2016 Wild Rose Welsh & Open Pony Show

We read show reports from various shows but this one has something a little extra. Karen Podolski has taken the time to get contributions for the article from the pony owners included in the article. This makes it much more interesting. Nice job Karen.

2016 Wild Rose Welsh & Open Pony Show

Written by Karen Podolski with contributions from pony owners included in the article. Photo credit on all but the last two photos goes to Sarah’s Equine Design.

July 16-17 weekend saw another Wild Rose Welsh & Open Pony Show alongside the Welsh & Half-Welsh Young Stock Futurity & Performance Stake on Friday, July 15 in Red Deer, Alberta. We welcomed three judges in total: Shirley Cane, Elizabeth Russell, and Molly Rinedollar.

With challenging weather and economic climate, we had lower entries than usual—though unlike many shows across the province, and across disciplines—we were able to make a go of it.

With the quality of judges, we had many commenting that they had been excited to bring their ponies, but had hay rotting in the field and needed to be on standby for baling weather, or had injuries (and in one case surgery), or just didn’t have ponies ready due to the non-stop rain we’ve been having—it was just one of those years. Nonetheless, our judges had a good selection of ponies, some of whom are featured here, as 2016’s top halter winners.

The show was fortunate to see a new group: Marit Stable from Calgary brought a variety of first-time and seasoned exhibitors—though all new to the Wild Rose Show. Many came over to say they learned lots, had a great time, and will be out next year. As a show organizer, I strongly encourage others to connect with local stables. You’d be surprised how many of them have Welsh and would like a venue to showcase their ponies. And on years with low entries, this can make the difference between a successful and a cancelled show.

As our show started with the Friday Futurity, so should we here. Our Futurity judge, Shirley Cane of Hoskin Stable in Ontario, has boarded, trained, shown, and bred Welsh ponies. At her 60-stall boarding stable, she teaches equitation, showmanship, riding and driving—while offering on-going horsemanship courses, and partnering with the Durham Board of Education, 4-H Clubs, Pony Clubs, and the Durham Horseback Riding for Special Needs Association.

Shirley’s Young Stock Futurity Supreme Champion was Welsh Mountain Pony yearling colt, Sunburst Heart of Jubilee (Sunwillow Jubilee x Young’s Heart Breaker by Young’s Country Rock), bred and owned by Kasandra Miller, whose name you may recognize as the daughter of long-term breeder, Shelley Snyder with the Shell-Crest prefix.


Shirley says he is a “lovely moving pony, with good length of rein, strong hind quarters, and true to type.”

Kasandra had the opportunity to AI her mare to Sunwillow Jubilee (Heniarth Quip x Sunwillow Dido by Randan Walter), a well-known Section A stallion back in Wales, being as local breeder, Colleen Polard, brought in frozen semen. Both Jubilee and Kasandra’s mare are champions, so she thought this would be a good pairing—the result being the first colt sired by Jubilee to be born in Canada.

Kasandra says he is a very kind and gentle pony that wants to please. With his good attitude and long, free movement, she plans for him to head her breeding program, and she will be starting him in pleasure driving. It will be nice to have this family back in the driving ring with this promising colt.

A week before the Wild Rose Show, Sunburst Heart of Jubilee went Grand Champion at the Didsbury Horse Show. Like many Alberta shows, Didsbury suffered very low entries this year, but being as the Didsbury Agricultural Society has its own facility to host the show at, that’s one less major expense for the show to contend with—the show went on.

Shirley’s Futurity Reserve Supreme Champion was yearling Section B filly, Alvesta Freya (Alvesta Helios x Alvesta Electra by *CadlanValley Pirate), mentioned later in this article.

The Young Stock Futurity also has a Sport Pony division for ponies two and under. Shirley’s Futurity Grand Champion Sport Pony was two-year-old Section B filly Alvesta Angelina (*Llanarth Tarquin x Alvesta Electra by *CadlanValley Pirate), bred and owned by Brenda Podolski of Jarvie, Alberta.


