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I would like to use this page to keep you informed of some of the things that happen here and hope that you enjoy my occasional rambling!

21 October 2012

Such a lot of things have happened since I last updated and as ever it is difficult when I have sad news to tell.  Early in October we finally said our farewell to Woodspring Daisy Chain.  Ginny, as we called her was our foundation mare whom we purchased from our friends Rose and Bill Price back in the early 20’s. Her marriage to Elvis produced us beautiful foals all fillies bar one.  Ginny was diagnosed with Cushings Disease earlier this year, and although on medication her condition declined, so because we loved her so much at the beginning of October we put her out of her pain. I can still see her big eyes beneath all her mane.

Last week I travelled to Worcester on my way to the society sale at Reading. I had 2 geldings, Skye High and Barra going to their new home with a dear family there. It gives me a great feeling to know they will be part of the family and greatly loved and will bring fun and companionship in return.

The Reading sale was very stressful for me.  I had entered 4 ponies all quality with good breeding but as soon as I arrived I wished I had not!  Annabelle had not travelled well and was upset by the penning structure and strange ponies around her.  The ‘buyers’ were a mixed crowd of folk with too many ‘undesirables’ abound looking to swap cash for a commodity.  I entered the pre-sale show with Aster in the fillies class but was unplaced.  She did herself no favours as was unwilling to trot over the uneven tarmac surface and like her dam was nervous of her surroundings.  Denise was entered into the mare class and behaved impeccably, won the class and went on to be the Show Champion.  Obviously I was delighted as this was my first appearance at Reading sale.  The prices in the ring fluctuated with some nice ponies fetching little money and some fetching more, as far as I could see simply based on their colour, not their breeding lines or looks!  It would be fair for me to say that I was disappointed with the prices paid for the two lots that I sold but was able to see the bidders and anticipated good homes.  Both went overseas, Annabelle to Belgium and Ambosia to France.  Both buyers later commented on how lucky they felt they were to have purchased such well-bred and good looking mares.  Aster and Denise came home and are now settled back in with their friends.  I have decided not to support Reading in the foreseeable future, leave it to the studs that are nearer to hand (many of whom were absent this year).  We will continue to sell our ponies privately from home.

The mares still have their foals and foot and all doing well despite the mud, what a year for rain and miserable weather.  Miss Daisy trots off to her new home in December so weaning will have to start in November.  I love all the foals this year so it will be difficult to decide which to keep, I may keep them all just now and decide next year!

2012 so far

It has been an age since I updated the site and the news. The summer didnít exist, just a series of rainy days with many shows cancelled or just not worth attending. The ponies started to grow in winter coats in July, something I have never seen before as not only was it wet but cool as well.

Thankfully all foals arrived safely and we were gifted to have 4 fillies and just 1 colt. I love them all! The photos all need to be updated now they are growing up, in particular Quennel who is now a deep grey with white saddle and socks.

The National Breed show was too late on for us and ponies would not have looked their best. I donít think many travelled south to attend but just heard that it was a lovely weekend and the sun was shining.

For the first time I am taking 4 ponies to the society sale at Reading mid-October. The four ponies I have entered are all quality ponies and I will be sad to part with them but I have grown the stud to a size and now need to manage that. When I sold Elvis last year to Austria it was because I felt it was important to share ponies that had done well for me, as other people had done this for me as I had built up my stud.

I will also take 2 mares to Carlisle that I believe would be useful to other serious breeders. At the moment I am happy to run on all my foals from this year but may re-visit that decision in the Spring as they will not be weaned until well into the winter as none of their dams were put back to the stallion this year.

We expect to have 4-6 foals next year but that is always very much in the lap of the Gods, so we will wait and see!

Please come and say hello if you see me at either of the sales, it is always good to put a face to a name and I enjoy meeting other Shetland enthusiasts.

2011 in brief

Been slow to keep my news up to date mainly due to the year having some big highs and lows.  The lows always take their time to get through as we adore our animals and have such emotional ties to them all. 

In August I had to say cheerio to my lovely big cob, Jimmy, who had been with us for more than 10 years.  Such a kind and gentle horse that you could trust with a baby, yet always full of fun.  After an infected foot was mis-diagnosed twice there was no option but to put him out of his pain.  I was heartbroken and still feel such anguish when I recall the event.

