A dispute that split the Welsh Pony and Cob Society (WPCS) has been settled after more than six years.

Five former council members have been “completely exonerated” after being disciplined in 2004, accused of acting in a way that was “prejudicial to the interests of the society” (news, 12 February 2004).

Now, after threatening legal action against the society, the five were absolved of wrongdoing on 31 March.

The WPCS did not wish to comment but a statement read: “After much discussion council recommended that a complete exoneration should be offered to the disciplined members to conclude this matter, and this has been accepted by all parties.

“One must understand what serious mental and physical stress has been borne by those who were part of the discipline.”

The members, including former chairman Ifor Lloyd, were disciplined for their opposition to the sacking of Evelyn Jones, the society’s former secretary who won damages for unfair dismissal in November 2004.

Mr Lloyd told H&H: “Mrs Jones was illegally sacked and when we tried to get information about her case we were accused of acting against the society.

“My father and his brother were involved in setting up the society in 1901 and it is very dear to my heart.

“I would like to draw a line under this now. The society needs to get away from legal wrangles and concentrate on the promotion of horses.”

The other wronged members were Wyn Jones, owner of the Nerwyn Stud, Abergele; Gwyn Berry, who runs the Betws Stud, Capel Curig; Elizabeth French of the Forlan Stud in Wiltshire and Tom Roberts of the Pistyll Stud, Pontypool.

Wyn Jones added: “I feel the society is now back on track and can look to the future, rather than the past.”

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (13 May, ’10)