Shirley says she is a “nice square mare, true to type, with a lovely rein and good back.”

At Alvesta Farm, it’s felt Angelina is a perfect combination of her sire and dam. Angelina is fifth-generation Alvesta breeding, and has retained many of the qualities these mares consistently pass down, including strong movement with plenty of extension, while being stamped with that elegant, unmistakably Welsh Cwrtycadno Cymro stamp that had the Podolskis looking for a Cymro son to import some years ago. The result was their Llanarth Tarquin—Angelina and Alvesta Naiya are the Tarquin daughters retained at Alvesta for a show and breeding career. Tarquin was also at the show with his new owner, and went Reserve Supreme Welsh under Molly Rinedollar.

Reserve Futurity Sport Pony Champion to Alvesta Angelina, Shirley placed Exeter Evenstar, a two-year-old Half-Welsh pony mentioned later in this article. Evenstar was also Shirley’s Futurity Half-Welsh Champion with Heather Worden’s Little Miss Daisy Dukes (Young’s Country Brat x Memory Lane Pharohs Savannah by An American Pharoh) in Reserve.

After her judging assignment, on behalf of the Wild Rose Show, Shirley hosted a clinic on riding, with saddle and bridle fitting, including bits and the importance of proper tooth care. She also answered questions around halter and driving ponies and helped with further fittings.

This year, the show had a lot of first-time exhibitors, who were very lucky to make 2016 their first year out, as Shirley and her daughter Patti spent quite a lot of time after the clinic helping people one-on-one to properly clean up their ponies for the show ring. Over and over we had exhibitors coming up to tell us how helpful these ladies were and how much was learned from them.

Our Saturday and Sunday classes were double judged by Elizabeth Russell and Molly Rinedollar. An overview of the top championships are here, and full results are available at www.facebook.com/WildRoseShow.

JUDGE ELIZABETH RUSSELL, Gartconnel Stud, Scotland

Elizabeth Russell of the Gartconnel Stud has been breeding Welsh Mountain Ponies since 1969 and judging since 1985. She is on the WPCS judges’ panel and is eligible to officiate gold medal shows (such as the prestigious Royal Welsh show in Wales). Elizabeth judges Welsh breed and part bred halter classes, along with ridden and driven classes.

Young Stock Champion: Alvesta Infinity, Brenda Podolski
Young Stock Res. Champion: Coyote Run Enya, Brenda Harder
Supreme Champion Welsh: Stonecountry’s Primrose, Airth Farms Ltd.
Res. Supreme Champion Welsh: Alvesta Infinity, Brenda Podolski
Supreme Ch. Welsh Gelding: Menai Step-On, Stacey Schaber
Res. Supreme Ch. Welsh Gelding: Nibrika Armagh Spirit, Sue Bown
Grand Champion Sport Pony: Exeter Evenstar, Karen Chorney
Res. Grand Ch. Sport Pony: Berrylyn Alexi, Nancy Haverstock
Grand Ch. Model Hunter Pony: Bryson’s I Am Canadian, Andrea Raimondi
Res. Grand Ch. Model Hunter Pony: Berrylyn Alexi, Nancy Haverstock
Grand Champion Half-Welsh: Exeter Evenstar, Karen Chorney
Res. Champion Half-Welsh: Berrylyn Alexi, Nancy Haverstock

Elizabeth remarked, “I much enjoyed my trip, despite the weather, to see the lovely ponies and beautiful country. The farm visits were a delight—I just loved the prairie country. You should all be congratulated on having animals true to type and continuing your quest to improve the stock.

JUDGE MOLLY RINEDOLLAR, Helicon Show Stables, Colorado

Molly Rinedollar is experienced judging halter, English and Western Pleasure, reining, hunter, and driving. She’s shown ponies and cobs in 15 states, earning WPCSA and USEF awards. A WPCSA, IHSA, and IEA approved judge, Molly is also owner and head instructor at Helicon Show Stables in Colorado.