Tawna Ambrosia lost her filly foal, a hopeless presentation and miserable for us all.  Fortunately Amber recovered from the ordeal and is expected in foal for this year.

Athelney Elvis has been our stock stallion for the last 8 years and provided us with some absolute crackers. In November after a unexpected offer I sold Elvis to a stud in Austria.  This is not the first time I have sold ponies from this stud abroad but hadn't planned to part with Elvis.  As he was rising 16 years I had decided that after 8 years he would remain here.  His new home will be permanent and I know the new owners are over the moon with him.  Elvis ran with several of our ponies in 2011 so we are hopeful of having some more foals very soon. Of course I wish Petra every success with him.

In October I travelled down to the Reading society sale – my first since I started breeding.  It is a long journey from here and I was fortunate to break my journey at a great friend and fellow breeder near Worcester and travel on with her to Reading.  My journey was successful and I came home with Monkshill Lottie out of the late Monkshill Lucy by Kerswell Cavalier.  Lottie is by Monskhill Exotic who is also by Cavalier.  At the same time I brought home Kerswell Roselle on loan from my friend at Rosebriar stud. Photos will be added in due course.

I have 9 mares due in foal for 2012 but I will wait to see if all have held.  Only Kerswell Maggie May was checked and confirmed to be in foal to Elvis. Foaling is due to start late March hopefully lambing will be completed in time.

20 June 2011

No more foals, the mares that ran with stallions last year are just fat. Both were maidens last year so had foals at foot and we know that in this breed that they don't always carry a foal every year. Fairy Flavian who arrived here from the Huckerby stud last autumn has been working and so has Elvis. We decided not to give Lomond any mares this year, he is only 3 and still enjoys running with his 'pals'.

18 May 2011

After such a high on Saturday we now have come back down to earth with a thud! Ambosia foaled last night but her foal, a beautiful bay and white filly, was dead. We think the foal may have clamped the cord whilst turning as the mare was bagged up and producing milk a day earlier. Amber was very upset but given her ordeal was amazingly bright the following morning. We are always so sad after losing a foal, the disappointment and anguish, you really feel for these little mares.

16 May 2011

We travelled to Ayr County Show having entered 2 ponies but at the last minute deciding to add in a 3rd. We were overwhelmed with our success under judge Mrs K Gibb. Res Supreme Ch (Willrose First Lady), Res Mini Ch and Jr Champion (Ardanbeag Fairy's Fire lily- yearling) and Ysgubourwr Kitty was 2nd in a good 2/3yo class missing out to last year's mini ch Dryfesdale Amore.

12 May 2011

Ardanbeag Bluebell foaled today, a beautiful chestnut colt by Flick of Annandale. Bella had a foal from the same stallion last year and Brodick had the most friendly nature so we wanted to try him again and hoped for a filly!

07 May 2011

Took 2 ponies to Neilston Show and came back with Res Mini Championship (Willrose First Lady) and Res Junior Championship (Ardanbeag Evening Primrose). The judge was Norman Blackburn.

05 May 2011

Enigma Poppy foaled this morning producing a smart strong chestnut colt. This colt is by Milday Smart Alex, whom we sold last year to Simonside Stud on Shetland. We have retained her previous 2 foals, one by Kerswell Rebel and the other by Elvis.

30 April 2011

Chewvalley Rosebud foaled today, this is her third filly foal. The foal by Athelney Elvis was not due for another 3 weeks so she is tiny but is strong and was up and on her feet before her dam. Her coat colour is very 'cream' at the moment but that may change. She has a beautiful head and we are delighted.

27 November 2010

Snow arrived this morning, not much of a covering but sufficient for the foals to rub their noses in when I let them out.  The foals are all well grown and weaned making life a bit easier as they come into one of the big sheds at night for their hard feed and hay.  Last week I took two of the colt foals to our Group Youngstock show, neither had been shown before and one of them only weaned the week before, but I felt the experience would suit these boisterous boys!  The show was uneventful, the venue disappointing and after travelling the 5 hours I really felt I had wasted my time and diesel.  My comments about the judging I will keep to myself!!!
It is unusual for me to run a stallion with mares over winter but I thought I would try and see how it works. Elvis is in with the mares that are supposed to be in foal and seems happy to run about keeping his ladies in order. We have a few ponies sold to private buyers and in spite of the poor society sales I have been surprised by the continuing enquiries I receive for miniatures at this time of year. Any foals that are not sold will be run on here until next year, when I will geld them before advertising them in the Spring.

