A prolific pony breeding stallion “admired by many” has been put down aged 25.
Deanshill Royal Portrait, a son of Sandbourne Royal Ensign, was put down on 10 June following the discovery of a cancerous growth.
Romanno Stud owner Jennifer Gilchrist told H&H she bought 128cm Portrait as a 10-year-old from his breeder Robert Cockram of Deanshill Stud. The stallion, who was partially sighted in one eye as a result of an injury he sustained as a youngster, enjoyed a brief showing career before concentrating on breeding duties.
“He was much admired and thought of by many people. He was one of the original stallions right at the top of the riding pony breeding programme many years ago,” Jennifer said.
Portrait’s progeny have competed at the Horse of the Year Show and the Royal International, and taken multiple titles at county shows.
“Although he was an older boy there’s still many out there by Portrait doing very well,” said Jennifer, who added that another breeder welcomed a foal by the stallion a few weeks ago.
“He’s thrown some cracking stock for me and many others. It’s not just showing – he’s bred sports and driving ponies.
“He was a very versatile stallion and always threw stock that were so easy – true childrens’ riding ponies. They were correct and pretty, but level-headed, which is what you want for a child’s pony.”
Jennifer, who owns Potrait’s full brother Deanshill Royal Jubilee and son Romanno Serendipity, said Portrait was the “kindest boy you could come across”.
“In his 25 years he was never sick or sorry, he was never lame. We used to use him for leading youngsters and teaching them how to load – anything you needed help on the yard with, Portrait was there. He could be stabled next to mares, and I would use him to nanny yearlings – you would forget he was a stallion,” said Jennifer.
“We also used him for teasing mares without doing the covering work and as long as he got two or three Polos he was happy – he was so easy to deal with. All his life everyone loved him, he was an absolute darling in all respects and ticked all the boxes.”
Jennifer said Portrait will be greatly missed.
“He was an integral part of the stud, not just as a breeding stallion but a member of the family,” she said.