Farewell to Jean Shemilt

  • The founder of Rowfantina Stud of Welsh ponies, Jean Shemilt, has died.

    Having been involved with hunters and riding ponies all her life, in 1959 Jean was asked to manage Rowfant Stud.

    It achieved such immediate outstanding success at home and abroad that Jean started her own Rowfantina Stud.

    In 1979 she emigrated to America, taking many of the ponies, and became established with some of the top American working hunter ponies.

    Jean returned to Britain in 1999 and brought some of the US-bred ponies back with her — including Horse of the Year Show winner Rowfantina Old Fashioned (pictured).

    The pony was broken at 9 years old in 1999 and went to HOYS in 2000. There she was M&M lead rein winner and champion of M&M minis section, under Jean’s grandson Owen, and led by her daughter Mandy Burchell-Small.

    This article was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (20 February 2014)

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