Townend Stud Visit by the Scottish Group
22 October 2000

Judy Fairburn kindly arranged for the Scottish Group to visit the Townend Stud near Hesket Newmarket, in the north lakes, on Saturday 22 October 2000, the morning of the Autumn Meeting.  She was unfortunately unable to attend and it was disappointing that only one family accepted the generous offer to view the Townend herd.  Though we were still made very welcome by Margaret and Eddie Wilson.

First stop was to tag a mare and filly that were going to be exported to Holland later that day.  Then on to view the famous twins (thought to be the only surviving Fell pony twins in history) who gave a display of their paces and posed for photos while mum look on totally unconcerned.  Margaret told us that she had accepted them very well even though it had been her first foaling.  The twins were quite timid despite being bottle fed and handled at such an early age.

Next into the barn to see the newly weaned foals.  These will be kept in from now on for the winter to save the ground and to give Margaret a chance to handle them, although they were already fighting for attention from us.  I was amazed at how friendly and calm they were, having only been separated from their mums for about a week.  The mares were out grazing in a nearby field.  They will return to the open fell in the next few weeks where they will spend their time until returning to foal in the safety of the fields.  Margaret said that some of the older mares never wander far from the farm gate where they will be fed hay in the worst of the winter.

Further down the road to see the mares and younger foals, which were still together.  The foals all approached us with absolutely no fear of strangers.  The Wilson’s young stallion Lownthwaite Moonshadow was in with these mares.  A replacement for the successful Drybarrows Jeff, this three year old has yet to prove himself but hopefully he will pass on his exceptionally quiet nature to his progeny due next year.

Indoors for a warming cup of coffee with Eddie before the Dutchmen arrived to pick up their ponies.  We had an interesting chat with the two Dutch men who are so enthusiastic about the breed, coming over up to six times a year to buy ponies.  Fell ponies are very popular in Holland where they are praised for their talents and good temperaments.  There are about 350 ponies in the Dutch group used for riding, driving, breeding and “looking at”.  They hold two successful shows a year in a country where no exhibitor has to travel for more than 1˝ hours.  They also organise pleasure rides attended by many members.

Then on to meet Glenis Cockbain of Keswick.  Due to the traffic situation on the Penrith to Keswick road we sprinted up to the stone circle to meet and compare her prize winning Dales and Fell mares.  Strangely they don’t mix, preferring the company of their own breed.  It was interesting to see the Dales at close quarters to see the similarities and differences between them.  Just time for a quick chat on the way down and to rescue some hill walkers from some curious Dales ponies to be asked “Do they eat peanuts?”, Glenis gave a definite “No” and we rushed off to the meeting at Lowther to hear the latest news

It was a great privilege to see these well-bred ponies in the natural terrain where they so obviously thrive.  I am grateful to Margaret and Glenis for giving up their time to show a nosey amateur around.

Jacqueline Ironside

[ Scottish Area Group of the Fell Pony Society
[ Fell Pony Society United Kingdom Area Support Groups ]

[ Fell Pony Society Home Page ]

This page last updated: 22 January 2008
© 2000-2001 by The Fell Pony Society and Naked Essence Web Designs