Young Stock Champion: Alvesta Freya, Brenda Podolski
Young Stock Res. Champion: Foothill’s Bring Bling, Stacey Schaber
Supreme Champion Welsh: Applevalley Lychee, Stacey Schaber
Res. Supreme Champion Welsh: Llanarth Tarquin, Vicki Coleman
Supreme Ch. Welsh Gelding: Menai Step-On, Stacey Schaber
Res. Supreme Ch. Welsh Gelding: Nibrika Armagh Spirit, Sue Bown
Grand Champion Sport Pony: Exeter Evenstar, Karen Chorney
Res. Grand Ch. Sport Pony: Berrylyn Alexi, Nancy Haverstock
Grand Ch. Model Hunter Pony: Exeter Evenstar, Karen Chorney
Res. Grand Ch. Model Hunter Pony: Ulterra I Believe, Cathy Chalack
Grand Champion Half-Welsh: Exeter Evenstar, Karen Chorney
Res. Champion Half-Welsh: Berrylyn Alexi, Nancy Haverstock

Molly says, “There were a lot of very nice ponies with loads of potential—assets to the Welsh pony world. You could tell that all of the ponies were examples of well-planned breeding programs. I had a great time at this well organized show with very friendly and receptive exhibitors!”

Though Elizabeth and Molly agreed on various placings throughout the weekend, this didn’t start with the Young Stock Championship!

Elizabeth’s Young Stock Champion was yearling Welsh Mountain Pony colt Alvesta Infinity (Cat Creek Innuendo x Alvesta Caris by *Nerwyn Gwyn), bred and owned by Brenda Podolski. Under both judges Infinity went Grand Champion Section A Male, but in addition to putting him Young Stock Champion, Elizabeth also put Infinity Reserve Supreme Champion of the show.


When Infinity’s dam, Alvesta Caris, was born at Alvesta Farm—the first daughter from their then new import, *Nerwyn Gwyn—the Podolskis were so happy to have this filly with the smooth topline and big movement. Born too golden to remain palomino, like her sire, Caris would soon go grey. A stallion for the Gwyn daughters has only been recently purchased, so this outcross came via AI to Winona Myers’ Coed Coch bred Cat Creek Innuendo in Kansas. Feeling this stallion had the type, movement, and wonderful old bloodlines, Brenda thought this combination would really click. Infinity appears to be the full package, so the Podolskis are eager to watch him develop, with plans to show him and eventually use him in the breeding program.

Reserve Young Stock Champion under Elizabeth went to Welsh Mountain Pony two-year-old filly Coyote Run Enya (Tillybo Casanova x Coyote Run Esper by Anderin’s Caerwynne), another result of bringing in semen from the United States.


Enya started the show as Futurity Reserve Grand Champion Section A, behind Sunburst Heart of Jubilee. The next day, after winning Reserve Young Stock Championship in the main show, she went on to be Reserve Junior Champion Sport Pony as well under Elizabeth.

Daughter of Coyote Run Esper, and granddaughter of Arrow Valley Eirys, Enya is third-generation of Brenda Harder’s “E” family line. Brenda says all are proper movers with very kind temperaments, a hallmark of the Welsh Mountain Pony. Enya was Brenda’s first attempt at using artificial insemination. Fellow breeder and friend, Colleen Polard, had been interested in accessing more stallions, in Canada and the US, and Brenda had met Tillybo Casanova’s breeders, the Wormwolds, while attending the Fayre Oaks sale and visiting studs in the UK. And so, arrangements were made with Casanova’s then owners and importers, Glenhaven Farm. Enya has been shown quite successfully as a foal at her dam’s side, yearling last year, and now as a saucy, curious two-year-old.

