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  • Writer's pictureFran Cleland

Welsh breed in the spotlight as they show their versatility

Updated: Mar 27

ABOVE: Ashley Porter’s best in hand Section A stallion Vanoca Park Ladysmith. Picture: CARMEL PETHICK

THE Welsh Pony breed has had an extremely busy month in Australia.

The Welsh Cobs continue to make a real name for themselves as dressage mounts, with the six-year-old Salient Park Once Again ridden by Toni Webb winning the young pony championship at Dressage With The Stars.

In the show ring, the entire top 10 in the small show hunter pony class at the Show Horse Council’s Grand National Show were pure or part-bred Welsh ponies.

At the Welsh National Show at Tatura, the main class winners could win at any event in the country.

The mini championship final winner was the real cutie Nawarrah Park Betty Boop shown by Megan Howe and in the ridden Part Welsh championship, Argyl Fine Art owned by Fiona and Carsten Graetz was the judge’s choice.

Wedderlie Park Carson, shown by Lauren Farquhar, was the show hunter invitational final winner.

Other winners included the ridden Part Welsh ne 12.2hh mare, gelding or stallion Deanhills Showman (Robert Cockram), the ridden mare, gelding or stallion of Section B breeding Elvonara Park Wannabe Famous (Tara D'hondt), the ridden mare, gelding or stallion of Section C breeding Wingana Robbie Black (the Ayres family) and the ridden mare, gelding or stallion of Section D breeding Daquara Missty Blue (Catherine Shelley).

ABOVE: Deanhills Declaration being shown by Robert Cockram. Picture: CARMEL PETHICK
ABOVE: Steve Renton and reserve champion male section C Primrose Park St David. Picture: CARMEL PETHICK

The prestigious ridden Welsh championship was won for the second year in a row by Waxwing Passport (Imp UK), a pony that has had a stellar career since he arrived in Australia.

His owner Helen Dohan says it was just a fleeting glance at a cheeky foal in an English paddock that brought him into her life.

“In April 2017, the last Welsh Mountain Pony foal to be born at Waxwing Stud was a lovely bay turning grey colt by Sandy Anderson’s Thistledown Special Agent and out of the successful ridden mare Waxwing Pastille,” Helen said.

“His breeders Tom and David knew he was special and when I arrived for my annual Waxwing pony fix they were keen to show him to me even though he was already spoken for.

“The purpose of my visit was to catch up with two lovely people and enjoy seeing their exceptional Section B foals, the last thing I was looking for was to buy a grey Welsh Mountain colt foal.

“Passport strutted across the paddock and I was hooked.”

Helen managed to secure the pony – paddock name Ted – and her intentions were to show him in hand in the UK as a two and three-year-old as a colt them import him to Australia.

Covid put paid to those plans and with shows being cancelled in the UK, it was determined that the cost to freeze and export semen was so great that he was best coming to Australia.

“He landed in Melbourne in Spring 2020, untried at stud so I was relieved when it was proven that he was fertile,” Helen said.

“His first foals were born in 2021 and exceeded my expectations and his second and third foal crops in 2022 and 2023 have confirmed that he will be a stallion that has much to offer in Australia.”

Ted spent the 2021 season in both Victoria under the care of Taylah Lee, with Robert Cockram teaching him to do AI, and at Helen’s property in NSW.  He spent the 2022 season in Victoria with Taylah and in 2023 split his time between her place and home.

Broken in over the winter of 2021 by Taylah, Ted proved to have a lot of talent and a wonderful attitude.

His enjoyment for ridden work is not surprising as his sire has had success under saddle and his dam, Waxwing Pastille, was one of the most consistently successful lead rein ponies competing in the UK throughout her saddle career.

As a newcomer, at his second ridden show, the 2022 NSW All Welsh Show, he was champion newcomer ridden Welsh all sections and champion ridden Welsh Mountain exhibit and supreme Welsh Mountain Pony and best in-hand Welsh exhibit.

“The plan was never really to show him in-hand,” Helen said.

“The priority was always the ridden work – he is a hyperactive pony who likes to do a job, he loves his work under saddle.”

ABOVE: Waxwing Passport winning at the NSW Welsh Championships this year. Picture: LORELLE MERCER

Since 2022 Ted has won in three states under a wide range of judges.

“Apart from his showing success, the best part of Ted is his ability to produce lovely foals out of a variety of mares,” Helen said.

“I will be forever grateful to Tom Best and David Blair for allowing me to buy Ted and introducing me to Sam Morsley, who loved and cared of Ted while in the UK. Taylah has done the same for Ted in Australia.

“Where to from here? At seven, Ted is a bit young to retire and he would hate not being ridden and shown.

“He might have to overcome his fear of scary objects and learn about working hunter classes!

“In the meantime, I look forward to his foals each season.”


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