Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Child-proofing the foals

Since our own kids are grown and gone, it's always nice when we have children visit the stud to interact with the foals. Our French neighbour Gildase frequently pops over with her young grandson Tom, but he much prefers the donkeys so is of limited use when it comes to child-proofing the foals. I must get him to switch his allegiance!

This is Destiny and Dakota meeting "Little People" for the first time. Destiny was so laid-back she didn't even bother to get out of bed. There aren't any photos of Defender because he took the wimpy option and ran off  to hide behind his mum. Big, brave stallion - NOT!

Romance for Wilf and visiting mare Louise

May 2013

In May 2013 we welcomed french Dales mare Concoret Louise, owned by Bruno Bovet, to the stud, to be covered by our black Dales stallion Wilf (Thornville Pride).

Louise is an experienced broodmare who has bred 9 foals in the past, so after an initial covering inhand, we were happy for the two ponies to run together and mating to take place naturally :

Mating was successful, and we are delighted that Louise scanned in-foal with a single embryo. Her baby is expected in May 2014. 
An added bonus to this story is that Louise's owner Bruno has become a very dear friend, and I now have the benefit of a very patient, unpaid, retired headmaster to correct my frequent errors with the French language!!!   

First outing for Baron de Kingmaker

March 2013

There are no inhand classes for Dales Ponies in France, but my friend Isabelle Thibault works hard to help promote the breed. In March 2013 she took her two black Dales Ponies to a display of working horses in eastern France.

It was the first ever outing for her 21 month old colt Baron de Kingmaker (Thornville Pride x Akehurst Heather's Lass) who Isabelle has nick-named Willson.
Fortunately, Willson behaved impeccably. I think he took one look at the size of the Comtois stallions and decided he better forget about any "Young Princeling" antics

This is Isabelle with her 11 year old Dales mare O'Connor, bred by Dominique Guillet, the President of the French Association. O'Connor is by the late stallion Gretaside Prince, out of Concoret Louise. She is a superb driving mare and competes at high level in France.
Baron (on the right) is wearing a traditional white french show bridle :

During the day, the horses are tied-up along a Presentation Wall where they can be viewed by the public. Stallions, mares and youngstock are all tied-up together with very few squabbles. Spot the small Dales bums amongst the impressive array of huge Breton backsides!

Max presenting Willson :

Isabelle has kept Willson entire and hopes to register him as an approved stallion in Spring 2014. He will also be broken to drive, with the aim of competing in driving trials as a single and pair with O'Connor.

Fame for Calissi

A photo of our bay roan filly Calissi de Kingmaker, at one day old, with her dam Becky (Packsfield Ella Beck) have been chosen to represent the Dales breed in a new book by Jack Byard entitled "Know Your Rare Breeds". The text was supplied by the Dales Pony Society, UK :

The book is available direct from the publishers https://www.oldpond.com/acatalog/know_your_rare-breeds.html

... or from Amazon for less than £5.