MEPBG EXMOOR PONY SHOW 10 August 2014 at Brendon Country Show, Brendon Barton, Exmoor National Park
The first MEPBG Exmoor Pony Show for the true, moorland-type ponies of Exmoor National Park was a success, despite the best efforts of Hurricane Bertha to deliver inclement weather conditions in the form of driving rain and a fearsome wind that almost caused Brendon Show to be cancelled and resulted in the show jumping being abandoned due to jumps repeatedly blowing over. Nevertheless, the main tent held fast and the hardy little Exmoors, including unhandled moorbred mares and foals, shown in a pioneering new format at liberty in pens, and moorbred yearlings on their very first outing, coped admirably and kept their cool.
The quality of the ponies forward was very good, with representation in all classes, and including some lovely ponies of Exmoor Type. Unusually, three orphaned foals were exhibited including two yearlings from the Dunkery Commons, one of which was the charismatic Monsieur Chapeau owned by Nick and Dawn Westcott, and the other a pretty filly called Tiger Lily, owned by Ms Hilary Williams. The third orphan [see story below], three year old filly Que Sera Sera 423/38, bred by the Bryant family (Herd 423) and owned by Bethany Hernaman, had a spectacular day sweeping the board and standing Overall Supreme In Hand Champion.
The Supreme In Hand Champion’s Story - A heart rending tale of survival against the odds!
The Supreme In Hand Champion, three year old Que Sera Sera 'Libby' 423/38
was born into the free-living Herd 423 that runs on Countisbury and which is owned by the Bryant family. Libby's mother was killed by a car when she was two weeks old - the busy A39 transverses the ponies moorland grazing and all fencing has been removed due to a moorland regeneration scheme. That night, the foal didn't want to be caught and stayed free. But the next day, another mare brought the foal down to the farm yard and when James Bryant went to shut the gate, she galloped out, clearly leaving the foal there saying 'Hey I brought her to you, now you have to look after her!' So James tried to bottle feed the foal but she wouldn't drink. He phoned around the various Exmoor pony organisations and experts and was told to shoot her. However, he kept trying to get the foal to feed, but she wouldn't. Finally, he was preparing to put her down, and then poured the milk from the bottle into a bucket in despair. The foal drank. Bethany Hernaman, who was working with the Bryants at the time, decided to take on the foal to see if she could help her survive. She called her Liberty 'Libby'. In just one week she was strong enough to be turned outside and galloped around with incredible spirit and energy. She was then introduced to Bethany's two Arabian geldings who instantly loved her and became her surrogate parents. She lives with them still. As part of her socialisation, Bethany took Libby for walks out on the moor, with the family’s ten dogs and let the foal go free with the dogs to run and play - then they all went home again. She does liberty and horse agility with Libby. Now, at three years old, Beth brought the filly to the MEPBG Exmoor Pony Show to help promote Herd 423 - and she won Overall Supreme In Hand Champion, because Que Sera Sera (her official name) has turned into such a beautiful pony. And the special bond between them allowed the filly to sparkle with presence all day. What a fairytale!
The Exmoor farmers were delighted to meet so many interested visitors and have received some good enquiries regarding the purchase of foals after the autumn round-ups. The exhibits were judged by Mr Rex Milton (in hand) and Mr Arthur Bulled (ridden) and the courageous steward, Mrs Liz Bulled, dismissed two previously broken toes and the weather to ensure everything ran smoothly. Mrs Bulled said, "Given the atrocious weather conditions, all the ponies behaved impeccably, especially the yearlings who had never been out in public before. It was nice to see such competent handling. Stewarding the unhandled moorbred mare and foal class, I noticed how calm and relaxed they were in their pens. Having been brought up with Exmoor ponies all my life, it was a joy to see a collection of true moorland-type ponies."
Thanks to the generosity of A & B Contractors Ltd
and the Exmoor farmers, the winners were presented with an array of smart trophies, rosettes and sashes, which the MEPBG looks forward to presenting for years to come.
In Hand Judge, Mr Rex Milton (owner of moorland Herd 23) said:
"I was delighted to judge Exmoor ponies in their true, natural environment - a typically beautiful Exmoor setting. My champion, Que Sera Sera 423/38, is a very classy Exmoor pony with a lot of presence and caught my eye whenever it entered the ring. And what a start in life that pony had! She’s a happy medium between the typical breed tradition and a touch of class without being too coarse. A good, strong, traditional pony with good points. Everything an Exmoor pony should be.