23 September 2010

Been sometime since I updated some news here but that doesn't mean nothing has been happening. In August at the Central Group Show my yearling Mayflower won the yearling class and my 2 year old Evening Primrose was 2nd in the 2/3yo class. They went on to win the Group class of 2 ponies by same Dam/Sire and were then 2nd in the Group of 3 class. I was showing single handed so didn't take any of the foals to show. It was a new venue so not as easy to leave the ponies between classes as previous but there were some helpful folk about to help me in the progeny classes.
Yesterday I started to wean the foals. Started this because Bermar Trinity is leaving here next month to travel to Czech Republic where she will join a pony I sold there last year. I know they will have a fantastic home and Magda dotes on her ponies, so I know they could not be better placed, but I will miss Trinity. Her foal is soooo like her dam, very affectionate, tiny with the sweetest head. The 2 filly foals have been very grown up about the process but the colt (who is the oldest foal) is shouting!
His Dam soon gave up replying! I will be travelling to Aberdeen sale and for the first time I will take ponies to sell there. There are 2 stallions who are toppers but we now have our own stock ready for licensing and they are youngsters so keen to continue their work , despite this I will still miss both gentlemen.
Foals now getting sold, some will stay here until Xmas but all going to nice genuine homes. Next job to get some more recent photos on to this site!

29 July 2010

Last Sunday I ventured out to Moniave Show.  It was a last minute decision to go as I had no help and would be showing on my own.  That meant I could not take Bluebell and her foal (Brodie) who I had wanted to get out to their first show, not least because Brodie is such an 'in your face' and affection young chap!  Moniave is about 50 miles but takes about 1.5 hours to get to (country roads) and a typical horse show with classes for just about everything.  I took the yearling May Flower and my 6 year old Gelding Casanova.   Geldings are placed in the same class as stallions and colts so I didn't have great expectations but he came in with a 3rd.  May was 2nd in her class and was placed behind the yearling she beat the week before....judges opinion on the day!  Judge Mr K Scott.  Miniature Champion was the winner from the stallion class.
The remainder of this week I have been moving sheep and ponies around; lambs were weaned and I started to take the stallions out from the mares. Plenty of grass now that we have had continuous rain, would be good to see the sun back for a while!

18 July 2010

Never before have I attempted 2 shows in the same weekend but at the time I thought it would be OK!   Thankfully we had less travelling on Sunday morning to head up to The Heavy Horse Show, near Glasgow.  Today I had packed in a different group of ponies.  The weather was overcast and light showers and I could only hope not to get a soaking!   Judge today was Mrs Christine Hodgeson and never having shown under her, I didn't know what to expect.  My brood mare was 2nd in the combined brood/yeld mare class (first time out); 1st with foal; 1st with yearling; 1st with 2 year old in 2/3 year old class.  In the Championship we were placed; Res Junior Champion, Junior Champion and Res Miniature Champion.  The Miniature Champion was the yeld mare that beat my brood mare in her class.  We also received the Trophy for Best Foal.  I was delighted. 

17 July 2010

This morning we set off at 6am to journey down to the Cumberland Show. It was raining when we left and it rained all the way there, and continued to rain until the show classes finished!  Never having entered this show before I was encouraged to attend by a Shetland Pony friend with her offer to help me, and the opportunity to compete against other breeders who do not travel north of the border.  The show had moved to Carlisle racecourse, a large venue, with plenty of space but the light horses were out on the periphery, a distance from the rest of the show.  Our efforts were rewarded with 1st in brood mare class; 2nd with our foal; 3rd with the yearling; 4th in the 2/3 year old class.  We went on to the Championship with my mare Willrose First Lady, standing reserve to the well shown Parlington Quentin.  Judge Mrs H Wilson  The sun arrived in the afternoon, a tow out from the showground and we headed home.

19 June 2010

Nearing completion of our first phase of installing permanent electric fencing.  Our sheep as well as ponies use the fences for rubbing and eventually the posts work loose.  We hope this way we can reduce the time we spend on fence repairs.  The dry weather continues with no sign of any real change.  I have never known it to be so dry for so long in the west of Scotland but on our clay soil the grass continues to thrive.

