‘We’re so proud of them all’: 20 ponies from one stud qualify for Royal International final

  • Pure-bred and part-bred Dartmoor pony breeders have celebrated 20 ponies bearing their prefix qualifying for the 2024 Royal International Horse Show (RIHS). Joyce and Jacky Newbery’s Newoak Stud have achieved this record total for the first time since they started breeding in 1990.

    The Exeter-based stud has bred multiple Horse of the Year Show (HOYS), RIHS and county show winners and champions over the years. Although they are best known for their pure-bred Dartmoor ponies, many part-bred Dartmoors bred under the Newoak prefix have also been shown at top level.

    Out of the 20 Newoak ponies qualified for the RIHS, 15 of these are pure-bred Dartmoors. They include open ridden small breeds contenders Newoak Bobby James, Newoak Rhythm And Blues, Newoak St Paul, and Newoak Jazmine, who is also an M&M lead rein finalist. Joining in the lead rein final is Newoak Ruby Tuesday, Newoak Valerie and Newoak Bamalam, also a junior M&M small breeds finalist. Newoak Rockman has qualified for M&M lead rein and first ridden finals. Newoak Blizzard is heading to the show in the M&M first ridden and junior small breeds classes. Newoak The Governor is booked in for both open and Pretty Polly first ridden finals. Newoak Quick Silver, Newoak Wizard and Newoak Midnight Moon will appear in the Pretty Polly M&M lead rein final. Newoak Nancy Aster and Newoak Copper Beach will battle it out in the lead rein of hunter type final.

    The part-breds include lead-rein hunter type finalists Newoak Midnight Blue, a former winner of the class, and Newoak Hot Gossip. Newoak Pumpkin Spice will contend the open 122cm show hunter pony final, and Newoak Onyx will vie for the 133cm title.

    One coloured pony from the Newoak Stud, Newoak Roc Bay, will also take to the stage in the native,cob and traditional pony final.

    Alongside the home-breds, ponies previously owned by the Newoak Stud will also be competing at Hickstead. These include Wistmans Passing Glance, Hisley Caliph and Merribridge Sandstorm.

    In the 1990s, the stud bred show ponies and Dartmoors.

    “We weren’t overly happy with the show pony breeding, but we had beautiful show pony mares, so we decided to put a Dartmoor stallion on them and we produced show hunters,” said Jacky. “Our stallions all have amazing temperaments and each of our youngsters is well handled, though I do think the Dartmoor has taken the edge out of the show pony a bit, so they’re all usually good children’s ponies.”

    The Newoak team now comprises Joyce and her daughter Jacky as well as Jacky’s husband Paul Hattrick. They have a team of hard-working staff who split their time between the stud, the riding school and the livery yard, with Nicola Beckett, Sarah Cann and Lewis Mann key individuals within the breeding operation.

    “We are so proud of the ponies and their connections,” said Jacky. “While we are so delighted with this achievement, we have always bred ponies that can do multiple jobs, not just showing. While we love to show, we want to breed animals that can do other things if they don’t make the grade. We have ponies competing at the highest levels in showing, but we also have ponies at grassroots level and some even work in our riding school.”

    The Newoak Stud aims to breed between 15 and 20 foals per year and each pony is kept at home until it is three or four years old.

    “We like to make sure they’re educated and are mentally ready to go to a new home,” said Jacky.

    “We’ve put a lot into our ponies, as every breeder does,” Jacky added. “So we get a lot of joy from watching them in their new homes.”

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