points one has known by hearsay to be found in different strains of pony begin to be recognised as one sees examples here and there among the ponies and to see several groups of various strains together and compare then at ones leisure is really a splendid way of consolidating the knowledge one has gained at the shows and elsewhere. At the time when Mr. Baird began to buy Highland ponies there was far less general interest in them than at the present day. Some of the old studs were being cut down or dispersed, and many ponies of good Highland blood could easily at that time have faded out either by being crossed or not bred from at all. Many people who have been able to buy such ponies or their stock from West Whitefield are very grateful for having been able to do so, and for the fact that they have been 66
kept together in a Highland pony stud. I asked Mr. Baird if he foresaw the growth of interest in Highland ponies at the beginning and he told frankly how he realised it shortly after he started, during the time he was still buying his first ponies. In 1961, at the last pony sale held by Macdonald and Erasers at Perth Mr. Baird bought a yearling filly, which he called Sally, sold by Col. Moncrieff, and soon after Glenearn Kandy, a mare with foal at foot. Not wanting to travel all the way to Beechwood for stud services, he also bought that year his first stallion, Glencorrie, sire Marksman, dam Mountain Maid of Knocknagael, from F. Balfour, Dirnanean, Kirkmichael. Sally died in 1963 but Glenearn Kandy produced a filly foal, Judy of Whitefield, to Glencorrie in 1964—the first of Mr.Baird’s breeding. The same year he bought three mares privately from Col. Moncrieff - Anne, Sophie and Ursula, all of Kinmonth. Sophie and Ursula produced foals, one colt and one filly to Glencorrie before he died. Mr. Baird then bought Glendronach, sire Marksman, dam Lorna of Knocknagael, from Mr. Sandy Wright, and almost simultaneously Stratherrick, sire Strathspey, dam Shonaid of Knocknagael, a young colt from the Department of Agriculture at Beechwood. So Mr. Baird is now set with mares which are mainly Kinmonth and stallions which are Department. After this his most notable purchases were Drumloist Teuchat, sire Glenearn Ambassador, dam, Tiodhlac Mollaig, and Audrey of Glenbuckie from Mr. McVicar, at a Stirling sale. Then came the Derculich dispersal sale in September 1965 where he bought Molly, Mandy, Maymorn and Mallow (sold in 1971 to Col. Moncrieff) and later Mabel of Derculich, who is the mother of Crusader, one of Mr. Baird’s most promising young stallions. Calliach Bhan XVIII was bought from Mr. Cairns in 1965, she is the mother of Dougal of Whitefield; then Misty of Hunthall, sire Pharic of Hunthall, dam May Violet of Persie, and Misty is the mother of another fine young stallion, Colin of Whitefield. Mr. Baird bought some more of Mr. Cairns’ mares when the latter gave up breeding in 1966. Another mare bought was Otter Mary, sire Glenfalloch, dam Maura, and she is also mother of a notable yearling colt, Footprint, who is by Benefactor of Whitefield, sire Glendye, dam Maymorn of Derculich. So in the list of foal registrations during the last five years there is an impressive number of foals from these mares from famous studs as well as from the younger mares of his own breeding. Mr. Baird says that Strathnaver has been one of the most important stallions that he has possessed, and in general there is not a stallion that has done more for 67
the breed than this one. He has never left a bad foal. Though he has a tendency to leave white this can be minimised by careful selection of mares. Highland Chief, sire lain of Derculich, dam Maydew of Derculich was recently sold by Mr. Baird to the Department of Agriculture as his own fillies are now coming in to the stud. He is a stallion with very good bone, tremendous head and good action, and has passed on his great presence to all his stock. Glengarry III is the sire of Crusader and Colin, both beautiful young stallions whom anyone would be proud to own, and Mr. Baird is more than satisfied with their progeny, which confirms his policy and ideas. In general Mr. Baird fears that there is a tendency today to breed an animal that is too light in bone, too fine and losing substance, which is being done in the belief that this is a necessity for the riding animal which is wanted today. He believes that we should be true to the traditional Highland Pony, with the typical good broad flat bone, which can perform equally well under the saddle and yet retains the essential Highland pony characteristics. In spite of increased breeding his experience is that the demand still exceeds the supply, and he reckons there is still a rosy future for the Highland Pony.
Highland Pony People
Gordon Mcintosh One of the best-known senior figures in the Highland pony world died on November 5 1997, aged 76. Gordon McIntosh reared hill sheep on the farm of Dalbrack in Glenesk, east of Scotland. The main pony enthusiast in the family was his wife Nancy, developing a well-known trekking and breeding enterprise in the spectacular scenery of the glen. Gordon took part in the pony side as farming time allowed, handling stock in the show ring/among others the home bred stallions Muldoanich and Heamish. Later, particularly after retirement, he became a much-used and welcomed judge of ponies all across the country. For competitors he could lighten the tense process of judging without affecting the gravitas of the proceedings. He joined the Highland Pony Society in 1975, becoming a Life Member two years later. The next year, 1978, Gordon was elected onto the HPS Council, and joined the In-hand Judges Panel in 1979. When not judging he often stewarded, and although not a rider would act as helper and backup in the progress of Dalbrack ponies under saddle. Always keen to take part in all kinds of Highland pony events, Gordonâ€™s cheery North-East humour and affable nature starred at many a dance and impromptu ceilidh. His warm openness with everyone was so often the better side of the perpetual tensions which pervade the competitive pony world. He was buried in the parish of Leochel-Cushnie in Aberdeenshire where he had spent his early life. His wife Nancy, a central figure in the Highland pony world, and his family, carry on the influential Dalbrack line of ponies.
Georgie Henschel I wonder why it is that small girls all, or nearly all, seem to be pony mad? Mine was not a ‘horsey’ family; my father was a musician and my mother not at all an ‘animal person’. However, my father, having been born as long ago as 1850,lived most of his life in what was still essentially a horse world. A world in which riding was a means of getting about and almost as many people knew how to drive a horse as today propel themselves about, rather more dangerously, in motor cars. And they probably knew more about how to look after and care for their horses than the majority of car drivers know about their vehicles! Anyway, he could both ride and drive; until I was 4, he kept a horse and trap in our Scottish home and the darling man who looked after it as well as the garden, used to let me hold the reins when we’d turned off the main road into our own drive. My own first horse was wooden, ran on wheels and was called Rosie. To accompany Rosie: Bobby, rather bigger, covered with what looked like a horse’s coat, and with real hair for mane and tail. I didn’t sit on a live one till I was 6, when I made a ‘best friend’ who was 4 years older than I, and who had her own pony on which she sat me bareback for my first ride. From then on I was hooked. In London I had lessons in ‘The Row’. When I was competent to go solo, best friend and I would ride together whenever I stayed with her in the Borders. She and I also became passionately interested in racehorses and their pedigrees; a friend of the family had given me a wonderful scrapbook of photos, pedigrees and performances. We’d study these before a big race, usually the Derby, and work out what we thought ought to win. We were never very far out, though we couldn’t make out why grown-ups were so interested in our predictions! (Incidentally, having a long memory, those pedigree studies still sometimes stand me in good stead!)When I was 14, she and I rode for two days away from her home, spending the night in a fisherman’s inn in the Borders. No one fussed about us or rushed ahead of us to see we were ‘safe’; a pity children nowadays don’t get the same soft of opportunity to use their own initiative and common sense! In Scotland in the summer holidays, if I weren’t staying with my best friend, I always managed to borrow a pony locally; in London, I rode in ‘The Row’ when I could afford it. Later, growing older, two young men said they would pay for my ride if I took them with 70
me and taught them. Which I did, in Richmond Park. And I got to know a Colonel (Lancers) who lived at Camberley, was attached to the Staff College, and would lend me his charger to ride there; whither I would convey myself in a Baby Austin. During the war, with the BBC, there was no chance to ride. When it ended, an enthusiastic producer thought it would be a good idea to do a riding tour of the Cotswolds. Strange as it seems now, there was no other broadcaster in the Midland Region who could ride, so I did the tour -agony for the first day, not having ridden for five years, but enormous fun nevertheless. I also did a programme for the Region on the Birmingham Police horses, and found myself, willy-nilly, sharing in the morning’s training routine! When my mother died, I thought I would start a small riding centre at our home, Alltnacriche, Aviemore, and having bought five assorted animals, decided that obviously I should have a Highland pony as well. So I went to our local pony and cattle dealer, ‘Jimmak’ Mackintosh of Kingussie, and bought Rhona. Or rather, she sold herself to me, following us all around the grazing fields, insisting that she was the one I wanted. She was bay, by Knocknagael Marksman. When the late Jimmy Dean saw her he said, ‘Why not breed . . ?‘ I hadn’t really intended to, but Jimmy was persuasive, and, well, why not? So I took her to Beechwood and mated her with her own father. This isn’t a mating one would normally choose; it can work well and it can be a disaster. Hers worked. Her daughter, Una, was probably the only ‘double Marksman’ bred. Una bred Nina, and Nina bred the highly successful Donald, now standing in England. In fact all the Highlands, except one, that I have bred, are descended from Rhona. When she died, aged 29, she had 23 living descendants. She was a true matriarch, and I have only ever sold two females of her line. In 1965 both Rhona and daughter Una went to Turin Hill Angus lain. Rhona’s daughter was Rowena, her last foal (to Glenrannoch she produced my present versatile fellow, Glen Grant) and Una’s was the prolific brood mare, Nina, who is this year expecting to Cameron. Nina has also produced, to Ruraidh of Midfearn, the remarkably successful little mare, Ria. There is a great deal of Department blood in my ponies. In all the years I have only used four stallion outcrosses: Angus lain, Ruraidh, Duart of Glenmuick and Cameron, who is Duart’s sire. I may be prejudiced but it often seems to me that their ancestor, old Marksman, bequeathed to many of them his finely modelled, intelligent head, as he has done to so many that carry his blood. As for Rhona, I can never be grateful enough to her for having sold herself to me!
Hugh McGregor 1904 —1985 Born on the Clydesdale horse stud farm of Arnprior, Stirlingshire in 1904, Hugh McGregor died peacefully on 7th February this year, among the working horses and ponies which had been his life’s interest and occupation. The eldest of nine children, Hugh was reared among work horses from his earliest years, and by the age of sixteen, was handling Clydesdale stallions such as Royal Favourite at stud. As a young man he travelled stallions in several areas of Scotland, and was proud to assert that he was the youngest handler to have operated for the Scottish Central Horse Breeding Society. In 1926 he was offered the chance to take a consignment of Clydesdale horses to Australia, and remained there for the next eight years witnessing a swing first to the tractor and then a return back to horse power. This led to a fresh demand for Scottish Clydesdales, and Hugh returned in 1934 to Scotland for a farewell visit and a buying trip for work horses. However, demand in Australia was so high that consignments became a regular feature, selling out as many Clydesdales as he could buy and ship. Seeking a Scottish base, he bought Ballinton farm, just ‘up the road’ from Arnprior, his birthplace, shortly before World War II began. Trade with Australia then ceased, but Hugh continued in the work horse trade and farming at Ballinton for the next few years. After the war the decline in Clydesdale horse numbers set in fully with the wide introduction of agricultural tractors: the trade contracted, but Hugh maintained his stud and dealing, and in 1953 came his first contact with Highland ponies. He contracted to supply thirty five riding horses for the film Rob Roy, and in the course of finding these, hired ten Highland ponies. While filming with these horses in the hills above Aberfoyle the contacts came about which lead to the founding of his first pony -trekking string, based at the Covenanters’ Inn and encouraged by the Scottish Council for Physical Recreation. The business snowballed, and he opened other centres, at the Castle Hotel, Glendevon, in the Peak District of Derbyshire (later transferred to Lake Windermere), at Dunvegan in Skye (for a year only), and also ‘Post-Trekking’ (a five-day outing in the Aberfoyle hills). Hugh had standardised early on the Highland pony as the most suitable for 72
the job: at the Aberfoyle centre some 60 —70 ponies were required and at one stage his total ran to 170. The Islands were the main source of supply, as tractors were driving out the work horse, and trips were made as necessary for a score of ponies a time. But by his second year at trekking Hugh had seen the trends and decided to breed his own replacements. After a few years the stud, based on his first stallion Ledi Hiker (bought as a 2 y,o. at Perth Mart), was providing all the replacements necessary. Indeed, several whole units of ponies could be supplied to new trekking operators. Since those early days ponies from Ballinton have also provided many winners in the show ring: notable are Ledi Hiker, Glenearn Beautility, Supreme Champion RHASS 1965 and dam of Eagledene, Supreme Champion 1975, himself sire of Rose of Balinoe the 1981 Supreme Champion; Dougal, Glenaylmer; Merlin of Derculich, among others. Ponies from Ballinton have gone to England, Wales, France, Canada, Australia: and Hugh himself had enjoyed many years of judging and riding in the show ring as well as leading treks which enabled him to see ‘both sides of the coin’. Past President of the Scottish Trekking Association, he became President of the Highland Pony Society in 1966 and served as one of the Past Presidents on Council since that date, invariably taking a lively interest in all matters to do with the Highland pony. With his great experience of horse-handling, he views upon many topics, and was not in any way unwilling to come into head-on dispute with individuals or bureaucracy over issues which concerned the two breeds he supported. With the ponies the views were based above all on a respect for the capacities of the animal to perform its traditional role in an unsurpassed manner; Hugh on several occasions mentioned his sorrow at over -dressed riders on over-produced Highland ponies which had lost that natural gay presence and intelligence which is the breed’s characteristic on its native heath. His strong views were tempered by a respect for the individual and personal freedom, and the lack of his unmistakable personality and character is already evident at the shows and meetings which he rarely missed. The very much healthier state of the Highland pony breed now than when Hugh McGregor first took it up, is in large part due to his interest, energy and personal vision over the last thirty years. We extend our commiserations to his wife Christine, and their family, Joan and Scott.
Ian Campbell The third generation to be connected with Highland ponies on the 12,000-acre estate of Shiel, near Kyle, Ross and Cromarty, cattle and sheep farmer Ian Campbell died suddenly earlier this year. The ponies of Glenshiel first feature in records in the name of his grandfather Colin Campbell senior. Then, as latterly under Ian’s handson direction, the ponies were used for all hill and estate work, including deer carrying. The actual stud name of Glenshiel does not appear before around 1905, with the mare Shonaid of Glenshiel, and stallion Glenshiel Chieftain, the first of that name. But ponies were being bred there by the family earlier. ‘Old’ Colin Campbell won a Silver Medal at the Paisley Highland Show 1913 as breeder of the well-known mouse dun mare Lady Louise, at that time owned by the Duke of Atholl. This leads the story back into the latter years of the last century, a showing, breeding and using tradition that his son, ‘Young Colin’, Ian’s father, then Ian, continued up to the present. Ian’s especial interest was breeding ponies for deer carrying. He (and in their turn, his sons Colin and Ian) hired out, or sold on, about a dozen ponies every year for the deer, and continue to use three on the estate for the same job. Breeding continues -this year two foals, last year three, with five the year before that. Trekking was discontinued several years ago in favour of work on the 45-stag estate. An HPS member since 1978, lan served on Council from 1990 to 1992, but was not committee-oriented by nature. His experience was put to good use through his election onto the In-hand Judges Panel in 1987, and while not passionate about showing himself, took part in both local shows and the Highland Show. Our commiserations go to his wife and two sons, who intend to continue his legacy and the long tradition of Highland ponies at Shiel.
Ian Campbell judging at Echt Show in 1990 74
Mollie McGivern Mollie McGivern who died recently was one of the greatest supporters of Highland ponies in the South of England. She first became involved with the breed in the early 60s when purchasing Turin Hill Angus lain who she showed extensively with great success. Another pony she had for many years was her beloved Benny (Rosehaugh Ben Wyvis) who she drove for many years. The last Highland pony owned by Mollie was Burnside Kestrel, who, on his first outing just a few days after she died, won at Ponies (UK) Spring show a trophy she previously won in 1967 with Turin Hill Angus lain. Mollie was for many years on both Highland Pony Society Judges Panels and the NPS Mountain & Moorland Panel and was a well-respected judge for both ridden and in-hand classes. She would always give the Highlands a ‘fair crack of the whip’ in mixed classes against the other more flashy breeds. She was greatly honoured to be asked to judge the Females In-hand at the Royal Highland Show in 1994, and her final engagement before her illness was to judge the Highlands at the 1996 National Pony Society Show. Mollie will be best remembered by many of us for her enormous contribution to the Highland Pony Enthusiasts Club, of which she was a founder member. The events she organised at her Wiltshire home were legendary, numerous ponies and people were accommodated, hospitality dispensed to all-corners, and a good time would be had by all. Her enthusiasm and wisdom gave inspiration and help to newcomers, especially those who lacked confidence. Her generosity and sense of fun would make any event an occasion to be remembered. As well as her interests with Highland ponies Mollie was a committed supporter of the RDA. again being one of the founder members. She would support any worthy cause and always had time for anyone needing help or advice, especially those perhaps less able than others. A valued mentor, an indefatigable organiser, an inspired helper and a best friend – Mollie will be sadly missed by all her family and friends. Amanda Brown I had hoped never to have to write this, as Mollie for me has been part of the Highland pony world since meeting her through South of the Border in 1970, when I purchased my first pony. When the HPEC was formed, Mollie was a founder member and driving force be hind the many activities all over the country. When she started her Highland Pony Hunter Trials at Chippenham in Wiltshire these proved the inspiration for many, including myself, to realise the full potential of a well-trained Highland pony. Somehow, she and her family put us all up at Avonweir, with the ponies nearby. Avonweir seemed to have elastic walls, as often it was full to bursting. Everything Mollie did was fun and she taught me to enjoy my pony. I remember the first year the jumps were practically on the ground. but it gave everyone so much confidence, it wasn’t long before Mollie had us going round quite 75
a respectable course safely and enjoying every minute. Nowadays whenever I hear Elton John singing Benny and the Jets it reminds me of Mollieâ€™s daughter Kitty flying around on Rosehaugh Ben Wyvis (Benny). They always had such wonderful ponies, very active and forward-going, and helped many, many people new to Highlands to find a pony just right for them. If there were problems, Mollie always found time to come up with a practical, sensible solution. She seemed to have bottomless energy and time for everyone; she was always there. So it is doubly sad for us all that she is no longer with us, as we were so lucky to have had Mollie and others to establish the Highland pony in England and Wales as the versatile pony it is.