The foals are all becoming very friendly and all come up to speak when I check them.  Lady’s foal Lewis is a real boy and although only 2 months old is already nosing around the mares and was mounting Celandine….not that she was bothered!  Still a few weeks off our first summer show but plenty to do in the meantime.

15 June 2010

Our last foal for this year arrived this morning.  Shortly after turning Celandine out she produced a beautiful black colt.  I was busy with the farrier at the time so missed it all, but one of my pointers was on duty and brought it to my attention.  He already has his dam’s wonderful nature, so friendly and so laid back.  I have never seen such well defined shoulders on a foal before, I am sure he is really a miniature racehorse!

Our foaling completed with a total of 9 foals, I am very pleased with them all.  The few mares that are going back in foal are already out with the stallions but next year we will have slightly fewer as I don’t intend to put all the mares back to the stallions each year.  I know it will mean extra work to keep their waist lines trim but I want to be sure that there are good homes available for any quality foal that I produce.

30 May 2010

In the last week or so we have had mixed fortunes. On the 20th I went out to find our little Tilly (Hazelhead Quickstep) with her foal part born. Unfortunately there was little I could do but call the vet as the filly foal was badly presented and could not be delivered without his expertise. The rest of the day was spent looking after Tilly and stoic as Shetlands are, she was soon calling to be let out into the field. The following Monday brought our 2nd surprise, but this time is was a happy one. Bermar Trinity had a filly foal, a cream dun, we think - a surprise because she was 10 days early and will need to grow fast to catch up with the other foals. Yesterday Annabelle produced our first foal to Wizard, a filly to be bright bay - lighter than her dam who is very dark. This is her first foal and she is really tickly so we are getting used to the 'squeaks that are heard when her foal goes to feed. With just 2 more mares left to foal we are definitely on the home stretch and only hope all will be plain sailing. I intend to get some more photos on this site very soon.

18 May 2010

We now have 5 foals born and all doing great! Rosebud's filly foal was born on Saturday evening just after I finished my dinner, very considerate of her! The foal was on her feet almost immediately and within 15 minutes was walking about as though she had done it all before. The older foals now play together since their Mums have 'passed the novelty stage' and are back focusing on eating grass. More foals due later this week and at the end of this month.

10 May 2010

The sun was out for a change at the Ayr County show yesterday. I took 3 ponies and was pleased with their placing. Ardanbeag Skye High was 1st in the yearling class and also Res Junior Champion. Leithen Wizard won the stallion/colt class and Ardanbeag Casanova was 3rd in the mare/gelding class and won Best Gelding.

02 May 2010

Everyone breeding ponies will understand the amount of patience required at foaling time.  Bluebell has been well bagged for this last week so we had expected a foal from her any day, but this day has yet to arrive.  Meantime her full sister Annabelle has also bagged up and although she has 6 more days until her due date, I am left wondering if there is a conspiracy for them to foal together!
Yesterday I took a few hours out to take my gelding Casanova and the 2 year old Evening Primrose to Neilston Show.  The weather wasn't kind and the perpetual drizzle made it easy to arrive, show and leave.  Both ponies were 2nd in their respective classes and Casanova also got the rosette for Best Gelding; shame he had no competition for this, he was looking fantastic.  The mare he was beaten by was the regular champion winner Lexus Daphne.  Judge Mrs. Lowthian.

22 April 2010

The weather has been dry for quite some time, a real bonus at this time of year but this week the frosts have returned and will set the grass back a little.  The foals are enjoying stretching their legs and dry fields make it easy to run around.  We still bring them in at night and also stable at night the mares that are due to foal within the next 2 weeks; this way we can watch them on our CCTV system, just now a pleasant distraction from all the election coverage!

20 April 2010

Our 2nd foal of the year arrived in the early hours of Sunday morning, our 2nd colt.  Despite the slight disappointment (we really wanted a filly), he is strong, well boned with a beautiful head.  The 1st colt born 10 days ago was sired by Kerswell Sprite so there is an expectation that he will roan out.  The 2nd colt is by our own stallion Athelney Elvis, out of our successful show mare, Willrose First Lady, needless to say he will be making his debut into the show arena once the summer arrives.  With foaling comes nervous tension and expectation, and a real wish that all arrive safe and sound.  Pictures of the foals will be on the site very soon.