Molly Rinedollar had other plans, putting yearling Section B filly, Alvesta Freya (Alvesta Helios x Alvesta Electra by *CadlanValley Pirate) as her Young Stock Champion. Molly then placed Freya Grand Champion Section B Female, Reserve Champion Sport Pony, and second in her Model Hunter Pony class. Elizabeth also placed Freya well, with her best being Reserve Grand Champion Section B Female.


Molly says, “Alvesta Freya is a flashy, unique, beautiful pony and a model for the Section B Welsh. She has a very bright future ahead of her!”

Though line breeding is not common at Alvesta Farm, breeder and owner, Brenda Podolski, thought Freya’s sire and dam would be a good cross, feeling both are quality ponies with all the points she likes to see in a Section B. She’s very happy with the result—a classy, sensible pony with a lot of go and that trademark Welsh eagerness. Brenda expects Freya will make someone a wonderful performance pony.

Molly’s Young Stock Reserve Champion was the three-month-old Welsh Mountain Pony foal Foothill’s Bring Bling (Gallod Twm Sion Catti x Applevalley Lychee by Beau Haven Filbert), bred by Julie Foot and owned by Stacey Schaber of Olds, Alberta.


Stacey remarks that the filly’s dam is a good producer herself, and put to Gallod Twm Sion Catti, Stacey considers the outcome quite special. Bring Bling is just what she had wanted from this cross—right down to the filly’s color and markings. An easy going, friendly filly, Bring Bling is one to whinny and come running when she sees you. A nice trait for a future driving pony. With aspirations to see this filly in harness, Stacey appreciates her style and substance, and these recent wins only confirm Stacey’s hopes for their partnership.

Bring Bling’s sire, Gallod Twm Sion Catti, has gone from east to west several times, being bred in Manitoba by Susan Stepney, sold to Alberta—where he was a popular stallion, siring numerous halter and performance champions—before going back east to Quebec. He’s now returned to Alberta, and Stacey has had the chance to rebreed Lychee to him, with the hopes of another filly like this one, Molly’s Young Stock Champion, who Stacey affectionately calls “Fancy”.

The Supreme Championship encompasses all purebred Welsh breeding animals (geldings have their own division), and the winner is the judge’s choice for best of breed on that day. Elizabeth’s pick was Section C six-year-old mare, Stonecountry Primrose (Menai Carlo x Twmbarlwm Nadia by Parvadean Diplomat), bred from two Welsh imports and owned by Airth Farms Ltd. from Brooks, Alberta.


Of her Supreme Champion, Elizabeth says, “As soon as the bay mare walked into the ring she struck me as being very true to breed type. She had a purposeful walk, covered the ground and lifted and extended in her trot. Despite a blemish (splint) she was everything that a good Section C should represent, with good bone, short cannons, strong hocks, pony head, and feminine charm. A complete picture representing the characteristics of a Welsh Pony of Cob Type.”

Linda Airth had bonded with Primrose the first time she saw her at four months old, at breeder, Suzanne Bryson-Flett’s, home. She had to have the little filly, who she already planned to show.

Suzanne has recently ceased breeding and is selling all breeding stock, including this mare’s dam. The Airth family has found Primrose to have a very kind and willing temperament, and are using her for riding—Primrose is now in further training for trail competitions.

Reserve Supreme under Elizabeth was the same as her Young Stock Champion: Welsh Mountain Pony yearling colt, Alvesta Infinity. She says about him, “This lovely colt was very correct. As well as having Welsh Mountain Pony characteristics, his kindness was evident. He also was shortly coupled, had a lovely length of rein and head/shoulder set, moved straight, and covered the ground. He lifted at the trot, and his behaviour for a yearling was impeccable in that he showed himself to his best. He deserved his placings, but as he was not matured (i.e. I could not see the finished article), he had in this instance to give way to maturity in the Supreme Welsh championship.”