Ailsadene 63/79 Sire: Glenaylmer 142/75 Dam: Patriciadene C48 Ailsa was in fact the second Highland we owned, the first being Nashend Griffon who was another brilliant pony showing, ridden and Driving. He was National Novice Carriage Driving Champion in 1982. However this is about Ailsa whom I bought from Hugh McGregor in 1980 as a 4 y.o. We had Griff by this time but wanted a second pony. I had been sent for 3 weeks by the Army on a study in Scotland. I was in Edinburgh one weekend at a loose end so rang Hugh to see if I could visit with a view to buying a pony. I was very well looked after by Hugh and Scott, shown a lot of lovely ponies and decided to buy Ailsa. Probably one of the better decisions I ever made. Ailsa was the epitome of the ‘Versatile Pony’. She was very successful in the Show ring both in hand and under saddle. She won many Championships including Champion Highland in hand at the Royal Show and Ponies of Britain as it was then. I was showing mainly in the South of England where at that time the Highland was relatively rare and I was continually being asked ‘what is that?’! Ailsa was game for anything. I hunted her with the HH which was great fun but tiring! She refused to be beaten by the big hunters, would never stop and her brakes became very doubtful! I rode her in Hunter Trials which she thoroughly enjoyed and we had a little success also at at least one One Day Event. Neither of us was very good at Dressage and our Show Jumping was doubtful at times but we completed it all and although not winning anything both thoroughly enjoyed it. She always had a go in Show Jumping and WHP classes and although not always successful, probably my fault as much as hers, had a few successes. Don Baldwin ran a show near Chichester in the 80s and it always culminated in a gallop race! Ailsa nearly always won! She had a great turn of speed! When I was posted to Nepal for a year in 1989 Heather Turnbull kindly offered to look after her and put her in foal. In the end she produced three foals. Glentrowan Turcon, Craigiebrig Skye who has done very well for us in hand and under saddle. She is currently on loan but is coming home soon and may be broken to drive as it seems I may have to give up riding completely. Her third foal was Craigiebrig Iona 77
whom we have lost contact with. Ailsa was a super pony and a great friend and companion. Unfortunately she died at the untimely age of 17 in 1993. We have had several lovely ponies since Ailsa but she will always be my favourite probably because she was the only pony I had at the time and I did everything with her. Tim Connell - Pitmenzie June 2006
Ansgiobal Endurance Highland Ponies Silver Fox Conas b 22th May 1887 to 28th November 2004 G24/90 Sire Trowan Dougal Dam Trowan Mayday We bought Conas when he was rising 4yo. He started life as a cream dun and gradually turned grey over the years. He was a real “cobby” type. He had been backed and he was easy to bring on. We had great fun with him and he was so easy to be with that we have been seduced into having 5 Highlands at the last count! He loved going to local agricultural shows and over the years had 3 Supreme Mountain & Moorland titles- 2 at Sneaton and Hawsker Show in 1994 and 1996 & best of all at Danby Show in 1995. I think he was the first Highland to win that title. He won his last rosette, a second, aged 17yo, when we entered him in our local show as babysitter for another of our Highlands. The weather was appalling and the ground a quagmire but he still posed and trotted up properly for the judge, whereas all the younger entrants stood and shivered and drooped - in August!! When he was 15yo we discovered the fun of Endurance Pleasure and Training rides and he achieved respectable times but only when with his stable mate. If left behind he could droop and be overtaken by pedestrians! Somehow though he always knew where the trailer was even when riding a circuit and the trailer was not in the same direction as home and from a couple of kms away he would speed up again. On one ride it was 2 loops and we had to turn away from the trailer for the last 3kms- he was like Victor Meldrew-“I don’t believe it” but we scraped home just inside the time limit. Douglas of Combebank b19th May 1990 G40/92 Sire Ali of Tillybrig Dam Peggy of Dykes We acquired Douglas when he was 2 year old. He started as a cream dun and is now a grey. He has an Arab type head and quite a fine conformation apart from his big feet and lots of feather. He has a fabulous mane and tail. We have been told he is an Island Highland type. We thought he would do well in the show ring but he hated the whole scenario. It was BORING!! He used to slouch into the ring and look like a nag from the knackers yard!! He loved hacking out and the further/faster the ride the better. He went stir crazy during Foot and Mouth when we could not ride on the moors for months. We tried 79
hacking on the roads but that was too slow and dull for him. One day he bolted past home in a desperate attempt to have a “proper” ride! It has took us a while to get back to “normal” but with the help of remedial education at a natural horsemanship establishment we are nearly there. He adores Endurance Pleasure/training rides. Last year he and Ed came second in the local branch M&M category now we have some younger ponies to go with him. This year I have started to ride him so Ed can concentrate on Ladarna. They go round at the same speed which is nice and should make an excellent pair for non-competitive Endurance Rides.
Lily of Langley b 8th April 1999 73/99 Sire Reapyears Coquetdale Lad Dam Moonlight of Millfield We got Lily in May 2003. She is a small mouse dun; apparently she was one of twins, the other died at birth. I thought she was a bit too small for our purposes but she is a flirt and she batted her eyelashes at my husband so home she came Highland number 3. She had been shown as a foal by Stuart Roberts her breeder and she did well. She had been backed and it did not take long before she was hacking out. She is such a nosy parker that it makes whoever is riding her look afresh at a route no matter how well known, which is great fun. If she could talk she would be saying “gosh look at that/ what is that bird? Look, look its tail is amazing” A nearby house has peacocks!!! We have been to a few local shows but nowadays the classes in mixed large breeds M & M are 17-20 ponies and she gets bored. We need a male judge for her to flirt with!!! She has done a few pleasure rides & enjoyed them. On the first one we realised she had never been through woods before so for the majority of the ride she was gawping at the surroundings and being overtaken by ramblers. We probably will not breed from Lily as she is small but we shall ask others more knowledgeable than us and if the consensus is positive I would love to have a 80
foal of hers. She and I hack out a lot and in 2005/2006 we got a silver Happy Hacker rosette from the HPEC. Ladarna of Langley b 18th April 2002 53/02 Sire Reapyears Coquetdale Lad Dam Laurel of Langley We got Darna direct from her breeder Stuart Roberts. We enjoyed Lily so much we thought another relative would be fun to bring on as the “boys” got older. My husband said only a mouse dun would do-no need to get up at 4am for a full shampoo on show days just a brush and go! She too had been shown as a foal by Stuart and acquitted herself respectably. She was only 20 months when we got her and what a sweetie she is. She loves people. She will be a good size for my husband to ride and has a lovely long stride. She was keen to go out with the others and would rush across the field when they came back from a hack putting her head into their bridles after we had turned them out saying “I can do it - take me”. In August 04 we felt she had to start training or she would be a bored, delinquent teenager so we sent her to Sarah Kreutzer, a disciple of Monty Roberts for the full lifestyle learning experience and she has matured beautifully and is a fun ride. She did 50 hours Happy Hacker in the 05/06 season and did her first Pleasure ride April 07 and just loved it . We may breed from her but not for a few years yet. Silver Fox Malin II b 16th April 1996 366/96 Sire Garry of Knocknagael Dam Damson of Dykes Malin was an impulse buy after Conas had died. Our herd of three Highlands was lost without their leader and in particular Darna would not be left on her own when we rode the other two out on a hack so a 4th was needed. The first we found for sale was another Silver Fox although not a direct relative. It was kismet or so I thought. We went to see her and she did look a cute little grey mare but she would not box. However time and food overcame that and she duly arrived a week later. She was 8yo, never been ridden and not had much 81
handling but our previous experience gave us false expectations! She waded in with teeth and hooves to sort our little herd out and claim leadership. We did not catch her for quite a while and if we could have done so she may well have gone back!! Life was generally stressful at that time and she added to it big time. However we persevered and I am very glad we did. She went away to Sarah Kreutzer for 2 weeks lifestyle behaviour therapy and by day two she was being ridden and she is a delight. She has bonded with the herd but is human orientated too. She is now in foal to Grouse of Langley and is due early July 07. Cameron of Allendale b 15th April 1999 61/99 Sire Fergus of Allendale Dam Claymore Rummage We got Cameron in March 2005. Our first fully trained purchase as we needed a pony to go out with Lily after Conas died. At the start of 2005 Darna was too young, Douglas too fast and Malin was uncatchable at that time. Cameron is described as a chocolate dun. He is just a wonderful mahogany brown and his mane/tail are sun bleached ginger blonde for about the last third of their length. He has loads of presence but again not a big Highland. We did a couple of the local agricultural shows in 2005 but he got bored during the big classes. However we did get a second which I was very pleased with. He too has done Endurance Pleasure rides and seemed to enjoy them. In 2006 he achieved 100km during the season and 63 hours Happy Hacking. He and Lily are well matched pace wise but at times they seem to wind each other up in order to slow down and generally mess about! Laura Jane and Ed Macholc, Staithes, Saltburn, Cleveland
Ardnadam Angus Ardnadam Angus is an incredible Rum Island Highland. Iâ€™d saved up my money to buy a pony since I was nine and when my friend told me that a Highland pony called Angus was for sale I jumped at the chance. Angusâ€™s dam is Sukkoth Bracken and his sire is Grousedene. Angus came from Scotland when he was two and I bought him a year later. When I first saw Angus it was mid-winter and he looked so hairy. I immediately fell in love with him and knew that he was my perfect pony. He had been broken in and was being long reined and lunged. This helped both of us in his early years, as it gave me a base to progress from. Once Angus had arrived at the yard I continued with his training. He was so willing to please, but showed his character with spectacular bucks. I started showing him at our local show, where he did really well and we then progressed to the county shows. We also enjoy hunting, cross-country, fun rides, pony club and hacking. It wasnâ€™t until the winter season of 2004- 2005 that he started to show his true talent for dressage. I have always enjoyed dressage more than any other aspect of riding, so I started to compete over the winter at our local dressage centre, (Heart of England), where they were holding Trailblazers competitions. I never dreamt that we would come out at the end of the season as the Reserve Junior dressage champion. I am now training Angus to do half pass, traverse and pirouettes. It has been a long, enjoyable process to get Angus to the stage that he is at now, at seven years of age. However, I feel that he needed the time to mature and grow into the wonderful pony that he is. Angus is special and will always have a home with me. He enjoys lying in his stable, resting his head on my shoulder and jumping from his field to the one next door! To me Angus is special because of his friendly nature and his striking presence when ridden. I think he is the finest Highland pony and my best friend. Rachel Winkle Parkside, Stafford.
Aster of Torlundy Sire Ruraidh of Midfearn Dam Brackenhirst Jean - foaled May 1977 I first saw Aster whilst trekking in Tomintoul where a friend that we met during the holiday bought her and kept her for several years, until she had to go to Canada to live, whereupon Aster came to me here in Kent. It was the start of a wonderful relationship; we did sponsored rides, rode out with friends, HPEC events, she loved jumping, although I was not so confident! We showed successfully at County level both in hand and ridden, such a lovely pony that we decided to breed from her and get another little Aster, not much to ask just a yellow dun filly, however what arrived was a yellow dun colt, who is now a â€˜whiteâ€™ with fleabitten flecks gelding! At 29 Aster is still with me although it was touch and go a couple of years ago, she has a lump on her fetlock joint which slightly impedes movement when ridden but she enjoys a short hack round the local woods for an hour or so once a week, weather permitting. Heather Cornes, West Malling, Kent
Benspey Mitch (G 123/00) 14.2hh Cream dun Gelding Sire: Prince O’The Glens Dam: Tessa Of Holmhead Mitch was bred in Drummuir and brought to North Yorkshire as a 2 year old by Dave & Susanne Freer. I bought him as a 4 and a half year old. When we went to see Mitch we weren’t looking for a youngster. However when we saw his cheeky face peering over his stable door, we knew he was assessing us to see if we were suitable owners. When I rode him he didn’t put a foot wrong and I could not believe he was only four. He is a very laid back pony with no nastiness in him, just a lot of mischief! For the first 2 days when he came home he was a nightmare in the stable, barging around, Once he realised I wasn’t giving way he settled down and is now polite 99% of the time. Sometimes though he just has to test if I’m still in charge! We do a lot of hacking out together and work in the school for short spells as Mitch gets bored. We have lessons, and go to our instructors weekly Riding Club, but mainly we are taking things slowly as he’s only just had his fifth birthday. We recently entered a mini ODE our instructor set for the Club. With fences set at about I’ to get him going without overtaxing him or me, I was delighted when we won the novice class. Whatever I ask Mitch to do he will try his best. He is very genuine and a real ‘people’ pony. The only think he doesn’t like is motor-bikes. Eventually I would like to have a go at side-saddle, pleasure rides and driving Mitch, but for now I just enjoy being with him and having fun, and learning together about each other. Thanks to Mitch I would never look at anything other than a Highland again. Tracey Clarkson & Mitch, Whitby, North Yorkshire
Burnside Erin Burnside Erin, is our bay mare by Sergeant Major of Whitefield out of Debbie of Cairnbank, she was bred by Ann Ballantyne in 1990. We bought her unbroken in 2004 as a 14 year old; she had previously been a brood mare. We broke her to ride during early spring and although this was a huge career change, she took to her new job exceptionally well. Erin is ridden by all the family and competes in most types of events, including Long Distance Rides, Showing Classes and Dressage, she has recently completed her first One Day Event and thoroughly enjoyed herself. Erin has competed in a number of Dressage Leagues, producing some really nice tests, always getting top marks for her paces, her trot being exceptional. She was placed regularly and despite her big frame manages to look just as elegant as the â€˜Fine Legsâ€™ she competes against! We used the winter dressage events to prepare and school Erin for the Royal Highland Show in June 2005. At the RHS, Erin really did us proud; she had to compete in the Open class for the older ponies but did not look at all disadvantaged by her inexperience under saddle. She performed beautifully and gave the Judge a really good ride finishing 9 th in the big class. We were delighted with her achievement. She has consistently won in hand and was Champion at both Bellingham and Glendale large Agricultural Shows. She has consistently won under saddled proving it is never too late to learn. Aside from all the activities, Erin is an absolute pleasure to own, she is genuine, kind and testimony to the willing nature of the Highland Pony. Chris and Jan Grant, Heddon Birks, Northumberland
Coulmore Swallow 1982-2006 Coulmore Sika X Earl of Whitefield I first saw "Skye" at Coulmore in July 1983 she was in the large park field with her half sister Coulmore Ash. Both yearling fillies were absolutely beautiful and we could have had ether one. Swallow just had something special about her and she was the one for me. Her breeder Mrs Pat Scobie said we could have her in the autumn, as she wanted to take her to the Black Isle show and would like to take her to several other shows. In early September Beverly Halls was going up to Aberdeen to pick up her colt, Broadshade Casanova, from Miss Ricthie's Broadshade stud. Mrs Scobie took Swallow to Broadshade and Beverly brought her South. We picked our lovely filly up from Bev's yard, the day after their long journey down from Aberdeenshire. The little love loaded into our trailer no trouble, remarkable considering the length of time she had spent travelling down to us. Swallow was shown as a two year old and as a three year old. I called her " Skye". We already have another Highland Isla of Whitefield. In my inexperience I thought Isla was named after the Isle of Islay so thought I would have two ponies named
after islands, only to find out our Isla was named after the river Isla and not the island. By then it was too late and we were used to Swallow's stable name and left it as it was. We didn't do much as a four year old but I backed her myself and rode her on carefully for the rest of the summer. We continued Skye's showing career with many successes, until she was 9 yrs old. We then thought it was about time we bred from her. Now what to do for a stallion? I wanted to keep to the lovely old blood lines I loved so much and was fortunate to have been able to have Turin Hill Mark 11, (Strathglass.X Glenearn Bessmark), from Isobel and Rod McInroy. Skye had two foals by Mark 11 and Vanda of Whitefield had one all three colts, before Mark 11 returned home to Perthshire. The boys were, Oak Croft Kyleakn, Duntulm, and Taliska. All named after places on the Isle of Skye, continuing the island theme. Skye then had a filly by Ben Nevis of Croila. This foal was my darling Connie, Oak Croft Connista now thirteen and still with me. I still wanted to continue breeding as I loved and still do adore raising and handling foals. We needed another stallion. I was very fortunate to have been able to get Corrigarth Rhidorroch on loan from Audrey Barron. Red was 17 but fit and well. He was the most fantastic stallion and a pleasure to have around the place. When he came up for sale the next year I had no hesitation in buying him. Swallow had five more foals by Red, four colts and one filly. They were Flodigarry, Torrin, Dunveagan, Struan, and the only other filly Skye had Coulmore Ellishader. I still have Ellie; hopefully she is in foal to Carrick Heston. Swallow retired from breeding and showing when she was 19 yrs old and became a companion to a friend's old pony. They lived happily together for the rest of her life. Dear old Skye died peacefully in her sleep in 2006 aged 24. Skye was the most wonderful pony we took her to the Royal Highland show in 1989 she was 6th out of 32 yeld mares. She was a prolific winner in breed classes and in mixed Mountain and Moorland classes. She was Champion and Supreme Champion too many times to mention. She was a privilege to know and a privilege to own. Linda Impey, Chelmsford, Essex
Dellfarm Morag (Clandon Moriarti x Camelot Lady Shonaid) During the time I had Aggy on loan from Dianne Barfield we took part or competed in showing, pleasure rides, a bit of jumping & hunting. Hunting. was probably our most favourite activity. We hunted with the Easton Harriers, whom I had hunted with as a teenager. Our 1st time out (2003/04 season) was interesting to put it mildly. We had decided to stay near the back of the field, so as the hunt moved off Aggy felt that the excitement was too much and started to practise a capriole! (I think that was what it looked like!) Once we actually got into a forward motion Aggy proceeded to fly-buck and canter whilst everyone else was trotting along the road. It was a long way to the 1st draw and she was still pretending to be a Lipizzaner as we got onto the stubble field. After a very furious gallop to catch up with the rest of the field she settled down and we had a great days hunting. We had a couple more days out that season and after sorting the brakes she got more relaxed and gave me some lovely days hunting. For the 04/05 season we went out a lot more. Aggy settled down enough to take my son James out on Kodie (another highland pony) on the lead-rein for his 1st ever hunt, she happily escorted James & Kodie on their other days hunting too. She again led Kodie when a friends son came hunting and even took another pony on the lead-rein when the leaders horse was being too strong for the rider to hang on to her horse and the lead-rein! What a difference to our first few times! We even hunted on Boxing Day 2005 and within a huge field Aggy’s behaviour was exemplary. Our only restriction to hunting was ditches. Aggy hated them and I was often seen on foot leading her through a ditch that we couldn’t get round, much to the amusement of the followers! We practised out on hacks but just couldn’t get the courage to ditch-jump whilst out hunting. Both Aggy (& myself) & Kodie (& James) went out hunting on the “last” (pre-ban) day 17.2.05, we stayed out for the whole day and finally achieved our goal of jumping a ditch! We actually led another horse (who had refused) over it. What a way to end a fantastic days hunting.
