Sir Glyn of Brackenleigh
Brecan Bach Paris
Nanteos Fairy Dream
Nanteos Autumn Clover
Arawa Royal Ballet
Afallon Prince of Troy
How Afallon Welsh Ponies Began...
We were introduced to Welshies back in 2004 when my close friend
Wendy Taylor purchased her first Welsh Section A broodmares from Rosemary Weaver of Valley Heights Stud. One of these was the beautiful buckskin mare Nanteos Sweet Sensation (Lochlea Prophet x Punga Sprig by Revel Pageant) who was carrying a precious foal by Rosemary's multi-champion stallion Valley Heights Hot Toddy (Ascot Pernod x Nanteos Autumn Ursina by Millibar Rebel). Sweet's foal, Merrileigh Sweet Dreams, duly arrived in January 2005, an adorable buckskin filly with the most exquisite head. Dream stole our hearts! and when Wendy generously allowed us to purchase her 'drip feed' she became our first Welshie. Little did any of us imagine back then just what this would lead to!
Wendy took Sweet with Dream at foot to Colleen Rebay's Lorien Stud to visit Colleen's stunning young Section C stallion Lorien Aragorn (Arawa Royal Mail x Lorien Erica by Tireinon Cadet). When Sweet produced a delightful palomino filly Merrileigh Peaches'n'Cream to this mating I was enchanted! Six months later Peaches joined her half sister Dream and became our first Section C.
At this point I began to think more seriously about the possibility of breeding and my quest to find a suitable colt began. It soon became evident that Section C's were neither as numerous or as readily available and when they were for sale tended to be of a significantly higher value than their Section A counterparts. I contacted several breeders and looked at some lovely Section A colts but before I had made any commitments was thrilled to hear that Shaun Horan of Brackenleigh Welsh Cobs in Canterbury had a promising Section C flaxen chestnut colt foal, Sir Glyn of Brackenleigh (Brackenleigh's Dawnsio Gwyltt x Sunninghill's Santiago Lady by Kinkora Santiago Gold). We looked at photos and a video and it seemed like a wonderful opportunity to set us up for breeding Section C's when Shaun generously agreed to sell Sir Glyn to us.
Not long after we had made these arrangements with Shaun, in fact before Sir Glyn was weaned, through a most unexpected set of circumstances it became possible for us to purchase Lorien Aragorn, Peaches sire. When we went to look at Aragorn prior to buying him, as I had not as yet seen him 'in the flesh', I was struck by his splendid Welsh type and noble presence. So it was that not one but two flaxen chestnut Section C boys arrived in close succession, following the earlier addition of our first broodmare, the beautiful Section A Nanteos Autumn Clover (Lochlea Prophet x Ascot Clove by Ascot Jolly). Clover proved to be in foal to Rosemary Weaver's Valley Heights Hot Toddy, and that Spring produced a lovely chestnut colt, Prince Valiant of Afallon. (Ironicly, I gave birth shortly after this to our seventh child - a red haired son following six blondies - we still refer to that year as the 'Year of the Chestnut Colt'!)
Sweet joined us that Summer and we put Sweet and Clover both to Aragorn, resulting in our first Section C progeny, another chestnut colt Afallon's Royal Salute out of Clover and a chestnut filly Afallon's Queen of Hearts out of Sweet. What had begun as a series of unexpected opportunities was slowly beginning to take shape.
We have made many mistakes. Over-committing, trying to follow too many paths, growing too quickly too soon. During those first three or four years we purchased several more mares and fillies, each one beautiful and beautifully bred, each one cherished. These mares included Ascot Presence (Ngakaroa Shaka Eclipse x Ascot Precocious by Kuriheka Lilt) and her Section C daughter by Arawa Royal Mail, Arawa Royal Ballet; Brecon Bach Paris (Ascot Pernod x Brecon Bach Jazzmine by Brecon Bach Peacock) who left us two beautiful little Section C foals, a palomino colt by Sir Glyn and a chestnut roan filly by Aragorn; Surreyholme Pandora (Weston Park Beekeeker x Brecon Bach Party Girl by Loch Sloy Challenger); the very beautiful Section B mare Nanteos Fairy Dream (Millibar Rebel x Greenlea Fairy Gold by Breccles Hiawatha); the super-stylish partbred filly Merrileigh Valencia by one of Sweet's sons Valley Heights Mr Sandman out of the beautiful purebred Arabian mare Al-Dahab Khebriaa; and we were also able to lease Mahogany Icing Sugar (Mahogany Mr JFK x Valley Heights Sugar and Spice by Maffodale Magic Touch) from Rochelle Lemberg of Pallygem Stud, who left us a lovely filly by Sir Glyn, Afallon's Touch of Magic.
The exciting addition to Afallon in 2009 of the stunning Welsh Section D stallion Arawa Tane Mahuta (Tireinon Cadet x Arawa Rose Aurora by Derwen Reply), took our breeding plans to a new level. Put over our Section A mares his foals have been of exceptional quality, inheriting his fantastic movement and gentle temperament as well as gaining the extra height that was somewhat lacking in my C over A mares. The arrival of Tane's first Afallon offspring in 2010, coupled with some challenging personal circumstances enforced many very tough decisions that would in fact redefine and consolidate the direction the stud was taking.
Our decision to sell Aragorn and Sir Glyn was not easy, especially in Aragorn's case as we shared a special bond I felt would be very hard to replace. The difficult decision was made easier by the arrival of his stunning son Afallon's Royal Sensation in 2010, one that we knew from the outset that we wanted to retain, followed by a phone call a couple of months after Royal's arrival from Colleen Cameron in Dargaville who asked us if we would consider selling Aragorn on to her. Meanwhile Glyn found a new home in Golden Bay in the South Island, along with Sweet's daughter Afallon Queen of Hearts.
With the upcoming departure of our dearest mares Sweet and Dream, and the recent sale of Tane to Seawyn Welsh Cob Stud in Australia, Afallon is entering a new phase, all of the ponies we have purchased over the years, plus a number of the foals we have bred having been sold on. Although it has been heartbreaking in cases to have had to part with treasured ponies all have gone on to fantastic homes and through them we have met many wonderful people
We also have a sense of pride and achievement in the handful of Section C offspring which we have been able to retain. These youngsters are the ones which we feel come closest to our ideal to take Afallon into the next generation. Who knows what the future will hold?