Stacey Schaber’s six-year-old Welsh Mountain Pony mare, Applevalley Lychee (Beau Haven Filbert x Foothill’s Halcyonia Kiara by Young’s Fella) was Molly Rinedollar’s pick for Supreme Champion  keeping to the same family as her Young Stock Reserve Champion, Lychee’s three-month-old foal, Foothill’s Bring Bling.


Molly says, “Applevalley Lychee is a very typey, classic Section A mare with a big, bold eye on a refined head.”

Lychee (or “Weechee”, as Stacey calls her) is one of the few fillies by Beau Haven Filbert. Stacey says that while not well known, Filbert has sired foals known for their disposition, trainability, and athleticism. This daughter has won several championships as a yearling and two-year-old, including Welsh, Sport Pony, and Model Hunter, so this year’s return to the show ring bringing her Supreme Champion was an exciting progression.

Molly gave first-time Welsh exhibitor, Vicki Coleman from Spruce View, Alberta quite a start, placing her newly acquired eight-year-old Section B stallion, *Llanarth Tarquin Reserve Supreme Champion. Of Tarquin, Molly says he’s “quite a nice stallion and well represented the Section B—a great addition to a breeding program.”


Tarquin is Vicki and Curtis Coleman’s first Welsh pony. Back in 2001 they purchased their Roundcreek Quarter Horse Ranch, and since raised and sold 40 performance prospects. When their old stallion passed away, they retired their breeding mares, and have not had foals for six years. Missing working with the young ones, Vicki decided to seek out a stallion.

She had been in Pony Club as a teenager and always admired the athleticism of the Welsh and thought they made amazing jumpers for kids. Seeing Welsh as beautiful, smart, and gentle, like her Quarter Horses, but more refined, Vicki thought Welsh x Quarter Horse crosses would make ideal sport ponies/horses.

Vicki came across the “gorgeous Section B stallion” Llanarth Tarquin, and instantly fell in love with him. Planning only to breed to a stallion, when she found she could purchase Tarquin, she couldn’t get him out of her head. Knowing her twentieth “platinum” wedding anniversary was coming up… well, in the spring of 2016, the stallion with the “unforgettable conformation and beauty” was Vicki’s. The Colemans couldn’t be more pleased with their Welsh stallion, who they say is so incredibly kind and loving that you can’t help but want to be with him. Vicky remarks, “He has a beautiful head and neck, and with his elegant body and movement, he’s been so entertaining to watch, the way he runs and spins around the pasture. Tarquin is easy for me to handle and so gentle with the mares.”

Vicki put Tarquin to three of her favourite Quarter Horse mares between 20 and 23 years old, who were always hard breeders—the Colemans couldn’t be more excited to learn all three are in foal for 2017. They hope this will produce some replacement mares for their new sport pony program. In the future, they may be offering Tarquin to outside mares, but for the time being, look forward to seeing their own Half-Welsh foals in the spring.

Elizabeth and Molly were of the same mind for the gelding division, awarding Stacey Schaber’s nine-year-old Welsh Mountain Pony *Menai Step-On (Knolton Daylight x Menai Slip-On by Friars Generous) the Supreme Championship neck sash—though not his first. Elizabeth says about him, “A lovely example of a true Welsh Mountain Pony. Good bone, tail and head set. He covered the ground and sparkled in his gelding classes. A worthy champion.”


Looking for a Section A with good bone and substance for her breeding program, Julie Foot had imported Step-On from the Menai stud in Wales. When Stacey first met her good friend’s stallion, he was not for sale, so she did the next best thing and purchased his daughter, Silverpine Jubilee—as she considered Jubilee the spitting image of her sire, with the same sweet, attention-seeking personality as Step-On. As an interesting aside, this mare was born the year of Queen Elizabeth’s “jubilee birthday”—hence her name.


Step-On was exactly how Stacey felt a Welsh Mountain Pony should be: alongside the bone and substance was a big personality and beautiful movement. She’s found that he adores children and all attention, including being clipped and bathed. Stacey’s affectionate Step-On is her dream pony.

