Saturday, 24 May 2014

Elianne - growing up fast

Elianne is growing up to be a truly delightful foal. She's a very friendly but respectful girl who loves human attention. She's full of confidence and has a really great outlook on life - it's all about FUN for Elianne! She's a pleasure to have around.

Elianne is aged 6-8 weeks in these photographs :



Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Introducing ENVOY de Kingmaker, aka ZIGGY STARDUST

Becky (Packsfield Ella Beck) gave birth to her third foal, a RARE bay roan colt with central star, at 10.30pm on 6th April 2014. We have named the new colt Envoy de Kingmaker.

Envoy quickly acquired the nickname Ziggy Stardust. He was born just over 1 week early and spent the first hour of his life zig-zagging determinedly across his foaling-box whilst he worked out how to co-ordinate wobbly legs with brain! He fell over a few times - hence the "foal who fell to Earth", plus he has a sprinkling of silver hairs on his hindquarters which adds to the "stardust" effect.

Ziggy is a loveable, chunky foal with a pretty head and a beautiful expression. He looks to have the conformation and temperament to be run on as a stallion prospect.  Ziggy's father Coverdales Carnival King is still the ONLY licensed bay roan Dales stallion in the World, and we believe that Ziggy is the only entire bay roan colt, so he may well grow up to have a future helping to ensure the continuation of the bay roan colour in the Dales breed. Time will tell.

Ziggy is a quiet, inquisitive foal, with an obvious cheeky streak that is just waiting to come to the fore. His dam Becky is a little over-protective of her new baby and rounds him up whenever he runs off to explore on his own. However, as time progresses, Ziggy is starting to rebel - he runs away faster! - and Becky is tiring of her disciplinarian role, so a lively, more confident Ziggy is now starting to appear.

Photos of Ziggy from birth - 3 weeks old


Introducing ELIANNE de Kingmaker

Gem (Manorian Moonstone) gave birth to her sixth foal, a tall, whole black filly, at 3.20am on 18th March 2014. We have named the new filly Elianne, in memory of my Parisian great-auntie Elianne, plus it's names beginning with "E" for horses born in France this year!

Elianne is a delightful foal. She is extremely curious (probably better described as downright nosey!) and chock-full of confidence. She loves human attention, and is racing ahead with her early lessons. She loves to be groomed and by the age of just 4 weeks, was standing perfectly to have her mane and tail combed, and all four hooves picked-out. She takes all new experiences in her stride and seems to be fazed by nothing!

Photos of Elianne from birth - 3 weeks old



Catch-up. Must try harder!!!

Last year I was terribly remiss in posting regular updates on the Kingmaker blog, and we're now 5 months into 2014 and I have failed to post any 2014 news. I really must apply more effort, or even SOME effort!

So, it's catch-up time :

2014 got off to an exciting start with the arrival of two new ponies all the way from County Durham. Kingmaker Union Jacques, a rising 6 year old black Dales gelding bred by us, came home to France to be my principle riding pony. Jac has been brilliantly broken to ride by his previous owner Sarah Dowson and is an honest and enthusiastic pony who will turn his hooves to anything. He loves to jump, although I'm not too sure if I still do!!!

Jac arrived fit and fully clipped. Cue some fun rug shopping, although I think this one I chose was a tad too big!

Number 2 pony is (whispers) not a Dales but their smaller cousin the Fell Pony. 
We are delighted to welcome the very pretty seal-brown Fell mare Greenholme Spice to France. Spice is unbroken and has spent her life as a broodmare. She makes super, typey foals. Spice was purchased in-foal to Fell Pony stallion Grahamsley Cracker Jack, so we will look forward to the arrival of her baby towards the end of May 2014. It will be interesting to compare the two breeds.  

February brought some spectacular flooding, leaving many of our fields and driveway inundated. Turn-out for the horses became a logistical nightmare, and as the waters receded we were left with a sea of deep and very gloopy mud, which the horses seemed to cope with admirably, whilst we humans fell over in it many times!  

March arrived with several dark and heavy hail storms :
...and some spectacular winter sunsets. I was delighted to see this large bird of prey (possibly a Buzzard as we have several resident pairs of those on the farm) perched high up in a tree enjoying the fiery sky as much as me : 
King also seemed to appreciate the beautiful evenings, or maybe he was just dreaming of girlfriends to come :

Meanwhile, King and Wilf's former wives were all becoming nicely rounded. From left to right are Becky, Inca, Gem, Tetley and Spice :
Which brings us nicely on to our 2014 foals....