Magic and her foal Black Magic
Judge Mrs M Taylor, Rackwood Amos & Eileen Walker, November 2011

Annie in summer 2010
Dawn & Francesca, July 2011


2011 News from Rackwood Fell Ponies.

In January, whilst allowing my hand time to heal following my operation, Donald and I planned what was going to be our bedroom and en-suite bathroom. We searched various showrooms during the January sales to find the required furniture to build in and make our home extra special. Donald spent most of February as a bathroom fitter whilst I supervised. A very good arrangement I thought but when I got the "all clear" from the hospital it was my turn to get out the paint brushes and start on the last two rooms in our new home. The carpets were fitted just before Easter so at last we could change bedrooms and sleep above the warm kitchen. Heaven!

During April as my broodmares were getting fatter I started to think about the practicalities involved in continuing to breed foals. I do not have anyone to continue the "Rackwood" herd when I become incapable so in another few years I need to stop breeding. With this in mind I decided to choose names working through the letters of the alphabet thus allowing me twenty-six more foals. My foals began arriving early in May and the first four were all colts - Amos, Bertie, Cameron and Danny Boy. My friends and neighbours who had brought their mares to Brackenbank Amos were getting fillies whilst I kept getting colts. Then my luck changed and two fillies arrived - Ellie May and Francesca. Francesca was a real bonus as her mother, Rackwood Dawn, had not bred for eight years. A new stallion had obviously tickled her fancy, or something like that!

With the improved grip in my right hand I started to work with a three year old filly ready to back and sell by the autumn. Rackwood Samone was very responsive and quickly accepted the bit and was a delight to long rein around the fields etc. She happily accepted me sitting on her back and we were soon hacking out around the country lanes and tracks in Hamsterley Forest. She has found a good home at a local riding school where the girls adore her and everyone wants to brush her long mane and tail. Her new owner tells me that she is worth her weight in gold.

My showing season began in July with Lanchester Show where Rackwood Princess was Reserve Champion. She was also awarded Reserve Champion at Tebay Fell Pony Show. I took four ponies to Cleveland Show, Bonnie, Ellie May, Black Magic and Annie and all gained 1st prize in their respective classes and Rackwood Annie was Champion Fell Pony. The following day I took Rackwood Princess to Hexham Native Horse & Pony Show and she was awarded M&M Champion. An excellent weekend before the weather broke and shows began to be cancelled.

As autumn arrived I successfully sold three colt foals and one filly foal through my website. Bertie took a long journey down to Lingfield in Surrey. Cameron and Danny Boy went into Derbyshire and Ellie May spent almost five days travelling to her new home on Eday in the Orkney Islands. Rackwood Fell Ponies have become National! This left me with Amos and Francesca.

During September I showed my broodmare Rackwood Melody and her colt foal Rackwood Amos. Little Amos as he is called at home, was awarded 1st prize at his first five shows. A real show pony in the making. He was awarded M&M Reserve Champion at the Scottish & Northern Foal and Youngstock Show followed by M&M Champion Foal and Supreme Champion Foal at the NPS Area 4 Show. Both his parents are tested CLEAR for FIS so I would like him to go to a home where he can be used as a breeding stallion. With this in mind I decided to keep him through the winter and offer him for sale in the spring of 2012.

December arrived and time to relax and lead a normal life for a few weeks. I was going into winter with 14 ponies which was the same number as last year but this time I had proper stables with electric lights, water bowls and hay racks. My two foals had separate pens so they could be handled without the risks I'd encountered last winter. The grass had continued to grow throughout November so I didn't start to hay my breeding herd until 5th December which was three weeks later than the previous year.

To sum it up, 2011 was a very positive year:
1) A filly foal out of Dawn who has not bred for eight years
2) Successfully breaking a 3yr old filly due to renewed strength in my right hand
3) Selling 4 foals from home with the help of my website
4) Winning the NPS Area 4 Supreme Foal Championship with a home bred foal which is a great-grandson of my father's favourite mare Rackwood Dewdrop.


Champion at Cleveland Show
Rackwood Princess, M&M Champion at Hexham H & P Show, July 2011

Wolsingham show Grand Parade
Magic & Danny Boy, June 2011


2010 news from Rackwood Fell Ponies