Royal Welsh Winter Fair judges crown a new star from a small stud

  • A Welsh section A colt from a small stud is crowned overall supreme ahead of a top-drawer field of future champions at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair, Royal Welsh Showground, Powys

    SMALL-SCALE breeder Owen Griffiths had cause for celebration when his home-bred Welsh section A colt Ilar Dakota stole the show and scored him his first Royal Welsh Winter Fair win and subsequent supreme title at the Royal Welsh Showground, Powys.

    The Winter Fair was, as usual, a showcase of future stars of both the breeding field and show ring. Bumper entries were witnessed across the two days, with breeders using the fixture as a shop window for their stock.

    After scoring his yearling class, Dakota – the first foal from his dam, Waxwing Dainty Dinah, whom Owen has on lease from the notable Waxwing Stud – was pulled forward as overall supreme with handler Sam Morsley, ahead of the Bigley family’s championed Welsh section B, Llanarth Consort.

    “My section A numbers are relatively low,” explained Owen. “Dakota’s win hopefully goes to show that even the small-scale breeder can produce champions with the right breeding lines.”

    Dakota is by Owen’s own young stallion Waxwing Fly Past.

    “I have retained Dakota’s full brother, Ilar Denver, this year and I hope to have him on the in-hand scene before he comes out under saddle in a few years,” added Owen. “Dakota has been line-bred to Revel Hetty, who is arguably one of the most influential Welsh mountain ponies. This is my first major win with the breed.

    “My mission is always to breed a pony that has the temperament, mentality and conformation to compete as a child’s ridden pony.”

    Dewi Roberts judged the supreme championship.

    “From the moment the exhibitors entered the ring, I was drawn to the section A, the section B and the part-bred, but for me the section A had the X-factor. He had presence, a beautiful topline and shoulder and an exquisite head. He was also clean limbed and had free-flowing action.

    “I’m sure he’ll succeed in whatever the future has in store. I entered the ring with an open mind and walked out with a clear conscience, and the honour of the day will stay with me a long time.”

    Poignant victory at Royal Welsh Winter Fair

    CATRYN BIGLEY was at the bridle of the reserve supreme choice and overall Welsh supreme, the home-bred Llanarth Consort. The yearling colt was attending his second show, his first being at National Pony Society Area 29 where he netted the supreme in-hand honour.

    Llanarth Consort

    Consort, who is by Breeton Dai, was following the path taken by his dam, Llanarth Delilah, who was section B champion and Welsh supreme at the Winter Fair in 2008 as a yearling.

    “Delilah went on to be breed champion and supreme in-hand at the Royal Welsh in 2012 and was female champion there in 2014,” said Catryn, who was attending the Winter Fair for the first time since the passing of her father, the influential breeder, judge and showman Len Bigley.

    “Dad said Consort was one we should never part with. Consort is also the last foal by Breeton Dai to be bred here at Llanarth. We hope he follows in his parents’ footsteps, not only as a show animal, but also as a prepotent sire.”

    Reserve for the section A crown was Keith Hughes’ Brynodyn Symphony Ann. Kate Williams led her own filly foal, Byley Eliza, to reserve in the section B championship, giving her a first Royal Welsh Winter Fair win.

    The coloured section was topped by Michelle Pickford’s native yearling Burghwallis Storm Chaser (Noah), who was given the nod ahead of Hilary Waterhouse’s Willowsway Love Affair.

    “I’d wanted a Burghwallis native for a long time and as soon as I saw Noah advertised at just a day old, I had to have him,” said Michelle of the colt by Burghwallis Moonlight out of Grafters Lass. “I went to see him at a week old and bought him as a birthday present to myself.”

    At the Coloured Horse and Pony Society championships in August, Noah enjoyed a red-letter week, culminating his show with the overall youngstock supreme title.

    “It was our first visit to the Winter Fair so we’re delighted,” Michelle added. “We couldn’t stay for the supreme due to work commitments but, hopefully, it will be the first of many visits to the showground for Noah. We’ll do some more in-hand with him over the next few years, but ultimately we want him as a ridden pony.”

    Jessica Goldsworthy’s Monahawk Real Magic yearling, Penstrumbly The Illusionist (Tiger), won the Welsh part-bred championship.

    Penstrumbly The Illusionist

    “I’d had one too many drinks at home and bought him over social media,” told Jessica. “I tend to get a bit broody and buy animals. We went up to see him and thankfully he was the most lovely foal.”

    Tiger was gelded in February and while he lives with Jessica the majority of the time, he returned to his breeder Rebecca Lamb’s base for production in the run-up to the Winter Fair and was shown by her on the day.

    “We originally thought he’d make a hunter pony, but he’s quite mature for his age,” added Jessica. “He’s full of character and I think I can say he was a good purchase under the influence!”

    Reserve in the part-bred championship was the Thomas’s winning exceeding 148cm foal Mount Pleasant Silver.

    “It was a special day”

    A WELSH section D filly foal broke the run of colts as she scored her section tricolour. This was Eurig Eynon and Rebecca Faulkner’s Abercippyn Victors Last daughter, Hatterall Lady Beth, shown by Justin Walters.Eurig and Rebecca sourced Lady Beth’s dam, Llanarth Beth, from the Llanarth Stud when she was in foal.

    Hatterall Lady Beth

    “I’ve been waiting for a double knee operation so Justin offered to have Lady Beth for us,” said Rebecca. “He also had a customer abroad who was interested in her, but our daughter, Ella, wants to keep her. ”

    While Rebecca and Eurig have achieved Winter Fair titles with coloureds, sport horses and part-breds in the past, this was their first Welsh breed championship.

    “It was a very special day,” Rebecca added.

    Sara Williams’ Parciau Ana Mai was called out as reserve section D champion, after standing second behind Lady Beth in class.

    On his first outing, Richard and Joanna Morgan’s home-bred Welsh section C colt Ormond Brenin Y Ser, shown by Dorian Lloyd, headed his yearling class en route to the breed championship and reserve supreme Welsh award.

    The chestnut, by supreme champion Synod Apollo, is out of the Morgan’s treasured broodmare Synod Rita Rose.

    “He came to me and my wife Michelle before the show and then he’ll head home for a nice rest,” said Dorian.

    Bryncarnau Glorys, exhibited by Nathan Sage, took reserve in the section C championship.

    Glenys Owen’s yearling, Abermenai Lady, landed the sport horse sash, ahead of Margaret Jones’ Dollas Show Girl.

    • This report will also be available to read in Horse & Hound magazine, on sale Thursday 16 December

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