Small-Land Mambrino, one of the most influential stallions in the
recent history of the British riding pony, has died aged 28.
Mambrino was the result of the classic riding pony foundation stock cross: a Welsh Section B stallion, Downland Mohawk, out of the small Thoroughbred mare Gazelle, by Blarney Stone.
Despite lucrative offers for “Mamby” to be gelded and ridden, he was kept at home with his breeders, the Rees family in Carmarthenshire, as their senior stallion.
He created a worldwide dynasty that includes HOYS and Royal International winners such as Small-land Nightspell, Moonwalk, Musket, Royal Bronze, Higmead Interest Free, Touch of the Tobies and Sion Brian. In total some 22 of Mambrino’s progeny qualified for HOYS.
Of his progeny’s most successful year’s 1993 stands out as exceptional.
Royal Bronze was champion show pony and Sion Brian champion show hunter pony at the Royal International, with Royal Bronze the first pony to lift the Winston Churchill Trophy for the supreme exhibit. Mambrino also sired two Wembley winners and a reserve champion that year.
His sons and daughters were also highly successful in 1994 when seven
qualified for the Royal International, including Royal Bronze, who was
reserve champion show pony, while Moonwalk was champion show hunter pony.