Ginny Redgrave, Suffolk
Dunedin Harris Sire Heamish of Dalbrack Dam Melody of Dundonnell Bred and owned by Miss A. Mitchell. Harris has twice achieved a notable double in the show ring. At the time of writing, this has not been matched by another Highland Pony, or as far as I know, by any other Mountain and Moorland pony. The first double was on one memorable day at the N.P.S. Championship Show in 1999. Harris was Champion of two major finals. 1999 NPS/Riding Magazine M & M Working Hunter Pony of the year. 1999 NPS/Country Life M & M Ridden Pony of the year. 1999 also saw Harris achieve part 1. of his second, even bigger double. In December, at Olympia, he was best of breed, Best owner bred large breed, and then finally NPS/ Baileys Horse Feeds M&M Ridden Pony of the Year. The dream result for any pony breeder, owner and rider. 2000 saw part 2., and the perfect finale of his double. At Wembley, and having jumped a clear round which was awarded 10/10 for style, Harris was crowned NPS/Wembley M&M Working Hunter Pony of the Year. A definite first for the Highland Breed, and in my opinion, our greatest and most enjoyable achievement. Thank you Harris and Anne, for giving me the opportunity to be part of a great team. Jo Jack, Leven, Fife 90
Dunrowan Dolphin NUMBER THIRTEEN.... LUCKY FOR SOME! I had certainly not expected a second chance to go to Olympia from NPS Alloa in June. However, Rowan (Dunrowan Dolphin) had obviously decided that she fancied a winter of pampered treatment, and on this first outing of the year, ended up Champion. New Tactics This time things were done somewhat differently; rugs were piled on Rowan from August onwards to keep her coat back; a drastic diet September to mid-November; concentrated schooling and hacking for the last month; and a half dozen invaluable lessons from Fiona Busby of Langholm. The big occasion was on Thursday 17 December, and we set off for London at 4.30 am, the day before, finally arriving some nine hours later. Unlike last time, Rowan settled in immediately, enjoyed her tea and tucked into her haynet. The only problem was trying to dry off her sweating coat. At home she had looked as though she had little coat, but at Olympia was one of the hairiest , and with the heat never really dried off. Show Tensions Early on Thursday morning I rode her round the main arena to accustom her to the sights and sounds, but didn’t dare go out of a walk in case she sweated up further. Then at 10.30, thirty plus ponies filed into the arena. Our competitor number was 13! After walk, trot and canter, we were split into large and small breeds. One judge marked us on conformation, and then we moved to the other end of the arena. A very simple show was required - after saluting the judge, a gallop round the arena, a trot across the diagonal, then a collected canter and halt. Over in seconds! All ponies had a final walk and trot for both judges to assess, then all lined up and were presented with two lovely rosettes. Feelings were rather flat over lunchtime; it seemed a long way to go for such a short show, and I’d felt Rowan had pulled like a train. Supreme Highland At 2.55 all back into the arena, lined up in breed order. Best of Breed rosettes were handed out first, and I was thrilled when Rowan received the award. Then the placings were announced from sixth place upwards, and I allowed myself to hope for a lower placing; but after fifth I switched off again. Therefore it came as the biggest surprise and thrill of my life when, instead of the Connemara’s name which I’d expected to hear as champion, I heard faintly “the Highland, Dunrowan Dolphin”. Oddly enough I think Rowan knew all along because she had stood quietly (she’d danced all over the place in the morning) and she must have walked forward herself, I don’t remember!! She adored the fuss of the sashing ceremony and put on her sweetest face for the photographers. She excelled herself in her lap in honour in the spotlight, and moved as she had never done before. Out To Grass And so her retirement begins, and I am convinced that as far back as Alloa she had decided to go out with a bang! Once again my thanks go out to all who helped us 91
achieve a lifelong ambition, and especially to Norman, chief lorry mechanic, hoof polisher and boot cleaner, who suffered weeks of sleepless nights agonising over our elderly lorry; and not to forget Roddy, who obligingly slept each morning at the field gate while I worked with Rowan! Gillian McMurray
Fleetmead Torridon Sire; Fleetmead Ronay Dam; Stocks Seonaid We haven’t had Torri long, we met him in October (2005), he was 18 months old. In a short space of time he has become one of the family. I have been friends with a couple of Highlands over the years but one played a significant part in our desire as a family to get more involved with the breed, Coulmore Charles, a thoroughly handsome Highland with a cracking personality. Torri lives in an all gelding herd of 20 horses, Charles is one of them and is busily teaching Torri all he knows about laying flat out across the footpath and acting dead to frighten passing walkers and taking naps in the muddiest part of the field to upset his mother! We can’t thank Charles enough for the introduction to highland ponies he has given us. My daughter Beth is the same age as Torri and she adores him, he is really gentle with her and is happy to have her sit on him from time to time. We often take him out walking as a family, either with my husband John carrying Beth or with my mum pushing her in the pushchair, only last week when I turned to mum and asked “Where to today?”, Beth quickly said “Park”, so off we went to the park, child and grandmother, mother and pony. Torri watched Beth on the swings and climbing frame as if it was completely normal for ponies to go to the park, you would never have guessed he hadn’t been to a child’s playground before. I can’t wait to do more with Torri, we are planning to do some in-hand showing, and continue to enjoy walking out together wherever and whenever the mood takes us. I am looking forward to backing Torri in a couple of years and have high hopes for my sensible young pony. Everyone deserves one good horse in their lifetime and I believe Torri will be mine. Emma Rawson, Hockley, Essex.
Glen Fergus of Fatherwell Sire: McNair of Denmill Dam: Aster of Torlundy foaled 25 May 1992 I was privileged to witness Glen’s birth at around 3.00 am on a Bank Holiday morning, a magic occasion in the moonlight, he was quite a small foal and did not get the hang of suckling very well at all, something he has since made up for in true Highland fashion! His offside lower leg was twisted below the knee resulting in an operation at 5 weeks old which corrected it perfectly. Glen has always been a character, a precocious, extrovert foal growing into a strong willed pony but loveable. He does not inspire the confidence that Aster does as he fancies himself as a ‘rocket launcher’ which can send a rider into orbit! We have participated in an HPEC Le trec and various rides and he has had some success in the show ring in hand. He enjoys an audience and put on quite a performance at a Parelli clinic, a large Highland on a short rope rearing up was very spectacular – yes, Glen has always been and continues to be a challenge! Now at 14 his rides are geared to his mother’s pace as she hates to be separated from him. Heather Cornes, West Malling, Kent
Glenmuick When the Final Judging for the Fredericks in Hand Champion ship took place on Friday, 11th October 1968 at the Horse of the Year Show at Wembley, Glenmuick (4206), the well known Highland Pony stallion, owned by the Department of Agriculture for Scotland was among the line up of eight horses and ponies that had qualified at eight different shows throughout the country during the summer. For Glenmuick the road to Wembley began in July at the Ponies of Britain Show at Kelso. First he won the Glengarry Challenge Shield for the best Highland Pony Stallion, then the Grosvenor Cup for the Champion Highland Pony, next the Lauderdale Challenge Cup for the best Mountain and Moorland Pony, and finally, from 400 entries in 42 classes, the Scottish Daily Mail Challenge Cup for the Supreme Champion of the Show. By winning the latter he was invited to the Ponies of Britain Summer Show at Peterborough, where he competed with the Champion from that Show and the Champion from the earlier Stallion Show at Ascot and was duly judged the winner thus qualifying for the Wembley Final. Glenmuick was bred by his owners at their stud at Beechwood, Inverness He was foaled in 1959, his sire being the 1963 Highland Show Champion, Strathspey (3842), and his dam, Mona of Knocknagael (10496).In 1964 he equalled his father by winning the Highland Show Championship. He was also Champion at Kelso that year, and in 1968, apart from the prizes already mentioned, he was 1st prize senior stallion and Male Champion at the Highland Show. He stands at stud at Beechwood and is the sire of many prize winners.
Glenbruar Probably of all Highland stallions Glen Bruar (331) has had the most influence on the breed. There are very few present day ponies who do not have name somewhere in their pedigrees. He was born in 1908 and bred by Mr. James Macdonald of Ruidhacrie, Blair Atholl, Perthshire. He was bought by Mr Donald Stewart, Drumchorry, who produced him as a three year old to win first prize and the Polo and Riding Pony Society’s silver medal at the 1905 Highland and Agriculture Society’s Show at Glasgow. The Duke of Portland purchased him at this show for the use of his tenants on his Berridale estate in Caithness. However, little advantage was taken of him because the crofters thought him to be too small. So after three years he was sold to a Major Logan from Inverness, who used to drive him in a two wheeled buggy. John Macdonald recalled seeing him being driven through the streets of Inverness and was impressed by the freedom with which he moved and by the elegance of his carriage. From there he went to Mr James Douglas Fletcher’s Rosehaugh Stud, where the stock he sired won many Highland Show and other Championships. It was at Rosehaugh that Jock, probably his most celebrated son, was bred. He was King George V favourite pony, which he always rode at Balmoral and Sandringham and who was led behind his coffin in his funeral procession. In 1932 Glen Bruar was exchanged for Glencorrodale with Mr. Donald MacKelvie on the Isle of Arran, where his prepotency greatly influenced the Stud. Many of his sons bred here were sold as stallions, both for use at home and abroad. Three colt foals were born to him in 1931, the year in which he died, at the age of twenty nine, As an epitaph for outstanding pony can do little else but quote, firstly. Mr. MacKelvie who stated ”I think there is no doubt that Glen Bruar was the most impressive sire of his time; he had a wonderful constitution and no constitutional weaknesses that I was able to discover and you know that I inbred him very closely”, and secondly, John Macdonald who said that ponies “could not have better blood than Glen Bruar’s”.
Hamish MacBeth Four years ago this October I brought my first horse, a Highland Pony. I was only 18 years old and the pony I was loaning had just passed away very suddenly so I decided I would buy a horse of my own. I hadn’t told anyone apart from a friend so we went to a local dealer together. There I meet Hamish a dun cob who looked a bit rough and ready. He had no name and we knew very little about him just that he had just travelled down to Norfolk from Scotland the day before. He looked a nice chap so I brought him as much to a surprise to my parents when he turned up. However nearly four years later none of us would be without him. It hasn’t been a smooth ride and we’ve had many problems on our way but he’s worth it Hamish MacBeth as I named him wasn’t always as kind as he is now. Many times he would try and kick you or pin you in the back of the stable. Catching and loading was difficult too. As for flat work and jumping to took many years to get him to where we are now. Over the years all these problems were getting solved and we could start to have fun. Although I did wonder if it was the right decision buying Hamish at the start I have no regrets now. He has turned into a gorgeous highland pony who has won many rosettes at shows. Although he is not a pure breed everyone who meets him says what a lovely laid-back cheeky chap he is. lie is excellent to hack out and Hamish enjoys this very much (but not as much as eating). But as well as showing him I also take part in local hunter trials and last year we went on our first hunt together which he loved but his brakes did failed at times! I have only recently joined the Highland Pony Enthusiast Club and am looking forward to meeting new people with their highlands this coming year so look out for me and Ham. Victoria Marsham, Elsing, Dereham, Norfolk
Harray of Forglen C237/98 Sire: Callum of Forglen 437/93 Dam: Maydew 11 of Fyvie C184/83 I saw Gordon Towns showing his Forglen ponies in Aberdeenshire. I thought ‘Highlands’ would be perfect for Carriage Driving for the disabled. I run the Herefordshire R.D.A. Driving Group. I went to Turriff to see Gordon’s ponies and I spotted Harry on a hill — Love at first sight! He is quite small, about 13.1 hh, but perfect for driving, so very excited I bought him. He was broken to ride and drive before I brought him South. At his first show he was Mountain and Moorland in hand Champion, beating eighteen other ponies of all native breeds. A great start. I now usually drive him at shows. He has done amazingly well, winning four Silver Cups for Driving and over a hundred rosettes. He was Reserve Driving Champion at the N.P.S. Summer Championship Show, Malvern 2004. He is soon going to be assessed to take disabled drivers for the R.D.A. He will be perfect as he is so quiet. He is a great little pony, an ambassador for the breed. The Hon Mrs. B. M. Smith, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire.
