New Forest ponies have been making their mark in Israel, thanks to an enthusiast who has started breeding them.
Hana Boshari has become a “pioneer” for the ponies in the country, where there were previously very few examples of the breed.
“They are very rare here,” said Hana. “Before I brought my ponies over there were only two others, as far as I know.”
Hana grew up in Holland, and returned to the country to find a pony for her son when he was nine years old.
“I couldn’t find anything in Israel,” she said. “So I went to Holland and bought him the approved [New Forest] stallion Koetsiershoeves Silver Star who was 13 at that time and a great schoolmaster for a beginner rider.
“They were very successful at jumping so soon I bought him a second pony from Germany; Thyraburgs Moin Moin who didn’t pass the stallion test. I had him gelded and when he came he was only saddle broken so I started to train him and competed him in dressage to get him some experienced for my son to take him over.
“When other people saw the ponies they got interested and I helped a few to find a New Forest pony because they have an amazing character for kids.
“They are great at jumping which is very popular in Israel and they do very well in the hot Israeli climate.”
Silver Star has since been used to cover some local mares, while Hana has also started to breed more New Forests for herself.
She has subsequently bought another four mares from Europe —including English mare Haywards Juniper and another called Sulaatiks Peaches Marmalade, who was brought over in foal to English stallion Waylands Cranberry.
The mare recently gave birth to a colt foal who is the newest addition to Hana’s herd of 12 New Forests; which she plans to expand by breeding another four foals next year.
“It is my dream to breed those lovely New Forest ponies for the kids in Israel,” she said. “There are ponies here but not as good and with a great character as the New Forest pony.”
Hana added that the ponies seem to have adapted well to life in Israel.
“They are very easy to keep,” she said. “During the summer, when temperatures are very hot day and night, they find a cool place under some trees or in the shade next to a ventilator.
“They are very clever and take good care of themselves. They also drink enough and are lively even when it’s hot. It takes them a year to get used to the climate but then they are like local horses and also grow less fur in the winter.”
Waylands Cranberry is owned by the Wayland Stud, which has been breeding New Forest ponies since 1973.
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The stud’s owner Mary Bryant was amazed to spot that a foal by Cranberry was living in Israel.
“We knew he had foals in Australia but we had no idea there was one in Israel,” said Mary’s friend Stephanie Shirfield. “We saw the pictures of the ponies posted on Facebook. It’s incredible how much more accessible everywhere is these days.”