Brackenbank Amos in the M&M Championship, Richmond
Brackenbank Amos in the M&M Championship, Richmond, 16 March 2013

Terrier Jack the Lad
"Jack the Lad"


2013 News from Rackwood Fell Ponies.

I began the year feeling very lethargic and tired as I was still suffering from shingles. My 16 ponies were taking up most of my time and I was still trying to work with Amos between spells of snow and ice. My all weather arena was holding up well and was proving to be well worth the expense. During January I sold a yearling filly, Rackwood Jubilee Joy, to Laura Hopkins from Derbyshire. February was very cold with lots of snow so my daily routine continued to be a chore. Carrying water, because of frozen water pipes, is hard work when there's lots of snow on the ground.

By March I was beginning to feel better and more positive about the coming show season. I bought a set of in-hand stallion harness for Brackenbank Amos and began to prepare him for the Native Pony Extravaganza being organised by the Dales Pony Young Persons Committee. Amos showed himself very well considering he hadn't been off the farm for quite some time. Katie was anxious to ride him so she took over preparing him for the FPS Stallion Show while I started to work with Princess and get her ready to do some pleasure rides and "Hairy Pony Camp". At the end of April I sold another yearling filly, Rackwood Grace, to Lisa Winter from Yorkshire.

Early in May I took Princess to the "Highland and Fell Pony Camp" where we both experienced dressage, show jumping and cross country for the first time. As a child I was never allowed to jump my pony as she was a brood mare and continuously in-foal or suckling a foal. My father was a farmer so everything had to pay for its keep! Princess and I had a fantastic time and she really excelled at jumping, especially on the cross country course. The following week I began foaling with Maydew producing another colt (Kingdom), Melody producing a colt (Lloyd) and Annie having her first foal, a filly (Miss Mollie). They were all black, fit and healthy so I was pleased. Earlier in May I had made the decision to show Maggie May this season so I began working with her. She had been caught and tied up as a foal but not taught to lead so there was a lot of ground work to do. Also during May, I took on new responsibilities when I was elected FPS Chairman. I was rather apprehensive about what this high profile role may involve but decided that as the FPS Council wanted me to do it, I must give it my best.

June began with Princess, ridden by Katie, winning the Working Hunter Championship at South Cumbria FPS Show. I began breaking Maggie May with the plan to back her before the Great Yorkshire Show. Donald and I took the caravan up to Edinburgh for the Royal Highland Show and stayed on the show field for five days. The weather was hot and dry and we really enjoyed just wandering around. Jack went with us and kept us on our toes as he kept escaping under the awning to visit the dog next door. At the end of June Magic produced a colt foal (Nimrod) so my foaling was complete.

July proved to be very exciting as Maggie May won the Fell Pony Championship at the Great Yorkshire Show and Hugo, her half brother, was 1st prize yearling. Also, I received a special invitation from H M The Queen to join her and Princess Anne on board a ship on Lake Windermere. We had a marvellous day and this was a real honour and privilege. July continued to be eventful with Maggie May taking the M&M Championship at Hexham Native Pony Show and Princess taking the Fell Pony Championship at Cleveland Show.

When August arrived I decided that it was time to start and break Blossom ready to sell before the winter. She had been well handled as a youngster but used as a broodmare for five years so everything needed to be done slowly so she was sure and confident before moving onto the next step. She progress well and was backed during September and sold to Harriett Rust-Graham from Northumberland, at the end of October. Also during October, Donald and I drove down to Birmingham to attend HOYS. We had two days watching lots of native ponies as well as top international show jumpers and special events. It was made more memorable because not only did a Fell pony (Murthwaite Windrush) win the Fell & Dales ridden class, but also a local girl (Charlotte Miller) riding a Fell pony, was placed 4th. I had a good shop and spent lots of money, coming home with many parcels, so really enjoyed the experience.

Many years ago I decided that Bonnie was to be my next riding pony so when Blossom went to her new home I began working with Bonnie. I wanted to work with her over the winter months and have her ready to do pleasure rides etc early in 2014. I backed her during December and am now waiting for the land to dry up so I can get her hacking out and about.

During October I weaned Kingdom, Lloyd and Miss Mollie but left Nimrod with his mother till the end of November, as he was late born. Miss Mollie was sold at the FPS Registered Sale and Kingdom went to Rowena Coldwell in Derbyshire. Rowena owns Rackwood Cameron so contacted me looking for another colt to be a friend for Cameron. I decided to keep Lloyd as he is such a kind gentle boy, to be company for Nimrod. I was going into winter with 15 ponies but as the weather remained mild and the grass was continuing to grow I didn't start haying the ponies at Hamsterley until early in December.

To sum it up, 2013 was an enjoyable year:

1) Having a pony I could ride at the beginning of the year and take to "Hairy Camp".
2) Winning the Fell Pony Championship at the Great Yorkshire Show with a pony I hadn't shown before.
3) Meeting H M The Queen and talking to her about Fell ponies.
4) Beginning to work with and break Bonnie so that she can be my lifetime riding pony.


Maggie May in the Cuddy Supreme at the GYS
Maggie May in the Cuddy Supreme at the GYS 2013

Maydew (Reserve Fell Champion) and Kingdom at Eggleston Show 2013
Maydew (Reserve Fell Champion) and Kingdom at Eggleston Show 2013

Rackwood Princess, Fell Champion at Cleveland Show 2013
Princess, Fell Champion at Cleveland Show 2013


2012 News from Rackwood Fell Ponies

2011 News from Rackwood Fell Ponies

2010 news from Rackwood Fell Ponies