Iona of Stanford (Iona) Cameron x Broadshade Sunlight I met my first Highland in 1982 when I started riding at Meadows School of Riding. After about 3 years I went for my usual lesson one January and was given a rather hairy yellow dun called Iona. It was love at first sight she was only 4 .5 years old and this was her first lesson in the school. We had a good lesson and I was impressed how intelligent a young pony she was. She knew where to turn for 20 metre circles. Unfortunately she was not for sale but over the coming months I had quite a few rides on her and was very pleased when David Allonby agreed to sell her in September 85. We have enjoyed a great friendship since and 21years on she is still very special to me. She is such a lovely mare â€“ a joy to own and never any trouble. She is a great ambassador for the breed and has certainly started quite a few people off on Highland ownership. We have had many years of fun. On our first outing to a show we went in Best turnout & suitability and out of 16 came 1st gaining our first rosette and trophy. Iona is very laid back and seems to have the attitude that why waste energy. Having said that if she wants to move she can do. Over the years we have attended quite a few shows and now have lots of rosettes and trophies. She has won at County level and also riding club excelling in family pony, which she defiantly is. I would trust Iona with anyone as she is just a big cuddle pony who loves extra strong mints and bread â€“ watch your sandwiches. She is a pony that will give people confident but if experienced will give them a good time like the time my friend borrowed her for her last year at Pony club camp where she again won many admirers. Recently she had a foot abscess and when on the mend was back in the field with a bandage and boot on. She was quite happy while she ate her feed for me to take off the old bandage, clean and redress the hoof all with out a headcollar and if I needed to put her foot down kindly placed it on a plastic bag to keep it dry & clean. She is now enjoying retirement but still comes out to help nervous horses or to give my nephew and niece their first taste of riding. I always said if I had another Highland it would have to come from Iona so on 13 July 1992 she arrived, Cairnhouse Highland Moss (Shona) Turinhill Mosscrop x Iona of Stanford . 100
Life has never been the same since. Up until that point Iona and I had led a quiet life however that changed with the arrival of the Highland Temper tantrum. She may have only been a foal but she certainly made her presence felt. She was not for a quiet life and was determine to do what she wanted to do. If she got told off then she would grind her teeth in disgust. She would not be caught and leading was often a case of going round in circles literally. I was not sure who would go grey first! As she got older she got cheekier and when it came to lunging she excelled herself in the entertainment stakes. Boxing was definitely a no-no unless she wanted to do it which made showing rather stressful. I am pleased to say that this was corrected with a visit from Richard Maxwell. I am not sure Shona knew what to make of him as this person gave her a nice rub and spoke to her quietly, followed by a quick sort of lunging session then walked her to the trailer. At first I thought Shona would walk straight in but no she dug her hooves in and took up her normal pose of almost lying down. After about an hour she was in and out of both a trailer and box as if there had never been a problem and we have never looked back. On the occasions we did get to shows Shona redeemed herself and in fact at her first show on her own which was a young stock show she excelled herself with not only winning her class but also M&M champion and Supreme Champion. Like her Mum she has won at both County and riding club level and we have a massed a lot of rosettes and trophies over the years. As the years have gone by Shona has improved and has turned out to be a lovely little pony who when the mood takes her does well. She is only 13.2hh but full of character (I think that is what they call it). She is definitely not a plod and likes nothing better than a good gallop across country. She is a sensitive pony who gives the appearance of being a toughie. My original plan for her was to do working hunter classes as she enjoys jumping unfortunately due to first, Foot & Mouth and then I had a riding accident this has not really been achieved as much as I would have liked. I am pleased to say that the temper tantrums have got a lot less and in fact this year she has been a delight having I think finally matured at the age of 13 years. I have the pleasure of owning 2 most delightful Highlands who although Mother and Daughter are very different which gives me the best of both worlds. They are now helping the next generation and I am sure it will not be long before a Highland appears on my nephewâ€™s Christmas list. Janet Sinclair, Leicester. 101
Jock of Cradlehall – 1985 -2004 s.Ben Alder d. Stella of Knocknagael Endings and Beginning I’m sure that every Highland owner has thought about the dreaded day when the
time will come to say goodbye. I am no different, except that my day came on 25 th November 2004 when I made the heartbreaking decision to bring Jock’s life to an end. His final three weeks were played out very publicly on the HPEC message board. What began as an innocent post telling everyone that he was lame, gradually unfolded into a full scale drama. The initial diagnosis of pus in the hoof turned into the nightmare reality of a shattered pedal bone. However, I was prepared to do anything to save him but after just three weeks of box rest and two horrendous bouts of impaction colic, I realised he was telling me he’d had enough and it was time to let him go. During those weeks, I spent so much time with him that we seemed to develop a deeper understanding of each other. Those long November nights were mainly spent with Jock: stroking him as he lay quietly; massaging him when he was standing; watching his breath in the cold air, and all the while, telling him how much I loved him. As I led him out of his box for the final time, waiting every few steps for him to hobble behind me, I think he knew his time had come. We stood 102
for a few minutes in the darkness of the yard. He sniffed the ground then looked up at the fields as if saying a silent goodbye to his herd. The vet took the lead rope from me and asked me to stand back. Jock died instantly, hitting the ground almost before the needle had been withdrawn. Funny what thoughts go through the mind during these times. I remember the security light in the yard shining down on our scene as if we were actors in a Greek Tragedy. I remember the brightness of the blood from the withdrawn catheter against the whiteness of his hair as it trickled down his neck onto the concrete. I remember reading somewhere that when we are dying, our hearing is the last sense to go, so I talked and talked to him long after he had gone. Jock was a very special pony to me. Even now, almost three years later, I get very emotional when thinking about his final hours. The more time passed after his death, the more I was resolved not to have another - but Fate decided otherwise. . . ..... Bowmore Major Islay Mist 1999 s. Highfield Glen Albyn d. Bowmore May Dew of Islay Although without a pony, I continued to use the HPEC message board as it had become a routine of my day. A group of us from the site decided to meet at the ILPH in Aberdeenshire last April 2006 so that we could put faces to names. As we wandered around the many fields of horses, I spotted Major, complete with a wonderful set of dreadlocks in what looked to be potentially a wonderful Highland mane! Something just seemed to click and I felt I had to get to know him better. Major arrived â€˜homeâ€™ in July last year. Since then we have been gradually getting to know one another. He is a lovely boy and I am so lucky to have found him. He will never replace Jock but he is slowly mending all the holes in my heart. Janis Clark, Drumnadrochit, Inverness-shire. 103
Kincardine MacCallum d.o.b. 18/05/1993 s: Corriegarth Rhidorroch d: Kincardine Morag Ten years ago I decided that after a long stint as a pony club mum/groom/driver, it was my turn to have a horse and, like many another middle-aged lady, thought I would like a sane, sensible, experienced Highland pony - not very easy to find. I visited a yard that had several young native ponies for sale, and saw MacCallum, a three year old 13.2 grey/cream dun gelding with the biggest, kindest eyes possible and a very cheeky personality. My daughter Emily tried him and when his saddle slipped right over towards the ground as he cantered, disaster was averted as Mac stopped dead, enabling me and my husband to lift her off safely. That sensible attitude convinced me that he was the pony for me ! Since that day we’ve had so much fun; Mac proved very easy to bring on, he soon got used to going for short hacks and never attempted to “remove” his rider. He much prefers hacking out to working in the field where we’ve met the highland stubbornness when he’s not in the mood for schooling. I showed him in hand a couple of times as a three year old (quite nerve -racking when he became rather overexcited). Emily has done M & M ridden and WHP classes with him - jumping is something he finds great fun - he once jumped out over the 3’8” post and rail fence. He’s usually clear over the open worker courses, but is sometimes rather naughty in his show- his lowest mark for manners was 1 !!!! We’re now doing more dressage, as the calm atmosphere suits him. Dressage judges seem to like him, even when he rewrites the test to include a buck and a kick on the centre line. Getting MacCallum was one of the best things I’ve ever done. He has so much attitude - which does make him a challenge at times, but he adores people (especially me), whickering constantly when he’s in the field by the house, and always feels so safe to ride - even on one of his naughty days. We feel it’s rather like having a big, friendly dog around - he’s definitely here to stay. Val Smith, Ashford, Kent
Kirsty of Coignafearn - 7996 Betty Paul wrote a very interesting letter, as a result of hearing about the Commemorative Book when she attended the AGM in 2007 for the first time, after being a member of HPEC since 1984. Having been involved with Highland ponies all her life, she started thinking about ponies that had been special to her, and one stood out above all others, and that was Kirsty of Coignafearn. This is what she wrote: Betty had been born and brought up in a Highland Glen, Strathdearn valley of the River Findhorn, which at that time was divided in to huge shooting estates, called lodges, mainly owned by very wealthy absentee lairds. At the very top of the Glen was Coignafearn, probably owned at that time by Lord Brocket or Col. Whitbread. Highland Ponies were used extensively “on the hill” in the shooting season as transport for the guns, and to bring down grouse in panniers or stags on their backs. Most of the ponies used were hired from ourselves, the tenant farmers, though Coignafearn did have a few of their own, including Kirsty. Although the Second World War was being raged around us, the pace of life changed little in the Highlands, as we were largely unaffected. However, sometime during the 1940’s one of our fighter aircraft was shot down by the Germans and eventually crashed down in the remote Monadhliath Mountains, south of Inverness and West of Aviemore. If you look on the map, you will see how remote, inaccessible and utterly inhospitable this wilderness is. Search parties were sent out from our glen and from the Aviemore side, with ponies and deer saddles, to locate the crash site and bring down the casualties they knew they would find plus vital parts of the crashed aircraft. Now this is where Kirsty’s tale really begins. The Coignafearn party were first on the scene, and to their utter amazement one very seriously injured young airman was found among the wreckage, still alive, but only just. It was decided the only way to get this chap down from the mountains would be on a stretcher, so somehow a make-do effort was cobbled together and strapped to Kirsty’s deer saddle. Kirsty 105
was the chosen pony because she was totally unflappable, very steady, and particularly good on rough ground, across burns etc., and a very good walker. Somehow the rescue parties made it back down to Coignafearn lodge – by now in pitch darkness and with rain pouring down in gale force winds. I believe the casualty survived his 20 mile ordeal. Next day however, poor Kirsty was found to be seriously injured – a part of the stretcher had dug into her body between two ribs on the off side. She must have been in absolute agony, yet she had never flinched on that entire marathon. I well remember being taken by my grandfather in the pony and trap up to Coignafearn to see the wreckage brought down from the hills. However, all the talk with the gamekeepers and the ghillies was of this brave little mare. Her injuries were absolutely horrific and the sight of all that blood on that grey coat was so imprinted on my childish mind, it remains as vivid with me to the present day. Well, time goes by, and the next I learn of Kirsty is from an article which appeared in “riding” magazine some time in the 1950’s/early 1960’s. By then it appeared that Kirsty had been moved “South of the Border” She was pictured at one of the prestigious shows (Olympia I think) with her scarring showing clearly over her rib cage. By then I think she belonged to Mrs. Warren or perhaps Miss de Beaumont (Ed: The latter – please see corresponding article) and being an exceptionally beautiful pony she was pictured wearing a prize winners rosette. Mention was made in the article about her war time experience and how she’d been awarded for her bravery by one of the animal charities – Blue cross, RSPCA or PDSA spring to mind. I went into The Animals at War exhibition in the Imperial War Museum in Salford recently to see if she was mentioned, without success. Kirsty was born in 1939 by Glen Boltichan1749 out of Monaquil 5517 and produced 3 foals, Kilbride II 8124 in 1945 by Chalmadale, Island Herdsmaid 8249 by Knocknagael Ian Dhu and Bonnie Maggie 11078 in 1956 by Claymore of Glenlyon. Betty left the Glen in 1952 to go to University, then subsequently owned a small riding school/trekking centre from 1964 – 1971 in Nottinghamshire, then moved to Charity Farm in Lancashire, where she still lives, and ran a centre there until she retired in 2005. During all this time she used Highland Ponies or Part Breds. If anyone has come across any further information on the award made to Kirsty of Coignafearn, perhaps those who live in the Inverness area presently could do a little detective work in the archives of the local newspapers! Do let me know so it can be followed up in Highland Times, a fitting tribute to this courageous little mare. I am indebted to Betty for writing to me about this exceptional event.
Betty Paul 2007
Knocknagael Marksman 2104, (1934-1963) Knocknagael Marksman was a pony no-one could forget. He had that touching beauty about him which is more often associated with Thoroughbreds and Arabs, at the same time he was without doubt a splendid example of a Highland Pony stallion. His pedigree is a chapter of Highland Pony history, his grandparents all appear in John Macdonald’s book on Highland Ponies. He was a grandson of “Glenbruar”, who was acknowledged the most impressive breeder of his time, and one of whose many sons was “Jock” King George V favourite pony. Bred and owned by the Department of Agriculture for Scotland in his earlier days, as was the custom then, he was ‘travelled’ through various districts of Scotland. Starting In Ardnamurchan, Argyll, in 1938, then three years in North Uist where he served 150 mares and three years in South Uist (116 mares), in between, he was In 1942 at Derculich, Strathtay and in 1943 at Latheron, Caithness. In 1948 he spent a year in the Isle of Skye where some of his ancestors were bred, and he made a second visit to Caithness in 1949. It is in his latter years that many of us now will remember him. He was at stud at Beechwood, Inverness, from 1950 to 1962 when he died aged twenty-nine years. He enjoyed good health all his life and was a sure stock-getter, leaving his last foal only three weeks before he died. Knocknagael Marksman was himself only once shown when he was 1st prize stallion at ‘Aberdeen’ Royal Highland Show in 1951. His stock have been prominent and consistent prize-winners at many shows and the Royal Highland Show in particular, from 1949 when his grandson “Royal Charlie” was Champion right on to more recent years. In 1968 one of his last daughters ‘ Trowan June” was Champion after having been Female Champion and Reserve the year before, and in 1969 his grandson “Glenrannoch” won both the in-hand and ridden Champion ships while a grand-daughter “Maureen of Knocknagael” was 1st prize three-year-old filly. When the Council of the Highland Pony Society wanted to choose the perfect pony head for their Society’s seal, “Marksman” was chosen by common consent and a drawing of him was used in making it. On his death his head was preserved and it can be seen in the Royal Dick Veterinary College. Edinburgh. Lorna Robertson
Lysander of Dinefwr In 1988 I moved the Family, lock, stock and ponies to a very small village in West Wales, heart of welsh cob country and the Dinefwr Highlands began, the first foal William being born in 1991. However, although several of the ponies have done well, it is Lysander (usually known as Sandy) who is the subject of my story. He was always an easy foal and youngster and was kept entire until nearly two. A beautiful yellow dun with a lovely head, he steals everyone’s heart. Sandy loves people and has become a local celebrity, known as “The Highland”. Luckily for me, Helen and her Family moved into the house down the lane and began taking horses for breaking. After helping me with a couple of ponies, I asked her to break Sandy. Helen’s life was never to be the same again. He was led down the lane and trotted happily down the drive, just about in to the yard, when he stood up on his back legs and threw himself on the floor. He then jumped up and cantered into the nearest stable, luckily the door was open! Finding a full hay net, he settled down as if nothing had happened. This sums Sandy up, he has done many stupid things but somehow, you can’t stay cross with him for long.