The Reserve Supreme, Tawbitts Mystic Little Madam H17/46, is a typically heavily built Exmoor. I liked her for what she was, an old, traditional type – heavy in head and heavily boned.
There were some nice youngstock forward. Foals are easy to judge, but yearlings and two year olds all mature at different rates. Some stay chunky and ‘made up’ and others become gangly and awkward - you've got to look at the potential. The quality that came forward was very encouraging.
The winning Unhandled Moorbred Mare and Foal combination was a lovely, typical Exmoor mare (Daffodil 423/17) as I see it – my type of mare. The foal was of a more ‘modern’ calibre. A classy foal which has a good future as a showing or riding pony. We need these ‘modern Exmoors’ as it allows the breed to slightly evolve to protect the future, combining the traditional characteristics with modern flare.
I really had to deliberate between which foal I liked best. In the end, the winning foal was more striking but I also liked the quality of the Floyd’s lighter, bigger mare with its nice foal – a very nice set up. I could see nothing wrong with this class - the ponies were completely calm in their pens. As a moorland breeder, handling ponies in a moorland situation and during round-ups, I was not concerned at all. The ponies were put under no stress whatsoever, making it an easy class to judge. People traditionally like to see a foal with the dam and what truer picture can you have than seeing them in that situation,in their native countryside, and not messed around with - and 'in their working clothes'. If more ponies had been judged 'in their working clothes' over the years, there would be a better lot of ponies about now."
The Ridden Judge, Mr Arthur Bulled said,
"My Ridden Champion, Hawkwell Bramble, was a lovely, free-moving, well-schooled pony and a deserving champion, which hasn't had the opportunity to show itself off, due to only being registered as a Section X type with a minor colour infringement. "
The show's hosts and owners of the Tippbarlake Herd 387
of Exmoor ponies, Nigel and Maria Floyd
commented, "It was a fantastic show, despite the weather and so many people interested in Exmoors and all the things they want to do with them. We are looking for a pair to drive. It was nice to see all the ponies friendly on the field - with no spitting or biting in the ranks!"
Nick Westcott, chairman of the MEPBG and owner of Holtball Herd 11 said, "This was a very good start to what could become an important showcase for the ponies originating from Exmoor National park, not only in a showing capacity, but also with regards to demonstrating their immense versatility and qualities as performance animals in many spheres, with the right kind of handling. A great first effort and our thanks to everyone who supported the show. "
James Bryant, owner of Herd 423 and breeder of both the Overall Supreme In Hand Champion and winning Unhandled Moorbred Mare & Foal combination said, "The Bryant family would like to say many thanks for the opportunity of showing our 423 herd to potential purchasers. We felt the show has great promise for the future we are also delighted with the results. Well done to Beth and Que Sera Sera 423/38 for a total clear up of winnings and also well done to Daffodil 423/17 and foal."
Unhandled Moorbred Mare and Foal Class
The pioneering MEPBG Unhandled Moorbred Mare & Foal class was a great success. The Exmoor farmers had selected suitable ponies to exhibit and they had been sensitively and patiently prepared in the run up to the show, with access to barns, paddocks, pens and trailers. This enabled the ponies to be exhibited and judged without the stress of forced handling and restraint, or having to navigate a show ring in headcollars and on ropes. Much of the moorland stock is 'semi-feral' yet the mares are well accustomed to regular trips to the farms for annual gatherings and other checks, and many of the foals must leave the moors each autumn to make the transition to domestic life or other grazing schemes. The Exmoor farmers are pioneering new ways to start to gentle and socialise the foals, and also promote awareness of them, during the summer, so more can find good opportunities in the autumn.
The class was won by the Bryant
family's Herd 423 mare Daffodil 423/17 and her filly foal,
with the Floyd
family's Alice 350-3 and filly foal second, and their mare Tippbarlake Bagshaw 387/47 and filly foal
in third place. Best colt foal went to John Wyatt, born to his Anchor mare A/257.
