Yvonne and Howell Davies, who started the Cadlanvalley Stud in 1976, have seen home-bred ponies take top accolades at the most prestigious shows in the country.
Now ably assisted by daughter and granddaughter Hayley and Libby Grota, last year the prefix was awarded the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) Kellythorpes’ Stud leading breeder of the year for Welsh Section Bs and leading sire of the breed for their prolific stallion Russetwood Elation.
Cadlanvalley graduates include the recent Olympia BSPS Heritage champion Cadlanvalley Sandpiper, HOYS junior M&M reserve champion Cadlanvalley Mikado, HOYS lead-rein of hunter type winner Cadlanvalley Super Ted and not forgetting the 2016 HOYS M&M ridden pony of the year Cadlanvalley Buzby.
Based on the wild Welsh coast on the edge of a cliff, the seasoned breeders show H&H around their successful stud and introduce us to some of their new faces…
Don’t miss the full interview with the Cadlanvalley team and much more in Horse & Hound’s showing special issue (15 March 2018), on sale now
A family affair — Yvonne and Howell Davies pictured with daughter Hayley Grota and granddaughter Libby. "Both mum and dad are still very much on top of the breeding side of things and mum likes to do all the foals’ registrations and passports," says Hayley. "But I’m in charge of all the entries for the shows. Mum did one HOYS qualifier for me and entered the wrong class, so I now do them all!”
'The end of the earth' — pictured is Cadlanvalley Golden Jubilation, a yearling filly by Russetwood Elation who will be heading to Colin Tibby's production yard this season to be campaigned in-hand. The current home of the stud is a 200-acre farm on the North Pembrokeshire coast. Yvonne and Howell originally started in a small valley named Cwm Cadlan where the prefix got it's name and moved to St Dogmaels, near Cardigan, in 1988
Hayley and the 2016 HOYS M&M champion Cadlanvalley Buzby make use of the glorious coastal landscape. With no arena to work the ponies on at home, they make use of the big, open fields and the beach. This year, the pair will be making their debut in ridden classes, after Buzby was successfully campaigned by producer Katy Marriot Payne a couple of seasons ago
There are about 35 ponies on-site and the stud produces up to 20 foals per year. “We made the decision a few years ago to no longer have any visiting mares so everything here is our own," says Yvonne
After losing their stallion Russetwood Elation last year, the team are excited about two of his grandsons, Cadlanvalley V.I.P, who is out of Buzby’s sister Georgette, and Cadlanvalley Georgie Boy, who will both have their first crops of foals on the ground this year. Yvonne says: “It will be interesting to see how they turn out. But you have to remember that the mare is just as important when it comes to breeding"
As well as her open mounts, Libby will pilot the four-year-old Chesnut gelding Cadlanvalley Valegro on the novice circuit. By Russetwood Elation and out of Stockham Domino, he is a full brother to Buzby
Pictured is the yearling colt Cadlanvalley Buzz Lightyear. Cadlanvalley has an annual list of foal buyers from all over the world. Last year the stud retained four foals. “We’re selling to about 15 countries, which is great, but we have to keep on improving,” says Yvonne. “The difficulties we face as a stud is finding good stallions for the future. They’ve got to have good temperaments and they must be the stamp we actually like”
The most recent Cadlanvalley pony to hit the headlines is Cadlanvalley Sandpiper, who took the overall supreme accolade at the Olympia International Horse Show, under Katy Marriott Payne