Helen’s daughter Lisa and Sandy have become a true partnership, but not always harmonious. Early on in his ridden career he had quite a few tantrums, but nothing too strenuous as this would have involved using too much energy. Sandy can be so good and is excellent to hack out or hunt, he’s not too keen on long rides and is always pleased to get home. He loves his stable and nearly always needs to be woken in the morning as he’s usually laid out snoring his head off. In the show ring, he rises to the occasion. At first due to doing M&M classes with Welsh Cobs, he used to clatter round the ring overtaking all, but now, having a few more shows under his belt, including two Malvern Highland Pony shows, he does his breed proud and has the red rosettes to prove it. 2005 proved to be a good year, not too many shows as Lisa had a baby girl at then end of it, but Sandy worked well, culmination at NPS Area 28 show in Carmarthenshire when he was The Supreme Ridden Champion. Sandy has won the hearts of all who know him, despite his adventure, i.e. head first over the breast bar of the trailer on the way home from Windsor, rearing up and putting his head through the roof of the lorry at out local show and demolishing the stable door at Malvern! He’s grown up a bit now and a kinder, more genuine pony would be hard to find. He has converted many Welsh fans and even the Cob men have praised him. Dinefwr Highlands will carry on flying the Scottish flag in Wales for many years to come. Just a postnote, I’d like to remember my first Highland, Lorna of Birchwood, who started it all! Margaret Harfield, Salem, Llandeilo
Nashend Sea Otter - G179/96 Grey dun gelding born 19.6.1996 Sire - Balmoral Dee Dam - Nashend Sea Shell Breeders - Mr and Mrs C Smith My husband and I have owned Otter since he was 5 months old but he actually came to us when he was 11 months. He was broken in as a 4 year old and lightly hacked and schooled. At 5 he entered his first dressage competition at Patchetts in Hertfordshire (there was no where else to go as it was during Foot and Mouth in 2001). He received some very nice comments on his performance. He has since excelled at unaffiliated dressage, qualifying for the past two years for the Chiltern & Thames Rider Magazine Dressage Championships at Keysoe in Bedfordshire. In his most recent unaffiliated test he achieved over 70% with a 9 for his halt and 8 for his paces. He also competes in affiliated dressage albeit at Preliminary level and is improving at each outing. He is a lovely pony to own and when we purchased him I never dreamed I would be competing in affiliated dressage. He is also my husband, Stuartâ€™s hack and we have some super rides out together. He is a very special Highland Pony. Wendy Shearman, High Wycombe, Bucks March 2006
Pipe Major of Dunkeld 20/63 Pipe Major, foaled in 1961, was bred by the late Major F.H.Read at Dunkeld Park in Perthshire. Sired by Glenfalloch, he was out of Laura of Dunkeld, a daughter of lain of Derculich and Lorna Doone III. In many respects he resembled his paternal grandsire, Glengarry III, being of the same size and colour, with a beautiful head and neck, and long flowing mane and tail. I first saw Pipe Major at Fife Show in 1965, when the late Annie Wilson awarded him the Championship. She was tremendously impressed, and tried to buy him afterwards. I remember that day he was led in the parade by Bill Rattray’s young daughter, and behaved impeccably. After Major Read’s death, in 1968, Pipe Major and some of the Dunkeld females were bought by Lady Brooke to found her Midfearn Stud at Ardgay in Ross-shire. She also purchased old Maude of Knocknagael from Beechwood, and the resulting progeny, by Pipe Major, was the stallion, Ruaraidh of Midfearn. I leased Ruaraidh for a short while in 1975, then he was sold to the Great Glen, and later to Gastan. Probably the most memorable of Pipe Major’s progeny are those two full-sisters, Shielhill Shona and Quicksilver VIII, with whom Mr Melvin won the St John’s Wells Trophy for the best pair sired by the same stallion, at the Royal Highland Show in 1974. Pipe Major himself did well in the show-ring, winning championships at the Black Isle and Fife, and Reserve at Doune and Dunblane. Whenever I was in the area, I used to call in at Midfearn to see the ponies, and to remind Lady Brooke that I would like to buy Pipe Major, if he were for sale. Sadly the opportunity arose only when the stud was dispersed shortly before her death in 1977. By this time Laddie’ as she called him, was sixteen, but still full of life, and I was very happy to own him for the last five years. He had a great personality, a wonderful temperament and manners, and is greatly missed. Elizabeth Compton, Turin Hill Stud
Sally of Knocknagael Sadly, at the end of last year, we decided to put down old Sally, at 27 years of age. The previous winter, in spite of taking her in at night, she did not do too well. Last summer, although we sent her with two yearlings, her granddaughter and greatgranddaughter, to better pasture out of the Glen, she never really made up. If ever there was a mare who did her duty better, I would like to meet her; and it was completely by chance that I got Sally. My dearest wish at the time, was to own a top -class brood mare; but prices at dispersals had made it seem like a dream unlikely to be fulfilled. When the ‘phone rang at midnight one night, and a strange Orcadian voice came on the line trying to sell me a mare unseen, I was not very co operative. He had seen a photograph of our trekking ponies in the newspaper and considering this a likely market, rang me up. At that hour, thinking the man was maybe a drunk playing the fool, I dismissed the matter from my mind. The following night, at the same time, the ‘phone rang again, (his usual time I discovered later, but I’ve never got around to asking him why). This time he offered to send her at his own expense, and if I didn’t like her, I only had to send her back. With a push from Gordon who is aye keener to have a gamble than I am, I agreed. At a price of £65, and if I can remember correctly, about £3 in freight if I kept her, there seemed little to lose. When she arrived, her jet black coat gleaming in the sun, I thought she was the bonniest pony I had ever seen — a complete contrast to the mental picture I had conjured up. Her head was on the big side, but that seemed excusable because it was a beautifully chiselled head, with a lovely eye. Jimmie Dean told me later that the reason why he had sold her as a 2 y.o. at the Wool Fair in Inverness was because she did not have a typical pony head and was black — a colour that he personally did not like. The following Spring, when it began to look as if she was in foal, I ‘phoned the man I bought her from. He assured me there was no chance of her being in foal. Come June, she proved him wrong and produced a black colt, (reminds me of a saying of an old neighbour of ours in Aberdeenshire “an ‘umman’ll 1 her number tho’ her man be in America”) — the first of the three true blacks that she bred, all colts. My wish was for a black filly out of her, but that was not to be. Lots of her characteristics are showing up in later generations; maybe I’ll get my black filly some day. A true breeder who never missed a year when she had the 112
opportunity of being in foal (and even when she didn’t it would seem!), although she refused to foal before June. In 1964 we didn’t serve her in the hope of getting earlier foals. The following year we served her early, but she didn’t settle until her usual time, and in 1966 again foaled in June! Her temperament was faultless; I never saw a sign of vice in all the years I had her. She was extremely intelligent; it was very necessary to always be a step ahead. Her powers of perception were unbelievable; I never managed to come into her scope of vision without her head lifting. As well as giving a lot of pleasure under saddle, she produced twelve foals in all, only three being fillies. Five of her nine colts became stallions. When at 20 she foaled Muldoanich (by Croila Chieftain), I decided to call it a day as far as breeding was concerned. It was September 15th, 1973, the night of our celebration trek when Princess Anne saw us off at Ballater, when fate stepped in to alter my plans. Two girls wanted a field for their ponies over night, and being strangers, it was necessary to keep them away from ours. In the midst of trying to serve dinner to around thirty of us and get organised for the ceilidh which was to follow, and having ridden over from Ballater with a few drams at the Queen’s Well on the way down, maybe the mistake was mine. However, a mistake there was and Sally was moved from her wee field to the Bothyfield instead of the Bathiefield. No doubt this was just exactly where Sally wanted to be, because Sally was in season and the Bothyfield was where the stallion was running with the other mares! On August 13th, 1974 she foaled Carraigh Dubh ( a bonnie black stallion now in England). and now at 21 that was definitely to be the end of breeding from her. In the summer of 1975 when she seemed dull and lifeless,. I had one of our vets look at her. When he could find no ailment he suggested that may be she was missing her usual foal. We served her and in June 1976 at 23 she had her last foal a black, but alas not my filly. Her foaling that year worried me; my conscience bothered me about having her in foal. The night before she foaled we had been at a wedding and got home at 3 a.m. It was evident that she would foal, so I settled in the shelter of a dyke to wait. Contrary to expectations she stood there beside me and when she foaled at 5 a.m. she was lying about two yards from my feet. For the past few years she has romped around usually with some of the youngstock, sometimes like a young thing herself, heels in the air with high spirits. She was never happier than when the gate to the hill was open ed for her. I doubt whether I will ever again have a pony of such character or one with whom I will be able to strike up the same understanding. Nancy McIntosh
Seamas Mor of New Calgary 3820 Born 1956 Bred by Mrs. H.P Warren (Mackoinneach x Duncrievie), this well-known stallion is now dead. Like his sire he was a great breeder of stallions. A few of the New Calgary ones that come quickly to mind are Ilean Seamus, exported to Canada; Seamus Macilean, who went to Germany; Isleman; Caingis; Seamus Buidhe and Denhams Torquil. Seamas Mor now carries on another life in the Beswick china model. D. Smith (Steains)
Shennachie Cragganmore b 1998 Clandon Moriarti x Shennachie Bracken Craggie was offered to us by his owner Val Smith in early 2006 for my son, James, to bring on and after a couple of “test-rides” at Val’s, Craggie arrived at ours in April. He was hacking nicely and had done a little showing but was still quite green. He needed “miles on the clock” and that is what he has been doing for the past year. Our 1st goal was an area HPEC ride some 6 weeks away. James and Craggie quickly settled to each other and I just watched as James built on the work that Craggie had done with Val in earlier years. They completed the ride at Blickling and we started to work on the schooling in preparation for their 1 st shows together. In between all this hard work they both took part in more pleasure rides, started to do some jumping and also introduced Craggie to the Western saddle. They enjoyed whatever they did together but their true love during the summer was discovering stubble fields! For a little Highland Craggie sure can move, often leaving Zeb & myself trailing behind. We spent a lovely weekend in North Norfolk and rode on the beach, where Craggie proved to be very sensible in the group of ponies we went with. He had his 1st ever full-clip in the winter and continued to take part in pleasure rides and some more jumping practise which he does seem to enjoy. This year we have been out on rides, to shows and of course done many hours of hacking. Craggie is now teaching a friends 9 y-o daughter to ride and he is very careful when she is with him. Although Craggie hasn’t been the easiest of ponies to ride, (he is very stubborn at times and will argue that his way is best!!!) James has done a fantastic job with his education; he now has a pleasant, all round Highland that will try anything that James asks of him. They will continue to have lots of fun doing a little of whatever they want to have a go at and I am a very proud Mum as I watch them together. Thanks Val for letting us have this very special pony to share our lives.
Ginny Redgrave, Suffolk.
Staffin Of Orangefield - G25/88 Cream dun gelding born 17.5.1986 Sire - Ian of Invervack Dam - Shona of Orangefield Breeder — The late MR R MacRae I don’t really know where to start to tell you about my wonderful pony, Jaffa. I will start at the very beginning when I saw him advertised on the HPEC sales list in August 1990. We telephoned Amanda Hart, who was producing him for his owner, Mollie McGivern and went to see him. He was 4 years old and Amanda suggested we hack around the roads and have a canter across some stubble. As we set off across the stubble I thought well here goes — he was an absolute angel. Jo, Amanda’s daughter also put him over some jumps. We had seen enough and my husband, Stuart, said we would have him. Since then we haven’t looked back. On only his third outing he was second at Royal Windsor with Balmoral Dee wining the class. Since then he has had numerous successes and I list some below: He has qualified for PUK Glynn Greenwood (twice), PUK WHP (twice) and PUK M & M Ridden 3 at Royal Highland in hand in 1992 Champion at The Royal in hand in 1993 Champion at NPS Summer Championships in 1994 (being possibly the only gelding ever to have been champion. We have since presented The Staffin of Orangefield Quaich for the best Highland gelding in hand to be awarded each year). Malvern Highland Pony Show — 1st Open Ridden, 1st Veteran in hand and 1st Veteran ridden. He has also taken part in many sponsored rides and road and tracks. Since becoming a Veteran he has won several ridden classes against all types of horses and ponies. He has qualified for the Veteran Horse Society Regional final two years running and his finest hour was last September being Reserve Regional Champion for Olympia. In fact I was on standby for two weeks last December in the case the Champion was unable to take part. So that’s my pony of a lifetime! I would also like to thank Amanda Hart for all her help way back in the beginning (over 15 years ago now!). Wendy Shearman, High Wycombe, Bucks, March 2006 116
Stuartdene My One in a Million Pony! Sadly, on 23rd May 2002, I lost my beloved Highland, Wattie to laminitis. I swore I would never have another one, I couldn’t, it broke my heart to lose him and nothing could replace him. However, events were to happen that would change that! Just after I lost Wattie, there was a small, gangly, 2-year-old rig called Stuart, living at the farm where I had been at livery, who was destined to be put down. The reason for this was that as a rig, he needed an operation to remove the second testicle, which had not descended, and our vet at the time said that the operation would cost over £1,000.00. The sad reality was, that, as a gelding he was not worth that money, so he was to be destroyed. Although I did not want another pony, I could not bear to see him destroyed, so I contacted my sister (who was a vet in Barnsley at the time!) and asked her if she could do the operation any cheaper. She said she could, but that £1,000 was very expensive and that I should phone Glasgow Vet School for a quotation! I phoned Glasgow and they were great, they told me that the operation would be approx £250. I passed this information onto the farm owner, who immediately booked Stuart into Glasgow Vet School – the operation was done and Stuart returned to the farm gelded but still alive. That was in June 2002. By September 2002, I had been persuaded that I should try another Highland Pony, so I started the long search for a ridden gelding. I scoured the country but nothing was right! Then, my best friend convinced me to consider a 2-year-old gelding that I knew well, Stuart! I never thought I was capable of raising, educating or backing a youngster, but with everyone’s words of encouragement and support I decided I could do it and so, in November 2002, I became the proud owner of Stuartdene – the gelding I had rescued from death! He is a one in a million pony who nearly never was! Kirsten McKay, Stirling
Tanera of Carrick 1975 -2006 Mingulay of Carrick 1978 -2006 (Catriona x Glentrool)
(Tanera Of Carrick x Jura of Whitefield)
Tanera and her daughter Mingulay, both wonderful and much loved ponies, died suddenly only five days apart. Having been together for many years they had formed a close bond to the end. They were bred by the late Sheila Smith at Barrhill. Tanera competed in hand and ridden, gaining many championships and finally qualifying for Olympia. The following year she represented the breed at the â€˜Royalâ€?. She retired to run with Carrick Raasay who had come down from Scotland and produced two beautiful foals, Samphire and Tayberry, both very successful. Mingulay (the grey) also did well, winning in hand and ridden including the Atholl Cup. She retired to run with Raasay producing two lovely foals, one a very big boy Juniper and Sorrel who also has had many wins. Rae Bingham, Reepham, Norfolk
Turin Hill McDougal I am Turin Hill MacDougal, Dougal to my friends and Cockbird to those who know me very well! (so named because, apparently, I have the attitude of a Bantam cock, small, cocky & bossy!) I am 13 years old and 13.3½hh high, cream dun pure bred Highland Pony, bred by Mrs Elizabeth Compton by Dougaldene out of Maggie May of Turin Hill, grandson of Cameron. I live with my family, Carol & Geoff Parker and my two mares Bracken of Glen Markie and her daughter Wheelton Sweet Briar, both of whom I have to be very strict with and keep in order. I can go out and about on my own, but the mares are not allowed out without me to guard them and keep them safe (from what I haven’t yet decided). I go out with Carol either riding or driving, which we just started this year, when Carol eventually decided that I at 13 should now be steady enough to put on an exercise buggy. The buggy needed to be specially made to fit and there were various comments about the width of the shafts needed! (Very rude, I thought) I was ‘put to’, as they say and took to driving like a duck to water, even managing to cross my legs over neatly to turn, and reverse the vehicle on a tight turn on my first outing. The comment from a kind observer was “like a true professional” not that I wish to sound big headed or anything. On my first few outings around the village, I was as they say “very good and steady away”, but as any of you in the HPEC who know me will know, when I am out on pleasure rides I love to be out in front and in charge, so now I’ve sussed out this driving lark, I’m off, as fast as my little legs will go, much to Carol’s horror. I don’t know what she worries about, I am the cockbird and I’m in charge. Carol Parker, Higher Wheelton, Lancs
Uileam of Shielhill (Billy) DoB 07/05/1990 14.1hh grey gelding - Cameron x Zoe of Shielhill
I've owned Billy for over six years now, and I can only describe him as my equine soulmate. When I met Billy, my riding confidence was nil. If I tried to hack out or ride in a field I would literally freeze with fear. I could just about cope with riding in the school, but that was it. My current horse had figured out early on in our relationship that I was a rather nervous rider and took full advantage of it. Then Billy arrived. Billy's owners used to run a trekking centre on one of the islands on the Hebrides, but due to financial pressures, etc, decided to give it up and move to the mainland to do freelance Consultancy work. They sold the Highlands they had, but brought their own two and Billy. They arrived at my yard with three Highlands and settled in. I didn't know much about Highlands at the time but liked them and became quite friendly with the ponies and the owners. They realised the problems I was having with my current horse and offered me Billy to ride anytime I liked to boost my confidence because he was so gentle. The first time they took me hacking with them on Billy I literally went with my eyes squeezed shut hanging onto Billy's mane because I was so terrified. Did Billy put a hoof wrong? Not Billy. Several months went by and it was obvious to all that Billy and I adored one another. Eventually a good friend gently offered to reschool and sell my current horse for me and found him a good home, and although Billy wasn't actually for sale his current owners realised that they really had no choice! So on 15th November 2000, Billy became mine and I've never looked back! To this day Billy's previous owners don't really know why they made the decision to bring him and not any of the others, but we all think it was just meant to be! Which leads me onto Mac.... 120
Edindurno McGregor (Mac) DoB 01/06/2002 13.3hh grey dun gelding - Edindurno Clen Clova x Anna Reddy
Having owned Billy for a few years I'd obviously investigated the world of Highlands in more detail, having met many lovely people along the way. Billy developed a touch of arthritis a few years ago and had an operation to remove a very large melanoma from his neck, and although we still have a lot of fun together I thought maybe it might be nice to have a young pony growing up with him, one I could show and hopefully, given the right temperament to begin with I could maybe work with to be as quiet and good natured as Billy. I decided I'd like a two year old, solid colour (had spend many a time scrubbing Billy!) gelding. Then I saw Mac advertised in a Scottish publication. He had beautiful eyes and was described as quiet. So he was in Aberdeenshire and I'm in Lanarkshire. So he was rising three and a grey dun! My long suffering non horsey husband was talked into driving me up to meet him and before I quite knew what had happened I looked into his eyes and found myself parting with the deposit! I drove the lorry up the following weekend, picking up a friend in Perth to keep me company, and Mac was mine! So much for the two year old solid coloured gelding I'd decided on! But hey, he's a gelding! And I have no regrets!