Now that she has father and daughter, Stacey plans to get Step-On driving and eventually have him paired with Jubilee. She looks forward to a long and rewarding future with her “dream team”.

The judges’ unanimous Res. Supreme Champion Gelding was eight-year-old Section C Nibrika Armagh Spirit (Dusty’s Dundee x Bet-Lar Armagh by Talywern Royal Edition), bred by Nigel Dowey and owned by Sue Bown of Okotoks.


Sue had grown up in England with Welsh ponies and loved their temperament, agility, stamina, personality, and that they are great all-around ponies that can do every discipline. She came across this pony, who she refers to as “Murph”, while looking through online ads for a well built, agile, and safe pony that would suit her then nine-year-old daughter. He was an untrained four-year-old, but ended up being an “absolute angel” to train—very willing and eager.

Now her daughter is 13 years old, and Sue says Nibrika Armagh Spirit loves his little girl. They’ve found this pony to be independent and trusting, without a nasty bone. As Sue’s daughter loves dressage, they’ve been focused on this lately, but they’ve done hunter, jumper, and eventing too.

Nibrika Armagh Spirit went Reserve Champion at the 2015 Ponoka Dressage Show, and after this Wild Rose Show, has now taken Reserve Champion Gelding for his breed as well.

One of the show’s most consistently successful entries was Exeter Evenstar (Northwind Catcall x Alvesta Brianna by *CadlanValley Pirate), a Half-Welsh two-year-old filly owned and bred by Karen Chorney and her husband Dean from Calgary.


On Friday under judge Shirley Cane, Evenstar went Futurity Grand Champion Half-Welsh and Futurity Reserve Grand Champion Sport Pony. The next day Elizabeth Russell placed “Arwen” Grand Champion Half-Welsh and Grand Champion Sport Pony, while Molly Rinedollar put her not only Grand Champion Half-Welsh and Sport Pony, but also Grand Champion Model Hunter Pony. The Sport Pony and Model Hunter Pony divisions are two of the largest in the show, and are open to all breeds, with classes divided by height and age, so this is quite an accomplishment, especially for a pony so young.

Molly says, “Exeter Evenstar is a lovely pony. She has an incredible walk and an equally good trot! She will be an amazing hunter pony with lots of Welsh attributes!”

In 2012, Karen and Dean had visited select pony farms in Ontario and the United States. One such farm was that of Prue Richardson, long-time breeder with the Northwind prefix. As the Chorneys had been considering breeding their Section B mare, Alvesta Brianna (*CadlanValley Pirate x Alvesta Buttons N Bows by Llandefalle Bonheddwr), they asked Prue for her opinion on a good stallion for their purposes, being focused on the hunter and sport ring. Prue suggested Northwind Catcall, Devon Grand Champion as a yearling. With Catcall’s sire, Cusop Jovial, already at the top of Karen’s breeding list, she decided Catcall was the stallion she was looking for.

In May of 2016, the Chorneys took Exeter Evenstar to compete in the Pony Hunter breeding classes at The Devon Horse Show in Pennsylvania—an exciting experience for her breeders, as this was their first homebred to compete at this prestigious show. They were very proud to come home with a 7th place ribbon and noted the experience did much to mature their filly.

In Karen’s eyes, Evenstar is a well-balanced and conformed pony with a nice topline, but the thing people always remark on is her big stride. A fellow breeder recently remarked “she just floats when she moves.” At home Evenstar is appreciated for her curious, people-loving personality. If Dean is out working in the pasture, Evenstar is right there, picking up tools, trying to help. As she matures, the Chorneys are seeing a lot of her kind dam’s personality traits emerge.

With such a successful start to Evenstar’s career, the Chorneys are tentatively considering taking her to the American National Welsh Pony & Cob Show in Tulsa—sure to be another exciting adventure for these new breeders.

