NPS Baileys M&M Olympia
Supreme Champion 2007

Bunowen Castle Ri
© Pam Clingan

NPS Baileys M&M Supreme Champion
HOYS M&M Supreme Champion
Res Champion Pony HOYS
NPS Baileys M&M Champion
© Pam Clingan

NPS Baileys Olympia M&M Supreme Ridden Champion 2007
NPS Reserve Cuddy Qualifier 2007
BCPS In Hand Supreme Champion 2007
BCPS Ridden Supreme Champion 2007
NPS Baileys Supreme M&M Champion 2005
HOYS Reserve Supreme Pony of the Year 2005
HOYS Supreme M&M Champion 2005
M&M Ridden Champion Royal Windsor Show 2005

I have been showing Exmoor ponies for many years and when their classes were over, it gave me the opportunity to watch other breeds. the Connemaras always fascinated me. Their attitude, pony quality and exceptional movement became a magnet; I was determine to learn more.

With this in mind, I sought out breeders in England so I could pick their brains and learn from their experiences. Over the years I visited studs and went to Ireland to see the ponies. Occasionally at a show I would pick a pony out as my idea of perfection of the breed and would be delighted to see that sometimes my ideas coincided with those of the judge! This encouraged me to apply to the NPS mixed Mountain & Moorland judge's panel.

Soon after becoming an NPS Judge I applied to join the Connemara judging panel. having owned Connemara ponies on and off for many years I decided it was time to start breeding under my stud name Blackthorn. This prefix is probably better known for the Exmoor ponies that I have bred and shown over the years but as it all started at Blackthorn Farm in Berkshire I was determined to use the same prefix. Lewcombe Mandolin joined as my foundation broodmare on the advice of Ginette Mason as she was in foal to Atlantic Swirl.

Bunowen Castle RiOther mares followed, I was particularly pleased to buy Grayswood Village Woodlark, a super mare, unfortunately she decided that a broodmare's life was not for her so pursued a career under saddle. Having sent mares away to stud the next obvious decision was to have my own stallion. By now we were down in South Gloucestershire but the farm name followed us. With the help of Sarah Hodgkin the yearling colt, Lough Fee Warrior, came to join.

What a character! Everybody who saw him remarked on his superb pony head, he also had a temperament second to none, that is until he saw another stallion in our stable block! "Irish" (Lough Fee Warrior) was a particular favourite of mine. He was extremely kind and proved himself to be a first class performance stallion, earning his ridden stallion premium. he jumped for fun and was the perfect gentleman in company. He has now been sold to France.

Irish has left behind some outstanding stock, all inheriting his lovely temperament, pony characteristics and most importantly, now that they are 'coming of age' their ability to perform under saddle.

I now have Ri (Bunowen Castle Ri - top of page) as my resident stallion. Sarah Hodgkin found this lovely colt in Ireland and he is my idea of near perfection in his breed, so far, he has not let me down. He has won consistently having been In-Hand BCPS Breed Champion 3 times and in 2007 won both In-Hand and Ridden BCPS Supreme Championships. In 2007 he also went on to win the NPS Baileys Supreme M&M Ridden Championship for the second time.  Ri now retires from ridden classes but may make an occasional appearance In-Hand.Lockinge Florence

Since moving to Minstrel's Farm in Somerset I am intentionally maintaining a small-scale stud but still striving to achieve the aims that I set out with so many years ago - performance. Now with the knowledge of breeding and type that were probably not of paramount importance when I was a child I now have a definite perspective in mind for my Connemara ponies. They must be of true pony type, with substance and quality and with the ability to perform a number of disciplines.

Resident Mares are Beenleighford Calypso (Shipton Sea Image) and Lockinge Florence (Lockinge Foxglove) - seen right. Both mares are by Lough Fee Warrior.