Photos James Agnew
All three of us are having fun! Hacking, showing, Family Pony classes (Billyâ€™s speciality!) and that's what it's all about! I love my Highlands! Mags Morrison
A Family Affair for Highland Ponies in Germany A BREED show marking two important milestones in the history of the Highland Pony in Germany - the 10th show celebrating 20 years of the German club - was held in Lower Saxony at the beginning of October with both championships and reserves going to ponies with strong family connections in more ways than one. A grand total of 26 ponies gathered at the superb setting of the Rittergut Brokeloh in Landesbergen, a former knight´s manor farm set amidst rolling fields and now guarded over by stately oak trees, on Saturday 5th October for the Interessengemeinschaft Highland Pony "Der Clan" e.V.´s federal breed show. Highland Pony Society judge Sheila Brooks had been invited over from her base in the Scottish Borders to judge the event and also to hold a small pre-show seminar for the club´s ever enthusiastic members. Also in attendance from Scotland were Joan Alexander of the Fourmerk Stud, as well as John and Kate Dykes of the Mendick stud. Numbers were significantly up on the last show (held in 2011 when 17 ponies took part) and with three good stallions present this time round, plus a respectable number of mainly German-bred youngsters, a decent turnout of mares and, of course, the ever-popular geldings, all the right ingredients were at hand to make for interesting classes. First in the ring were the youngsters aged up to three years. As her first placed pony, Sheila chose Mayla of Goddess, a three year-old mouse dun mare by Keiran of Dalbrack out of Maja of Tappborn, bred and owned by Marain Schmiedehausen and Matthias Schorsch. Second went to Daniela Brauer´s three year-old yellow dun Moorbrooks Judy (Pstrag of Manoah/Leithenhope Lady Jubea), with third place going to Werner Lüttmann´s two-year-old grey dun gelding Tornado of Whitefield (Edindurno Benromach/Gloria of Whitefield). In the class for the smaller of the mares aged four years and over, Linda Lüttmann´s Derbyshire-bred seven year-old Morry Thistle-Down (Rannoch of Trailtrow/Kim of Whitefield) took the Red Fraser rosette, with second going to Clan president Patricia 122
Laves´s likewise seven year-old cream dun Kilnacasan Holly (Ruraidh of Tormore/ Fourmerk Heather). In third place, and rounding off the class placings, was Maja of Tappborn (Moss-Side Harvey/Marnonwells Eriskay), an eight year-old bred in Germany by Brigitte Ullrich and now owned by Marain Schmiedehausen and Matthias Schorsch. Eilidh of Mendick, the latest addition to Germany´s Highland population, a pony which had literally just arrived from Scotland in time for the show, headed the next class of larger mares, aged four years and over. Eilidh (Tower Glenkinchie/Uist of Mendick) was led up by her Scottish breeder, Kate Dykes, who was visiting Germany along with husband John. And all willing-to-learn German eyes were on Kate as she professionally trotted out the five year-old Eilidh, who is now owned by Anne Schulte-Südhoff. The bay pony managed to prevent Anne´s other mare, the 14 yearold grey dun Widgeon of Mendick (Ruaridh of Mendick/Moss-Side Eilean Dubh) from winning the class for the fourth time in succession. Second-placed Widgeon, who was shown by Anne in-hand, had been the reigning breed champion, having lifted that title no less than three times in a row. Sheila then selected Werner Lüttmann´s 12 year-old mouse dun Grania of Dykes (Birchwood Goldfinch/Velvet of Dykes) for third place with Wiebke Klees-Bruhn`s nine year-old yellow dun (MossSide Harvey/Zoedene) rounding off in fourth. Next up for Sheila to judge were the geldings of all heights. Here there were eight entries, making it the strongest class numbers-wise. As her winner, Sheila chose Marie Laves´s home-bred nine year-old cream dun Kilnacasan Reiving Scotsman (Ruraidh of Tormore/Pian Rhioghal of Glenbuckie). Second place went to the seven year-old bay Oaktree Jason (Heather Jock of Tower/Jackie of Mendick), owned by Christiane Ortel, with third going to another Laves-bred pony, Daniela Brauer´s 11 year-old grey dun Kilnacasan Rannoch (Ruraidh of Tormore/Velvet of Baldovie). Next to him stood his half-brother Kilnacasan Romeo (Ruraidh of Tormore/Lady Beacon of Warren), an eight year-old owned by Christiane Günther. Fifth place went to Katrin Magel´s five year-old grey dun Fiudhaidh of Glass Beinn (Gille-Bhan of Croila/Kincardine Bonnie) while Frau Schmelings´s Alistair of Millbrock (Atholl of Mendick/Clarris of Forest Hill) stood sixth, Grit Leymann´s Kilnacasan Rick (Ruraidh of Tormore/Fay of Glenbuckie) seventh and Tanja Lernet-Wagner´s Ewan of Glass Beinn (Gille-Bhan of Croila/Kincardine Bonnie) was eighth. Three very well-mannered gentlemen then entered the ring for Sheila´s appraisal in the stallion class. Taking the red rosette at his first German Highland Pony Breed show appearance was Tower Glenkinchie (Ulleam of Croila/Tower Froach), owned by the Schulte-Südhoff family, and sire of the first placed large mares. Following him into second spot was the half-brother of the winning mare, Atholl of Mendick (Carlung Finlay/Uist of Mendick), a 10 year-old bay now owned by Matthias Schorsch and Marain Schmiedehausen. Third went to Christiane Ortel`s Surrey-bred Clandon Burlington Bertie (Bert of Osclay/Clandon Loveday), a grey dun seven yearold. 123
Sheila then had to decide which ponies were going to lift the titles of champion and reserve. There were no big surprises when she pulled father and daughter duo Tower Glenkinchie and Eilidh of Mendick from the line-up of five first prize winners as champion and reserve respectively, making it a clean sweep of in-hand honours for the delighted owner of both, Anne Schulte-Südhoff. Not only was Anne then presented with the club´s "trophy", an impressive Claymore, but was also kindly presented with the special gift of an engraved pen, marking the anniversary show, by Sheila. Next to be contested were the two ridden classes. There were three forward in the class for the smaller of the ponies where Sheila was assisted in her judging duties by first-time ring steward, 16 year-old Iona Wener. Christiane Ortel´s stallion Clandon Burlington Bertie was piloted to first place by Loesje Stroeken. Second went to Linda Lüttmann´s mare Morry Thistle-Down and third to Maja of Tappborn, also ridden by owner Marain Schmiedehausen. Of the bigger ponies, there were eight forward. An old hand with a new hand on board took the top spot here with Widgeon of Mendick being guided quietly and accurately to victory by her 10 year-old rider Marie Schulte-Südhoff. Marie beat mum Anne into second place on stallion Tower Glenkinchie. Christiane Günther´s gelding Kilnacasan Romeo took third place, with Loesje Stroeken on Oaktree Jason (owned by Christiane Ortel) in fourth. Fifth went to the five year-old Eilidh of Mendick, ridden for busy owner Anne Schulte-Südhoff by Elizabeth Wener. Eilidh was then followed by halfbrother Atholl of Mendick with Matthias Schorsch in the saddle. The last two placings went to Alistair of Millbrock (F. Schmeling) and Ewan of Glass Beinn (Tanja Lernet-Wagner) respectively. The championship duly went to young Marie and Widgeon of Mendick, a pony with two ridden championships and a reserve under her girth already, while stablemate Tower Glenkinchie and mum were awarded the reserve honours, making it a truly clean sweep and an unforgettable show for the SchulteSüdhoff family! Author?
A Visit To Rhum 1969 In September of this year I was fortunate enough to visit the Nature Conservancyâ€™s Stud on the Isle of Rhum, and to see for myself the ponies that I had read and heard so much about. The journey across from Mallaig is some sixteen miles and one arrives in Loch Scresort on the east side of the island. We travelled across in a small boat and so were able to get right in to the pier; otherwise the steamer, Loch Arkaig, anchors at the top of the Loch and the boat from the island comes out to meet it, as there is no deep water pier. From here we were met and taken up to Kinloch Castle where we were to stay. Then we went out in a Land Rover to go and see the ponies, accompanied by Peter Wormell, the Chief Warden, and George Macnaughton, Senior Warden. Unfortunately it was very wet and windy and in consequence the visibility was very poor. However, in spite of this, the island still managed to look exceedingly beautiful, as indeed did the ponies, when I first caught sight of them grazing on a steep hillside at a part of the west side of the island called Harris, We left the Land Rover and walked towards the ponies, who were out of sight above us, Suddenly we came over a ridge of ground and saw them standing in a line with their back to the driving rain and wind, At once they all turned to face us and then, to my surprise, began walking towards us. I donâ€™t know why but somehow I had expected that they would be wild like deer and would vanish into the next glen; Perhaps it was their colours that blended so well with their surroundings that made
me feel that here was some sort of highly camouflaged animal running free on thousands of acres of ground and therefore they should behave like wild animals. They gathered round us, and stayed with us as we talked and discussed each pony. They were a mosaic of duns — mouse, silver and yellow, plus various shades of chestnut, ranging from liver to golden, with silver manes and tails. There were sixteen of them — mares, fillies and three foals, two of which were fillies, a mouse dun and a fox coloured chestnut with a silver mane and tail, who was terribly friendly, and a yellow dun colt, I had heard that there was no ‘Rhum type’ but in fact several different types and some of these were light of bone. Personally, I did not find this to be true; to me they all seemed to be very much of a type. The average height was probably around fourteen hands, All appeared to have plenty of good flat bone and had nice heads and good feet, A striking feature was the tremendous manes and tails they had. I measured one of the mares manes and found that at its longest part it touched the bottom of her knee bone, As we walked down to the Land Rover they followed us part of the way, some of the younger ones cantering with ease up and down the steep slopes. We ate our picnic lunch in an empty cottage near the mausoleum where members of the Bullough family lie buried. A fire was lit and we drank lovely hot tea and dripped into our sandwiches The following morning, after a very stormy night, the weather miraculously changed and it was gloriously warm and sunny. We went to see the present stallion, the splendid yellow dun, Islesman of New Calgary; he was running with a visiting mare from the Isle of Muck, a mouse dun with a filly foal by - Islesman at foot,
At present the Rhum Stud consists of twenty three animals. The policy is to sell all the colts foals and to use the mares for carrying the deer down from the hills, We saw the three grey mares that were kept down at Kinloch as they are working this season, also the two yellow duns that were in an enclosure at Harris for working on that side of the island, That the ponies all have such lovely gentle natures and are so quiet to handle shows great credit to those who work with them, and also must be a feature inherent to the strain. We heard of the incredibly wise behaviour of one of the mares, who this spring was coming towards one of the Wardens to get a feed, She crossed a ditch to reach him, but her foal on trying to cross fell in, She returned to it at once, and getting hold of it by the neck with her teeth pulled it out. The Warden said he had never witnessed anything like it before. I believe the foals are kept inside after weaning and receive feeding during their first winter and the mares are brought on to the lower ground before they foal. Apart from that the majority of them, unless they are working, have free range of the island. Certainly when I saw them they were all in wonderful condition and looked well set to withstand a Hebridean winter, We were very kindly lent a Land Rover and allowed to spend the rest of the day doing as we pleased. Of course, we went first of all to see the ponies at Harris again: We ate our lunch surrounded by them, looking across to Mull, Tiree and Coll. We met the pony men with Rhum Pride I and Rhum Norah II, they had just unloaded two stags, and got a further two that day. We then drove to the other side of the island, where the rock is pink sandstone. At Kilmory we had tea on a cliff top looking across to the Cuillins of Skye, also Canna, Barra and South Uist. We visited the ruins of the little township and saw the graveyard, where one tombstone told of a family who had lost seven children from a diphtheria epidemic. The following day, although the weather had changed again, it was with great regret that I left the beautiful, peaceful island and gazed back on the dark peaks of Askival and Hallival from the boat as we made our way over to the mainland, I can do no more than end with the words used by John Macdonald in his book ‘Highland Ponies’ when he was describing a visit he made to Rhum, because although written nearly fifty years ago they still apply today — ‘‘Long may this stud remain pure, and long may if flourish for no other stud of the breed has such an ancient record. Flora Stuart, Autumn 1969
A Trip to Lone Butte, British Columbia Compared with the UK, the Highland Ponies in North America are few and far between. With a population of around 100 ponies spread across 2 large countries, it proves quite a task to meet many of them but at least with the internet and email, the owners and breeders can communicate with each other. My husband Pat and I live in Virginia, about 50 miles out of Washington, DC, and we have met most of the Highland Pony owners on the East Coast and have seen as many ponies as possible. When a family vacation was planned for a week in Seattle, Pat and I knew we had to work in a visit to Circle H Ranch, the home of Ann Armann, the single largest Highland breeder in North America. As the proud owner of Circle H MacKenzie (Glenbanchor Corryvrechan X Coulmore Berry) one of Ann’s homebreds, I was anxious to meet Ann as well as see her ponies. We had corresponded over the phone and through email for years but I was excited to meet her in person. We learned that Ann would be returning from visiting her mum in Scotland as well as attending the Royal Highland Show just as we were nearing the end of our trip. Ann began breeding Highlands in the late 1990’s when her mother, Pat Scobie, sent her four of her Coulmore mares and a year later, two unrelated colts from Glenbanchor Stud. Although the pony stud is small compared with her cattle operation, it is a treasure for all of us Highland Enthusiasts on this side of the pond. The ponies are hardy and kind and very correct. Ann’s youngsters have gone to homes all over the US and Canada and they seem to thrive wherever they are, in a variety of disciplines. I think this is due in part, Coulmore Katrina to Ann carefully matching the person with foal at foot Circle-H Melvich to the pony and following up on how they are getting along. One of my goals in visiting Ann was to recognize her as our Outstanding Breeder on behalf of the Highland Pony Enthusiasts Club of America. We had commissioned a piece of pottery to be decorated with Ann’s ponies, as well as an embroidered vest and a lovely rosette sash, which was donated by Linda Impey. Ann’s importance as a breeder here cannot be overstated. Her original stock includes 6 Coulmore mares and the two Glenbanchor stallions. I believe she has produced 34 foals which now live in at least 8 US States and 3 Canadian Provinces. A few years ago we had 6 Highlands in Massachusetts for a large Equine Expo and three were from Circle H. One person contacted Ann at the Expo, so she could acquire a pony like those she 128
had seen. Meeting Ann and visiting her ranch was one of the highlights of my life. Her ranch is set in a spectacular setting. All of the buildings and fences are made of the massive logs in the area. The animals and people are independent, hardworking and friendly. Ann is on the go from morning to night but always takes the time to make others feel at home. We managed to meet 16 of the ponies and we loved them all. The ponies are raised naturally but they receive excellent training before they head off to their new homes. North America would be a much poorer place without Ann and her wonderful Circle H Ranch. Who wrote this?
The Highland Pony The Highland pony is the largest of the native breeds of the British Isles. These ponies may be divided under the following headings:â€” The ponies of the Central Highlands, usually known as Garrons, which are often right up to the prescribed height of 14.2hh; and the ponies of the Western Isles which are considerably smaller, often not exceeding 13hh. In both cases, these ponies should be of true pony character with great strength and substance, but with quality. They show great strength considering their size and are capable of work on a croft or small farm in the Highlands; they can be driven in a van or other vehicle on the road, as they are most active; or they can carry a man, deer or grouse panniers on steep hills. They are very surefooted over rough and boggy ground, extremely hardy, capable of living in the open on rough pasture all through the year and are of exceptionally sound constitution. In the case of both types mentioned, the head should be well carried, broad between eyes and muzzle, with wide, well-shaped nostrils, and short ears. When seen sideways, the great breadth of the head, with very pronounced jawbone, should be noticeable. In the case of the Western Island ponies, the head has distinct Arab appearance; this is probably due to the introduction of Arab blood as far back as the Spanish Armada when Arab stallions were shipwrecked on the Western coast of Scotland from the Spanish ships of the Armada. These ponies of the Western Islands make excellent riding ponies as they are very active. They have been used for hunting as most Highland ponies of either type show great ability to jump. Having bred many different Mountain and Moorland ponies, I would say that, of all our native breeds, the Highland pony is perhaps the most easily trained. I would say this for two reasons. 130
First of all, the Highland pony is very rarely nervous by nature; they have a very balanced outlook and, unless badly handled or cruelly treated, they come to hand very easily. Secondly, most of them are highly intelligent. I do not wish to infer by this that the other native breeds do not show intelligence, but however intelligent a pony may be, if it is naturally very nervous, fear becomes predominant and its only desire is to get away from human beings. I have recently had occasion to observe a Highland yearling filly which had just been weaned and which had never been handled from birth. Until the day I had it. a short time ago, it had never had a head collar put on. Within two days. this filly was becoming inquisitive. Naturally, she was still unable to under stand control of any sort, but she would come right up to you in the box. In contrast to this, one has known other ponies of native breeds that were obviously born nervous and full of fear of the human race. These ponies had never been roughly handled, but would literally climb the walls of a box to get away from you. Even after weeks of care and handling this fear persisted; this is very rare in the Highland pony. I have always been of opinion that it was a mistake to cross native ponies with stallions or mares of other blood. However, in the case of the Highland pony I have found from experience that this can be done very successfully to produce highclass, hardy and intelligent riding horses. When Highland ponies are brought south to England it is often found that they are too heavy for children to ride. What is needed, however, is their naturally balanced brain and intelligence which can be inherited when careful choice of sire is made.
Exceptionally Quiet Many Highland stallions are exceptionally quiet. I can think of one in particular that is often groomed by a small child who, when she wishes to go from one side to the other, walks underneath him. 131
Many people are critical of crossing native ponies, but I think after much experience that such a cross is ideally suited in the case of Highland ponies; I would suggest, though, that the mare should be part or entirely thoroughbred put to a stallion of pure Highland blood, or best of all perhaps, a thoroughbred stallion on the Highland pony mare. To produce the ideal riding horse of this type, good action and conformation, and above all, temperament, should be of paramount importance. With riding becoming so popular in this country today, there are many people who do not want to show horses and cannot afford to do so; what they require is a sensible, good-looking, hardy pony that will carry them across country with the least effort and will not be expensive to keep. I am frankly prejudiced. in favour of the Highland pony as, without appearing to be sentimental on the subject. I have loved so many for so many years that the least I can do is to commend them to other people.