Under Elizabeth, the Reserve Champion Sport Pony, Model Hunter Pony, and Half-Welsh Pony was Berrylyn Alexi (Alvesta Folklore x TH Centrefold), a 14-year-old Half-Welsh mare owned by Nancy Haverstock from Ardrossan. Elizabeth says, “This striking mare covered the ground beautifully. Her bone, way of going, presence, length of rein (vital in a riding pony), and pony head all contributed to her being a quality example of a Welsh part bred.”

Nancy came to purchase Alexi from Brian McClelland in the summer of 2013. They were looking for a quiet, kid-friendly riding partner for their young daughters, Eliza and Reese. “Lexi” fit the bill (though during her heat cycles she can be a challenge, as was the case at this show), and being as she’s a big bodied, nearly 14hh mare, Nancy is able to ride her as well, making her a pony for the whole family.

Eliza has used Lexi in 4-H for the last two years, learning much from her. The Wild Rose Welsh & Open Pony Show was the family’s first show with Lexi, though she had been successfully shown with her former owner. She was also shown by a junior exhibitor at a Region 17 Arabian Horse Show in the Half-Arabian Western Pleasure Walk/Jog.

This August, Lexi is scheduled to go to a trainer for several months, and her little girls will be taking riding lessons on her, before Eliza and Lexi return to 4-H together this autumn. They hope to have Lexi ready for the Arabian circuit next year, with Eliza for the Half-Arabian Hunter Pleasure class, and Reese for the Walk/Trot class.

The Haverstock family “loves to bits” their Half-Welsh mare with the deep knicker, a pony who has a forever home with them.

Molly Rinedollar gave Berrylyn Alexi the same Reserve Championships as Elizabeth did, with one exception, which went to another Half-Welsh mare.

This Model Hunter Pony Reserve Championship went to four-year-old Half-Welsh mare Ulterra I Believe (Machno Carwyn x Taffy), bred and owned by Cathy Chalack from Carstairs. Molly says, “Ulterra I Believe is a very pretty mare with a lot of bone, scope, and  athleticism, while maintaining Welsh characteristics.”


When Cathy had been looking for the best show jumping pony of Welsh influence, she came across the Welsh stallion Machno Carwyn—a massive show jumping pony winner in Europe. She felt he exemplified Welsh character and athleticism. Tracking down Diana Orona, who had semen from Carwyn in the United States, Cathy was able to cross him with her champion mare, Taffy—a pony sired by the Connemara stallion Roundstone Oscar’s Donnegaulle and out of an old Welsh mare Lil’s Lady Lou. Taffy’s offspring have all been champions in the hunter ring and on the line, so Cathy knew she would like this cross.

The year this mare was born, the Olympics were held in British Columbia, and the theme song became Ulterra I Believe’s namesake. Her breeder says she is a fantastic representation of the modern-day sport pony: quality, character, substance, conformation, movement.

The Wild Rose Show was not this mare’s first—as a two-year-old, she went Gold Premium at a RSPI pony inspection hosted at Ulterra Farm. She is currently in foal to Cathy’s young Riding Pony stallion, Arnaby Marador, who scored 91.5 at his sport pony inspection, and already has two foals on the ground. Once her foal is weaned, I Believe will continue her career as a show pony—Cathy is particularly excited to see her in the hunter / jumper ring. She is honoured and humbled to be this mare’s caretaker and to have the opportunity to create a future with her.

Under Elizabeth Russell, the Grand Champion Model Hunter pony was a different type—and not an uncommon type for the hunter ring back in the U.K. When Bryson’s I Am Canadian’s named was called, his little handler, Violet Raimondi from Calgary was obviously thrilled. This is the Raimondi’s second year showing at the Wild Rose Show, and the first time their 14-year-old Welsh Mountain Pony Gelding won this large championship.


When the Raimondis purchased Bryson’s I Am Canadian (Barkmeadow Golden Merlot x Young’s Country Rockette by Young’s Country Rock), he wasn’t actually for sale, but with the help of friends, they were able to convince the owner that young Violette and “Cashew” were a perfect match. Violette’s mom, Andrea Raimondi says, “Violette thinks the sun shines out of him. We could not have been more right on the perfect match of a dream pony for Violette.”