THE MEPBG CHAMPION RESULTS:
MEPBG Supreme In Hand Champion – Que Sera Sera 423/38 – Miss Bethany Hernaman
MEPBG Reserve Supreme In Hand Champion – Tawbitts Mystic Little Madam – Mesdames Ablett & Langdon
MEPBG Registered Exmoor Champion – Que Sera Sera 423/38 – Miss Bethany Hernaman
MEPBG Reserve Registered Exmoor Champion MEPBG Registered Exmoor Youngstock Champion – Que Sera Sera 423/38 – Miss Bethany Hernaman
MEPBG Reserved Registered Exmoor Youngstock Champion – Farleywater Lady Stumpkin Pumpkin – Mr & Mrs N G Westcott
MEPBG Exmoor Type Champion – Anchor Imperial Topaz – Mr & Mrs N G Westcott
MEPBG Reserve Exmoor Type Champion – Hawkwell Bramble - Mrs D Sellick
MEPBG Moorbred Champion – Que Sera Sera 423/38 – Miss Bethany Hernaman
MEPBG Reserve Moorbred Champion – Tawbitts Mystic Little Madam – Mesdames Ablett & Langdon
MEPBG Ridden Champion – Hawkwell Bramble - Mrs D Sellick
MEPBG Unhandled Moorbred Mare & Foal – Daffodil 423/17 and filly foal – Mr J Bryant
Good Horsemanship Award Rosettes – Bethany Hernaman for handling, Cara Whitefield-Smith for handling and riding and Dawn Westcott for Handling
Unhandled Moorbred Mares & Foals
1 - Daffodil 423/17 and filly foal – Mr J Bryant
2 – Alice 350/3 and filly foal – Miss J Floyd
3 – Tippbarlake Bagshaw and filly foal – Miss J Floyd
4 – Anchor A257 and colt foal – Mr J Wyatt
In Hand Classes
Registered Exmoor Yearlings
1 – Farleywater Lady Stumpkin Pumpkin H67/166– Mr & Mrs N G Westcott
2 – Farleywater Scarlet Witch H67/167 – Mr & Mrs N G Westcott
Registered Exmoors 2 & 3 year olds
1 – Que Sera Sera 423/38 – Miss B Hernaman
2 – Kitty H17/153 – Mesdames Ablett and Langdon
Registered Exmoors 4 years and over
1 – Tawbitts Mystic Little Madam H17/46
2 – Doormouse – Ms H Williams
3 – Redwing and filly foal – Mrs R Hughes
4 – Cowbridge Springwater – Mr & Mrs H Crawford
Best Foal – Redwing’s filly foal by Cheritonridge Mont de Brouilly
Exmoor Type (Section X, Unregistered, Part-Bred, Cross-bred) – 4 years and over
1 – Hawkwell Bramble – Mrs D Sellick
Exmoor Type (Section X, Unregistered, Part-Bred, Cross-bred) – 3 years and under
1 – Anchor Imperial Topaz – Mr & Mrs N G Westcott
2 – Monsieur Chapeau – Mrs & Mrs N G Westcott
3 – Tiger Lily – Ms H Williams
First Generation Exmoor born to a Registered Exmoor Parent born in Exmoor National Park
1 – Velvet – Ms M Maddocks
2 – Filly foal – Mr & Mrs T Merrington
1 & Champion – Hawkwell Bramble – Mrs D Sellick. Rider – Miss Cara Whitfield-Smith
(It should be noted that there were a number of entries for Ridden but the weather proved to be very challenging, with the main Show Jumping at Brendon Show cancelled due to jumps blowing over. The championship was awarded to Bramble and Cara for an accomplished and very brave display, despite the prevailing wind.)
The Arthur Molland Trophy for the Overall Supreme In Hand Champion – Que Sera Sera 423/38 – Miss Bethany Hernaman
The Herd 423 Bryant Family Shield for the Registered Exmoor In Hand Champion – Que Sera Sera 423/38 – Miss Bethany Hernaman
The MEPBG Trophy for Registered Exmoor Youngstock Champion - Que Sera Sera 423/38 – Miss Bethany Hernaman
The Tippbarlake Moorbred Champion Salver - Que Sera Sera 423/38 – Miss Bethany Hernaman
The Holtball Trophy for the Exmoor Type Champion – Anchor Imperial Topaz A/607 – Mr & Mrs N G Westcott
The A & B Contractors Trophy for MEPBG Ridden Champion – Hawkwell Bramble – Mrs Debbie Sellick, ridden by Miss Cara Whitfield-Smith