Sagacity of the Highland Pony Lastly, and to close this article and illustrate once more the sagacity of the Highland pony, I would give two short illustrations. Years ago, I was riding a Highland pony on the Downs in Wiltshire. It was a cold and foggy day and when I was about nine miles from home, the fog became so thick that it was impossible to see the track upon which I was riding. I dropped the reins on the ponyâ€™s neck and left her to find her way back. This she did, very much cross country; trusting the pony, I knew we should get there, but I was surprised at how soon we reached the gates of home. Marguerite de Beaumont, October 1971
The Glenesk Trekking Centre On Saturday February 11th, 1961, I noted in my diary “I have decided to do something about pony trekking.” This after reading and thinking about pony trekking from the time it had been started in 1952 at Newtonmore by the late Mr. Ewen Ormiston. Even when we came to Dalbrack in 1957 I had no thoughts of setting up such a venture, only thoughts of perhaps taking the kids on that kind of a holiday someday. Such thoughts receded in my mind as time went by having taken over this sheep farm the last year of the high prices and year by year prices continuing to fall and costs to rise it took us all our time to keep ourselves and four lively youngsters (who seemed to go through food and clothes at twice the rate of others) let alone take them on a pony trekking holiday. Over the years they had collected and bred several small ponies, starting with a mare we had bought for the eldest in 1953. Her offspring plus the odd foal they managed to save up for kept them happy for a time. But they were beginning to agitate for bigger ponies at a time when any animals added to the stock would have to earn their own keep as well as help out with ours. Why not then have the ponies and do a bit of pony trekking ourselves. Even if I had been allowed to pick a place I can’t think of anywhere more suitable than our own lovely glen with its old drove roads and bridle paths leading to so many other Glens and an abundance of historical interest. This needed much thought—would the Glen folk approve—would the Laird (we are tenant farmers) approve—where could I buy the Highland Ponies I would need. After all the thinking came that day of decision, this seems to be the way I function, think about a thing for a time then one day I get up and the decision is made one way or the other! The first move was to sound a few of the older people in the Glen who had been here all their lives. The result of that was very gratifying indeed, it seemed most of them had regretted the disappearance of the Highland Ponies in the Glen. At one time most farmers had at least one that would be hired out for the shooting season. An appointment with the factor next in the hope of getting the Laird’s approval. This took rather a long time, the Laird being very busy in Rhodesia at the time and by the time we got the good news from there it way May 1st. Although time was running very short we decided to start in a small way that summer, I had two months to buy ponies, find tack for them and plan treks as well as get the house ready for four or five guests. Until then I had very little knowledge of Highland Ponies. During the war I looked after four ponies for an Aberdeen gentleman who wanted them away from the bombing. Looking back now I realise that my favourite one, Dunnie, whom I rode, must have been a Highland. She was a typical dun with clearly defined eel-stripe, I wish there had been such things as films available for cameras during the war. From then until the children had their ponies, we only had Clydesdales and their foals. 133
My first advertisement in the local paper was for “One Highland Pony, broken to saddle”. This brought replies offering me fifteen ponies, I wonder how many the same advertisement would bring today... Out of that I got six ponies, Rocky, 6 years. old 14hh grey Highland gelding, the perfect trekking pony and still going strong. We later learned that he had been sold from a neighbouring Glen farm the year before. Russ, 5 years. old 14hh white Highland gelding, very quiet and handy but too slow, a real plodder who was sold after a few seasons. The weight carrier was Darkie, 7 years. old 15hh black with white blaze and feet, a Highland cross Clydesdale, amazingly smart in spite of his
The original six ponies, Donald, Rocky, Darkie, Russ, Tommy and Flo, seen here held by members of the McIntosh family weight and still with us, good as ever. Our only mare in the original line up was Flo, another 14hh grey Highland, a besom to catch and showing all the vices when on the loose but perfectly behaved as soon as caught up. Beautifully muscled, strong in the bone and a perfect ride. It was indeed a very sad day when we lost her in the Spring of 1964 after a long illness. The biggest boy among them was Donald, 15hh Thorough-bred Highland cross, a grand horse but very quick to detect lack of experience of which he would take great advantage. The darling of them all was Tommy who must have been all of 15 yrs. old when I bought him. A dark bay Highland, 13.3hh and fairly light of bone, the sweetest natured and gentlest pony ever born. The smallest child could be put on him and in nine years of trekking he never put a foot wrong. I couldn’t count the number of 134
little girls (and quite a few boys too) who had their first ride on him, some of them now doing big things with ponies and horses of their own. He had a funny little habit in later years. On the homeward journey he would take his small rider right up to the front of the trek and lead the rest of the way home, much to the delight of the rider. Only Tommy was allowed to do such a thing. We retired him at the end of the 1970 season, he is still hale and hearty and must be nearer 30 than 20. With four of them I managed to buy tack and fitted the others later. A float was hired to collect them on May 8th, it had only taken a week to find my ponies. At 6.30 a.m. on the morning of May 9th, I heard something and looked out in time to see the first trek disappearing down the farm road! The kids had been in bed when the ponies arrived the previous night but the excitement was similar to that of Christmas Eve. The four of them (ages 7-12) had saddled up and were off! Another three advertisements in Scottish Daily papers found us enough trekkers to fill up from June 24th to September 20th. That included a six day post trek to the Braemar Gathering taking the Fungle road to Aboyne, through Dinnet and Ballater arriving in Braemar on Wednesday. A day off for the Gathering on Thursday, back to Ballater on Friday and home on Saturday by the Mounth Road the route taken by Queen Victoria in 1861. One of the trekkers on that occasion was Jan, a Canadian girl whose great-grandfather had emigrated after being evicted from his farm in Glenesk for shooting the deer! We finished the season with an 18 mile Centenary trek on September 20th doing what Queen Victoria had done exactly a hundred years before only the hardy Queen carried on for another 16 miles to Fettercairn. Over a hundred people had gathered at the Well to meet the trekkers (representatives of the oldest Glen families). Toasts were proposed to the Queen and the absent Lord and Lady Dalhousie by Major T.P. Douglas- Murray who also read out a telegram received from the Queen. That summer brought us a lot of grand folk, some of them still coming regularly. Sadie, a Glasgow lady, has been here every year since and on a few occasions twice in one season. Thirteen year old Marion, also from Glasgow, came on July 14th for a week and kept persuading her mother by telephone to let her stay. Her parents eventually came for her on August 5th but on August 12th she was back to stay until the school holidays were over! She became like one more member of the family and came back every year for the whole of her school holidays bringing her own pony with her until at nineteen she became our trekking guide. She is now married with two children. The following summer we bought a lovely black 9 yr. old Highland mare from Orkney. She was a super ride and everybodyâ€™s favourite, the trekkers all wanted Sally. In the Spring of 1963 it became evident that she was in foal and in June that year she produced a black colt foal. This was a great thrill for the kids, one of their little ponies had earlier lost a foal and later died herself. 135
The late Hon. Margaret Forbes-Sempill called one day to see the ponies and on hearing that I was anxious to continue breeding with Sally she let us have Callum Og down to run with her. He was then 23 yrs. old and had been retired but left her in foal. In â€˜64 she had a very nice mouse dun filly foal Kim, who is now carrying her fifth foal, this time by Strathnaver. The last three have been fillies, yearling Tanera by Strathnaver, 2 yr. old Tresta by Strathglass and 3 yr. old Tiree by Strathbogie. Her first foal Birky was a colt by Strathbogie. On asking Mrs. Compton in 1965 to come and inspect Sally for the appendix she suggested that I try to trace her origin. Mr. Laughton, from whom I bought her was extremely helpful and we were delighted when it was established that she was Sally of Knocknagael 10779. A final inspection by Mr. J. Dean and all was well. Her 3rd foal was Callum, a mouse dun by Strathglass, now a 6 yr. old gelding doing well in Battle, Sussex. After Callum came Kerrera by the same sire, at the moment in foal to Croila Chieftain, having had a nice mouse dun filling, Shuna, by Strathnaver last year. Torran, the 4 yr. old dark grey dun stallion by Strathglass, now be longing to the Misses Barrie, Mylnfield, Invergowrie, was the first of four colts in a row. I have his yearling daughter, Danna, out of one of my other mares. Back to Orkney where mum came from went Skerry, 3 yr. old grey dun stallion by Glenmuick. Two year old Monach, who appeared in the autumn number of Highland Pony News, is a grey dun by Strathnaver. Lastly Macaskin, by Strathglass, born on the day we set off for our first visit with ponies to the Royal Highland Show last year. Another grey dun, doing well and of the same loveable nature as Sally herself and all her offspring. Now 19, the trekking pony who started the stud, she is running with her two daughters, two grand-daughters and the mother of her little grand-daughter Danna. Boss of all around her, in foal again to her old boyfriend Strathglass and full of the joys often having a good gallop around kicking her heels with gusto and keeping up no bother with the young ones. We are now preparing for the Easter trekking opening on March 25th, the start of our 12th season. The end of that 3 week period merges into the lambing and the lambing into the foaling (all being well we are looking forward to 6 this year) and that takes us into the busy season of the trekking. At that time too come the Shows that we can sometimes find time to go to. What does it all add up to?- Lots of fun, more really hard work, joys, sorrows, hopes, disappointments, laughter and tears, not very much money and very little sleep sometimes. A strange mixture but added to the countless number of friendships formed and above all the wonderful help and co-operation of my husband and family it has all been very much worthwhile. Mrs. AC. McIntosh
A Highland Ball Riding Club Quadrill of the Year 1993
Bracken of Forglen Kyliedene Aylmerdene Kyle of Gowrie
ridden by Alison MacPherson ridden by Sue Grice ridden by Morag Webster ridden by Jo Jack
From the moment the four grey ponies and their riders entered the Olympia Arena to the stirring stains of Scotland the Brave played by pipes and drums, the team had the crowd behind them, clapping in time to the music. The theme of the Quadrille was ‘A Highland Ball’, and consisted of a selection of movements from Scottish dances performed to traditional tunes. The riders were dressed in formal costumes, with the ladies in white taffeta dresses with Royal Stewart tartan sashes and bows, and the ‘gentlemen’ in kilts and Prince Charlie jackets. The ponies had tartan and gold bows on their tails, and Tartan and gold brow bands. This was the first time a team of Native ponies had won the South Essex Insurance Riding Club Quadrille of the Year, and they were representing Fife Riding Club from Scotland. They won by a distance (32 marks) from their more experienced rivals, including five times winners, Wilmslow. At the end, the team showed that Highlands really can move, when they left the ring at a flat-out gallop, to the tune of ‘Auld Land Syne’, and to cheers from the audience! A fantastic experience, and I sill get goose bumps and feel very emotional when I watch the video!
Jo Jack, Leven, Fife
Driving Highland Ponies As I am not 21 years old anymore, not 5’6” tall, I do not have long legs and am in excess of 9 stones riding my Highland pony competitively was considerable hard work! Imagine my delight when it was suggested that my pony would “look really well in a carriage”. So that was it breaking to harness began in earnest. Long reins, tyres, pallets for noise all formed part of our training schedule and in a very short time we were pulling our exercise vehicle. A whole new world awaited us. Sunday morning drives down the country lanes and a picnic drive or two .One weekend we even managed to drive to the pub! When the showing season arrived we put in extra schooling preparing for our debut, figures of eight. collected trot, working trot and extensions across the diagonal were all part of the training. However I never had to worry what my legs were doing other than to maintain a good upright position .Carriage driving is about hand voice and eye co-ordination and fun. From then on we have not looked back, we now have three Highland ponies broken to harness all of whom have been shown successfully and can all be hacked out under saddle for pleasure. If anyone out there feels that they are not as fit as they were or not as brave as they were but has a Highland or any other breed of pony lazing in the field then I recommend you give it a try. Obviously it is important to take qualified advice before embarking on such a project but you may be pleasantly surprised. The British Driving Society and all its members are really helpful and will be able to send you information of your nearest instructor.
Christine Bassett. Glossop, Derbyshire
Highland Gathering at Horner Green June 1971 Highland pony owners from South of the Border gathered on the edge of Exmoor on June 8th, at the invitation of Miss P Hill, to take part in the very first Highland Pony Exmoor ride. Mounted on her own five year old mare, Woodbeer Katie, Miss Hill led the party off promptly at noon and a long line of dun ponies wending their way up Horner Woods was indeed a lovely sight. Every shade of dun was represented, from pale cream to deep yellow and from mouse to grey. Miss Hill led her party right through Horner Woods and they eventually emerged some one and a half hours later near Stoke Pero Common. Here there is a wonderful stretch of heather and almost the entire party had a superb gallop. After a very short rest, during which welcome refreshments were given to riders by Miss Collins. the party again mounted and Miss Hill led the way on the long climb right to the summit of Dunkery Beacon, 1,705 feet above sea—level. The day was ideal for riding and the moor and combes never were more beautiful. No one could fail to capture that particular magic that belongs to Exmoor. After dropping quite rapidly down from Dunkery, the Highlands trotted passed Webbers Post and over Horner Hill. Eventually they reached their starting point at Horner Green after a wonderful three and a half hour ride. Ponies were unsaddled and boxed, water buckets and haynets wore proffered and the human party repaired to eat a cream tea and to chatter. Miss Hill presented rosettes to mark the occasion. The day was a great success and all those who went on this new adventure hope that it will be repeated next year. Only Miss Hill, better known to many as “Trekleader”, with her extensive knowledge of the moor could have conceived the idea and led this ride for Highland ponies and owners South of the Border. Those taking part were:— Miss P. Hill, riding Woodbeer Katie; Mrs. Powell on Woodbeer Ailsa, owned by Mrs. Mason; Miss P. Kellock on Otter Tuppence and Miss T. Barwick on Smokey. Mrs. R. Salter was mounted on Woodbeer Cream Puff and Mr. H. Salter rode Woodbeer Tam o’ Shanter. Both these ponies were kindly loaned by Mrs. Powell. Miss Hill generously loaned her other two Highlands, Berriedale and Mollie, who were ridden by Mrs. Martin and Miss Edwards respectively. Mrs. Stephenson rode her stud stallion Cuidich M’Righ of New Calgary and Mrs. McCraith loaned Miss M.Sheath her Jeannie. Miss E. Burnell rode Mrs. Wobber’s Sandy, and, warranting a special mention, Miss Lynetta Harrison travelled over 100 miles to take part on her Woodbeer Duncan. 139
Highland Ponies in South West England Highland Ponies are becoming increasingly popular in this area, and in the words of Mrs. Mason of Woodbeer Stud “Our idea is to breed good performers of true Highland type, and also of show standard, from mares who are proved performers themselves, from similar stallions”. I had the pleasure of visiting several of these Highland Pony studs in 1970 and 71 and was very much struck by what I saw and the knowledge and enthusiasm shown by the owners. I particularly like the way the breeders are wisely working their stallions (riding, competitions, etc.) and thus really know their worth. Also the fact that some of the land is very steep means that the ponies retain their sure footedness and learn to use their shoulders. The comment from riders of them out hunting is their safety at pace down hill. Last autumn, going by Car, we were able to call on Miss Wilby of Nash End, who has been breeding and showing her ponies for many years now, and I was delighted to see her beautiful old mare Sea Mist of Nashend (10526). This 16 year old mare of Lochbuie out of Sea Flower of Franby appeared to be as fresh as the day she was born. She had been brought in for me to be shown her paces, and when moving used every joint and muscle to the full. A grand example of the heavier type. In 1968 she was Champion Highland at the National Pony Society Show; also at this show she won the cup for the best schooled Highland Pony three years in succession. Another mare I liked was the brown Sanderling of Nashend (11071) who combines some of the best W.I. blood through her dam St. Kentigerna, and mainland blood through her sire Lochbuie (who also traces to the Outer Islands). Standing on short legs and deep through the heart and having at foot a foal which I would say proved her to be a good brood mare. She too has won many prizes in the show ring including a 1st at the Ponies of Britain in 1959. Miss Wilby’s stallion is Sea Storm of Nashend (4218), this 11 year old by the late Margaret Forbes-Sempill’s well-known Callum Og out of Sea Mist of Nashend has great presence and was a lovely sight as he trotted up a steep field to where we were looking at his mares. This pony was breed Champion at the National Pony Society Show in 1967. We were rather hurried over seeing the young stock, having many miles to go—but they looked(6 or 8 of them in the field) a very level lot, all whole mouse dun. Miss Wilby’s ponies should certainly be able to ‘Use themselves’, for to me, a West Highlander, their Gloucestershire hills were alarmingly steep! Going on to Mrs. Stephenson of the Tarqua Stud, I was delighted to see again her stallion Cuidich’m Righ of New Calgary (4061). He is a bright yellow dun with black points, and is as fresh as ever under saddle, winning prizes in M and M ridden classes and hunter trials where he ‘goes like a bomb’. Mrs. Stephenson has some very quality Section A mares. Bronze Lady by Jaunty Laddie of Manshay being my choice and this pony with careful mating should prove a valuable foundation mare and breed good stock. At Mrs. Powell’s of Palegate, Talaton, one sees her two beautiful mares, Dulcie by Dun I and Broom Burnet by Daibhidh of New Calgary, the dam of both being Miss 140
