Bill Ireland’s Dales stallion, Village Defender, reserve champion at both HOYS and Olympia in 2005, has died suddenly following an operation.

He was only eight years old, and in his prime as a ridden pony. Defender, by Village Sovereign, was bought by Mr Ireland as a foal with his dam Village Pride, from his breeder, Robert Corner.

Defender was shown successfully in young stock classes and broken to saddle at four by Richard Telford, who produced and rode the stallion throughout his subsequent career.

In addition to numerous breed championships, Defender’s inter-breed successes included the supreme in-hand championship at the Scottish Ponies (UK) 2003, the Royal Highland M&M in-hand and ridden championships, the NPS Scotland Finals championship and Scottish Ridden Pony of the Year in 2005.

  • This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (9 February, ’06)
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