He’s always been boarded at show barns with large horses and adult riders. Violette is typically the only child at the boarding facility, and he is one of the only ponies. He may be short, but not on personality—he’s the biggest around! This pony is everyone’s favorite, known for his lips peeking over the stall door. Quite the character, his best trait is his disposition—says owner Andrea—he is so trustworthy with Violette.

The Raimondi family typically show their gelding at gold shows for dressage, where he is always in the ribbons. His background was predominantly hunter/jumper, so Violette would love to show more of all disciplines. In the last four years, they’ve shown Bryson’s I Am Canadian at the Welsh pony shows, where he has won supreme champion gelding with many reserve titles. This gelding has been a wonderful partner for Violette to learn on, and made his family realize how versatile the Welsh breed is.

Of her Grand Champion Model Hunter Pony, Elizabeth says, “This little pony had lovely bone, outline, and cadence and was shown to his advantage during the Model Hunter Pony classes. The exhibitor had attended the clinic on the Saturday evening, had taken points on board, and what a difference she made showing her pony to its advantage in the Sunday classes. As well as having good bone and being correct, he looked alert, eye-catching, gave a lively show, and generally looked happy to be doing his job—the placing reflected the harmony in the partnership.”

Upon completion of the Saturday classes, Molly and Elizabeth decided to hold an in-hand clinic, to the benefit of exhibitors new and seasoned in the show ring. Their focus was not only one’s handling when already in the ring, but how to get your pony ready for the ring, stressing plenty of time walking and trotting your pony with purpose pre-show.

Should your pony not want to trot, or not want to trot with any flare, have someone help you practise, by coming behind the pony with the whip to encourage him forward (you don’t need to actually use the whip, but the pony will be aware of it, if you make its presence known). Be sure to trot at your pony’s shoulder, not pulling him along. You can encourage his head forward by extending your arm, but keep your body beside him.

When walking up to the judges, be sure your eyes are on the judges, not the ground, and if your pony is looking bored, wake him up however you can; you have only one chance to impress the judge(s). The judges remarked that many handlers had much improved their showmanship by the Sunday classes, and did their ponies justice.

We offer some fun classes, like pole bending, and while the show breaks to set up other classes, we do an informal “pony-less pole bending” for the kids, which is always a hit and a great way to make the show a bit more appealing to youth. Prior to the ridden pole bending, our ring master did a demo of the course to ensure clarity for juniors, accidentally showcasing the dangers of excessive speed, when losing his footing and doing a rather spectacular seemingly slow motion face plant into the sand.

The Wild Rose Welsh & Open Pony Show was extremely fortunate to have generous sponsors, who are in a big way to thank for our ability to put on the show: Welsh Pony & Cob Society of Canada, English Tack Shop, Alvesta Farm, Canadian Sport Horse Association, Airth Farms Ltd., Wendy & Don Williams, Ulterra Ranches, Coyote Run Welsh Mountain Ponies, Shannon and Dwayne Comeau, the Sward family, Melany Moore.

Also a big thanks to those who donated incredible class prizes, which is always a great bonus for exhibitors: English Tack Shop, Greenhawk Harness & Equestrian Supplies, Trustori Inc., Tudor Equestrian, Vitality Equine, Tonic Equestrian, Storybook Ponies, Alvesta Farm, Tail Spin Bracelets, The Paisley Magazine, Jones Boys Saddlery and Horse Canada!

Thanks to everyone who was part of our show.

One thought on “2016 Wild Rose Welsh & Open Pony Show

  1. Some truly beautiful Welsh ponies there. We don’t seem to have Welsh Mountains much in evidence in Britian now – I haven’t seen one for years. We do see Welsh Cobs sometimes though which I love.


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