Mackenzie’s Mirabel. Dulcie, yellow dun with black points and very good conformation, is full of pony character and charm and has bred two good filly foals to Jaunty Laddie. Perhaps I am prejudiced re Dulcie, Dun I having been bred by Sir Henry and myself and through him her pedigree going back to Boisdale, a 12.2 Barra pony mare, given to me at the end of the last century! These two mares should be the foundation of a very level stud. Mrs. Powell also owned Woodbeer Mark by Jaunty Laddie, dam Mica of Alltnacriche. This is a strong active 4 year old gelding, now sold and having his first season of short days with hounds. Mrs. Martin of Higher Slade Farm has had bad luck in losing her Rhum Cherry 111, I did not see her ponies last autumn, but in 1970, I remember, she had two nice 2 year old fillies. Finally Mr. and Mrs. Mason’s stud at Woodbeer Court. This, I feel, will become an outstanding stud; Mrs. Mason knows very clearly what she is aiming at—viewing her stud with discernment and ‘all her geese are not swans’! To begin with her senior stallion. Jaunty Laddie of Manshay (4145) by Camber Feidh of New Calgary (3687) dam Grey Jean (10050), was bred by Miss M. Edwards in Dorset. He is a yellow dun with black points, standing 14.1, with a good shoulder and depth through the heart and plenty of bone, also plenty of vitality. I consider Jaunty as being an excellent stallion in this area and mated with some of the smaller mares he transmits his substance and courage. Shown in the South West under saddle he was never out of the money. After taking the Supreme Championship in hand at the West Country Stallion Show, over not only M & M breeds, but Arab and Thoroughbreds as well, he was retired from showing. Jaunty was regularly hunted for two seasons with the East Devon hounds. Of the mares—Cara (B31) by Arduaine (3183) by Fingal, dam Catriona (A188) by Marksman—this 20 year old pony has bred five filly foals, and has won over 100 rosettes for jumping, P.C. events, dressage, hunter trials, etc., as well as many wins in the breed classes. She was hunted for five seasons and is still ridden daily. Her daughter Woodbeer Christmas Carol (47/68) by jaunty, broken to saddle but unshown as yet, had a lovely mouse dun colt foal by Rhum Duian in 1971. Woodbeer Ailsa (48/68) foaled in 1965, by Jaunty Laddie, dam lona (1132) (a full sister of Cara) is an outstanding pony. I first saw her at the N.P.S. Show at Stoneleigh, in 1969 where I placed her first in the class for 4 year old and over, and she has almost consistently kept this place in breed classes, NI & M ridden classes and in hunter trials. She was not shown in 1970. She was 2nd in the N.P.S. Highland class in 1971 and 1st in the Fell, Dales and Highland class under saddle, winning the Linnel Challenge Cup for the best ridden Fell or Highland, also the Nashend Trophy for the best schooled Highland Pony. Finally Mrs. Mason’s young stallion--Rhum Duian (12/70) by Islesman of New Calgary (5/62), dam Rhum Duchess (12156). This pony, a whole mouse dun, at present 14 hh., should prove to he a very good ride with his good shoulder, length of rein and straight action, he is at present being schooled by Mrs. Blackmore of Exmoor, and she is amazed at his performance when out with hounds for a short time. His first foals appear to be very satisfactory. This I think is enough to show 141
that Highland Ponies are making their mark in the South and are being bred with forethought and care, But I would like to stress the importance of selecting a uniform type of mare, and a stallion whose stock are ‘like peas out of a pod—not easy. Lady Ramsay-Fairfax-Lucy
Cuidich’m Righ of New Calgary (4061)
Why Highlands? For many years I had been working with racehorses, TB broodmares and point-topointers; after I got married l gave a home to a 14.2hh TB/New Forest mare, rescued from a very bad home. Although advancing in years, she gave me many hours of fun and friendship. I had to have her put down after a jumping accident, and I vowed never to take on old ponies again. I mentioned to a friend (in the rescue service) that I was looking for a young pony. At the back of my mind I had an image of a young Sunny, and was therefore rather taken aback by the sight of a rather strange, stripey pony in a rough field at the back of Brighton on the South Downs -no mane where she had rubbed it out on the wire, lots of forelock and a scruffy mop of tail. This was Bracken, and she started it all off. She was then three, and very up behind. Eventually maturing at 14 hh, she was by Hoodie, (Cuidichâ€™m Righ of New Calgary) but out of an unregistered mare. On her first outing, three weeks after I got her home, she was fourth in a massive in hand young-stock class, and then we were away! Her temperament was first class and although she was a fast pony she was always careful. In time I met Gill Barron and Christine Stevenson and joined HPEC. There followed Rimmon and then Flair (of Knocknagael), Badger (of Dykes) and now Storm, and we are buying Shennachie Bracken from Sandy Stewart. I owe a lot to that chance meeting on the Downs! Bracken is alive and well, lives with the owner of her dam and goes out daily hacking with her, now in her 70s. Nina Hoad
The Countryside Outlook Magazine March 1939 The Hardy Highland Pony EXTREMELY hardy, and of sound constitution, there is no finer general-purpose pony than the well-bred Highland species, which is able to live and thrive in the open, on rough pasture, throughout the year. It has remarkable strength for its size, and is ideal, of course, for the work of a Highland croft. To the Highland sportsman, it is equally useful, whether for deerstalking or game shooting, being an excellent hill-climber and carrier. Standing 13 to 14 hands 2 inches, with broad head, well carried, bright and kindly eyes, flowing mane, long tail, powerful quarters, deep chest, and with a free, straight action, the typical “Highlander” is of true pony character, with well-balanced strength and substance, and, altogether, is a most attractive little creature. In colour, it may be black, bay, fox-colour with silver mane and tail; various shades of dun or grey. A typical feature is the eel stripe along the back, although this may not always be present. Also some of the duns have black zebra markings on the fore legs. The Highland pony is recognised, of course, as distinct type by the National Pony Society, and there is an affiliated society, The High land Pony Society, which controls the registration of all Highland ponies for the Highland Section of the National Pony Stud Book. It naturally enhances the value of any stud for the occupants to be duly registered, and full particulars regarding the registration of Highland Ponies may be obtained upon application to The Secretary, The Highland Pony Society, 20 Esslemont Rd., Edinburgh. There are quite a number of recognised breeders of Highland ponies in Scotland including the Stud Farm of the Scottish Ministry of Agriculture near Inverness. They are the real guardians of the Breed and to this end, they send stallions to all parts of the Highlands and Western Islands. The true Highland Pony is rarely seen in England, but they can be seen at the National Pony Society’s Show at Islington, when there are classes for the breed, both for riding and brood mares. There is a small stud of Highland Ponies in Wiltshire and as the breed becomes better known in England its great merits will earn for it, a deserved popularity. This will chiefly be because of its wonderful all-round qualities. Highland ponies are used for riding, hunting, driving, and farm work. Of course, over the Border there are a number of more or less 144
important studs and among these mention must undoubtedly be made of that belonging to Major D.G. Moncrieff -Wright, of Elcho Park, Rhynd, near Perth, a wellknown member of the Highland Pony Society whose ponies are renowned for their fine characteristics and trueness to type. While it is not possible within the narrow confines of this brief article to do more than just touch upon the subject, it is of interest to note that this Stud has won the Championship at the Highland and Agricultural Show in 1925, 1929, 1932 and 1936. Not a bad record when one considers the fierce competition entries are up against. Notable members past and present of this Stud include such well -known ponies as “Glen Bernsdale MacPherson”, “Isle of Arran Bonnie Jean,” and “Staffin Princess.” The last-named pony is probably the best and most characteristic Highland pony alive to-day. Major Moncrieff-Wright is always ready to assist the prospective purchaser of a pony and usually has young stock available at reasonable prices. WHILE on the subject we must not fail to note also the particularly fine Stud owned by Mr. James Cairns of West Biggs, Blackford, who is a Member of the Council of the Highland Pony Society and has always been a staunch advocate of the many fine qualities of this sturdy little animal. All the inmates of this Stud have been bred true to type and are essentially characteristic of all the finer points in the breed, being descended from the Calliach Bhan family. Calliach Bhan was a white mare bred by Donald Lamont, Felar Forest, Pitlochry, and got by the famous Herd Laddie. This mare produced for Mr. Cairns two fillies, Calliach Bhan II and III the former by a horse called Johnny, then in the hands of the late C. D. M. Ross, Ibert, Crieff, the latter, by Allan, Mr. Cairns procured from Nist as a yearling colt. Most notable of these two was Calliach Bhan III, though Calliach Bhan II produced a colt, Angus, in 1918, which won the Male Championship at the Edinburgh Highland Show in 1919, in very strong Classes, where he was sold at what REST OF THE ARTICLE MISSING
The Department carries on I have found it most interesting ‘coming back’ into Highland ponies after thirty years. I was born and brought up in Tomatin, Inverness-shire passed Beechwood* each day on my way to school, and was always involved in delivering ponies (ridden!!) to Beechwood for service and fetching back afterwards. All my student pocket money was earned ‘on the hill’ with Highlands for riding, panniers, and deer carrying. In 1958, on marriage, I emigrated south of the Border, and apart from acquiring unregistered Highlands for my riding school work had little to do with the ponies until the Dept of Agriculture for Scotland sale. Then I felt I just had to have something of the old lines for future breeding –hopefully back in Scotland on our retirement. Consequently I acquired Freya of Knocknagael in 1977 and she has worked riding school, Pony Club etc. for ten years with me. Last spring Mrs Compton rang me in connection with a Glen Aigas mare I had at the time, and persuaded me to send Freya to Gipsy Monarch of Turin Hill who is based nearby. This summer she dropped an absolutely super colt foal, who we are delighted with. Elizabeth J. Paul, Charity Farm Stables, Longridge, Preston 7 October 1991 (*The Dept of Agriculture for Scotland stud near Inverness, which used to provide breeding sires of Highland ponies, Clydesdales, cattle etc. for crofters in the Highlands.)
Triple Bar Riding Club - Visit to Brownbread We were given a very warm welcome by Mr. and Mrs. Smith: and as the weather was fine they had put out chairs and a table for us on their lawn to enable us to eat our picnic before the official visit commenced. Mrs. Smith gave us a fascinating introductory talk on the Highland Pony which she illustrated with some beautiful photographs —many of them taken when she was at the New Calgary Stud -which was of great interest to our Chairman, Mrs. Sheila Morgan as she managed to purchase one of their beautiful colts when the Stud closed. After the lecture we were shown the stables and introduced to the ponies. Trodival of New Calgary was put through his paces for us and Mrs. Smith saddled up her lovely stallion Rhum Bloodstone and gave us a riding demonstration We were also privileged to ride Mrs. A. Sheldrick’s lovely mare “Rosabell of Knocknagael” —a now experience for some of our members who have not had the pleasure of meeting or riding the Highland pony before. I have had that pleasure and have come to know and love these beautiful creatures through trekking, over the years, with Hugh McGregor at Aberfoyle. We were all greatly impressed with the way in which Mrs. Smith trains her ponies and it is quite evident that, apart from her obvious skill and great experience, she has a true affection for her ponies which is an inspiration to all who meet her - and this was our first meeting, but I feel sure that we will all want to pay a return visit some day soon to enable some of our other members who could not join us to see this lovely stud, and for those of us who did go to renew our friendship. Mrs. Morgan was so impressed with everything she saw that she decided before we left to send her colt “An Nigh Muir” to Mrs. Smith for training in the autumn. Eileen Wilkinson, Club Secretary
We won Olympia! Heather Prescott was thrilled, but exhausted, after her outstanding win at Olympia with her 7yo Highland stallion Rannoch of Trailtrow. There was double cause for celebration as Gillian McMurray, rider of the only other Highland to win at the London final ten years ago, took the cup for breeder of champion. Enthusiasts from north and south of the Border were present to give support to the three Highlands to qualify. Anne Mitchell on her home-bred gelding Dunedin Harris gave a foot-perfect show and was unlucky not to appear in the top placings. Jena of Ednam House, Sheila Brooks yellow dun home-bred mare was the mount of Jill Cousens and gave a creditable performance. However the eyes of both judges were drawn to Rannoch, who sparkled his way through the show. Said Midge Taylor, conformation judge, ‘He is a real native pony and a good example of the Highland breed. He was mannerly and well presented’. Jinks Bryer commended Rannoch’s show and his free-moving action. Rannoch was bred by Gillian and is a Jura of Whitefield son out of Rowena of Campsie. Heather, an equine physiotherapist, has owned him since he was three years old, and this was his first visit to Olympia. His successes in the 1997 season include the championships at NPS Huntingdon, NPS Solihull, NPS Malvern and reserve supreme at Malvern LIPS. North of the Border, he was second in the large class and reserve ridden champion at the Royal Highland Show, As to the future, Heather says that Rannoch will not try to qualify for Olympia again, but she has two promising novices, a mare and a stallion, for next season. It was certainly a show where the ‘hairy’ ponies shone, as reserve to Rannoch was the Sutcliffes’ beautiful freemoving Fell pony, Darrenvale Jason who was followed by another Fell, Townend Biggles, in third place. Interestingly enough, the first three ponies all come from the same area. Rannoch, Harris and Jena were excellent ambassadors for the breed and such a victory must be a wonderful advertisement for the Highland pony. Congratulations to Heather, Anne and Jill! Joan Alexander, Stirlingshire 148
White Markings After reading the latest issue of “South of the Border”, which is largely taken up with the controversial subject of white markings, I feel prompted to add a few comments in the hope of getting the matter into proper perspective. May I request the courtesy of your columns to reach as many readers as possible? In Volume XM (193 1-1933) of the National Pony Stud Book, the official description of the Standard Type of Highland Pony carries this statement, in respect of Colours “Black. ...dun, or grey, and no white markings”. It is not clear whether this is a hard and fast rule, or merely a description of the ideal Highland Pony. If it were a rule, it has, admittedly, never been properly enforced. Miss Diana Hocking has written an excellent, and well-balanced article in “South of the Border”, in which she rightly points out that many of the good ponies of former years had white markings. Two examples from the Mainland and Western Isles strains are Bonnie Laddie and Islesman, both of whom had a white hind coronet. The “recessive” white markings from these and other good old blood-lines still crop up in their descendants to this day. Some over-zealous people would suggest that all “mis-marked” ponies should be debarred from the Stud Book. This is sheer lunacy. As Miss Hocking points out breeders would not he prepared to lose generations of good blood-lines, and possibly to decimate whole families. On the other hand, it is usually possible to trace from whence came the “mis- marks”, and by careful breeding it should be possible, eventually, if not to eliminate white, at least to minimize it. As a first step in this direction, Council last year made a recommendation that no pony with excessive white markings e.g. a blaze, white legs or hooves, should be admitted to the Appendices. This is to avoid introducing MORE potential whitecarrying lines from ponies of un known parentage. “South of the Border” tentatively suggests that any pony with a white marking should be assigned a “W” beside its name in their Index. This is not an official register, but a useful record of Highland Ponies (not all pedigreed), and their owners in England and Wales. To fulfil the Stud Book specification, even the smallest star should be recorded. It will be interesting to see what parentage is completely whole-coloured. I do not wish to condone white markings, which I dislike much or possibly more, than most people. It is important that ponies with such marks should be put down in the Show Ring, for here after all one is looking for the nearest to perfection. A writer in the Journal of another Breed Society, which has a similar “colour problem” to ours, has most fortuitously given me the answer to why, though admitting white-marked stock to the Stud Book, we still demote it in the Show Ring. The criterion for entry to the Stud Book is “Is the animal a Highland Pony?” (i.e. does it satisfy the requirements for fully pedigreed registration?). Many ponies eligible for the Stud Book have short-comings in conformation as well, which also 149
detract from their showing potential. The criterion for the Show Ring is “which is the BEST Highland Pony?”, and so the standard in every way must be higher and more exacting—in colour, markings, conformation and action.
Yours sincerely, Elizabeth B. Compton. West Mains of Turin, Forfar
Elizabeth Compton was a major force behind the development of the South of the Border Club which subsequently evolved into the Highland Pony Enthusiasts Club of which she was the Life President. Here she is seen cutting the cake at the 25th anniversary celebrations in 1999 along with two of the founder member’s of the club, Christine Stevenson and Sandy Stewart.
Alick of Litigan
Andrewâ€™s Lad 151
Fiddle of Woodburn 154
Fraser of Langsett
Glengarry III at different stages of his life
Glenmuir Druim-Cruaidh Shuna and foal Rhinns Point Kyle
Gometra of Carrick 160
Ialuinn na Dailach
Islesman of New Calgary 161
Marni of Knocknagael
Mountain Polly 162
Osprey of Nashend
Raineach of New Calgary
Rantin’ Rovin’ 164 Robin
Seamas Mor of New Calgary 165
Stroma of Alltnacailleach 166
Tachara of New Calgary
Tigh Glas Dealanch and Cameronâ€™s Lad
Toiseach Feasgar 168 (part-bred)
Torrin of Croila
Trowan Moulin 169
Turin Hill Mark II in his 25th year
Turin Hill Meg Merillees 170
Turin Hill Moss Crop
Woodbeer Ailsa 171