Pure Irish Draughts
 

News 2014 
 May -. Pearl went off to start her new ridden career earlier this month so we are very excited to see her under saddle now and out competing. Monty had his first outing of the year coming 3rd at Warrington show and we were pleased he qualified first time out for the NFU championship.
 April -. Big month for us and the end of an era as Ferdi went off to his new home with Kelly and Dan just down the road in Northwich. It is a fantastic home for him doing ridden showing and hunting through the winter and we know he will get the best of care. Really pleased he went to a couple who obviously fell in love with him and looking forward to seeing how he get's on. The girls went off up to stud big Rose and little Rose so we keep all fingers crossed they are safely in foal soon. We are please to be in touch with the new owner of Rebel Rose's daughter Benview Rose who is out competing in dressage and eventing down in Devon. It is great to see she is a real performance horse who can certainly jump and good luck to her owner Adam who hopes to qualify her for the badminton grassroots championships. Photo of her XC schooling below.
 February -. We are pleased to announce that we will be sponsoring a new class at the IDHS(GB) Breed Show starting in 2014- The Pure Irish Draughts Mare of the Future. There will be excellent prize money on offer- 100 to the winner, a trophy and Mare of the Future sash, 50 to 2nd, 30 to 3rd and 20 to 4th. We decided to introduce this class as it is something new and different to encourage the owners of pure bred young mares. It will be judged against breed standard, the suitability of the mare to produce foundation Irish Draught stock and her potential in future show or performance classes. We hope this will become a prestigious class and a welcome addition to the yearly breed show timetable. Open to all 4-6 year old mares- Class 1, Class 2 or any mare eligible for class 1. Full details and rules will be in the newsletter.
News 2013 
 December -. Great excitment at our yard on 1st December as we welcomed our 'royal' visitor, the HOYS Supreme Champion 2013 Hallmark came over to meet his mum Rose! We were thrilled that Heather and her mum bought him and it was lovly to meet everyone and see the 2 of them together again. We could not believe how similar they were and it was very interesting to compare them and see which bits were like her and which were like his dad, Welcome Flagmount. Not sure Rose was too impressed with him she did plenty of typical mare squealing but I'm sure if she knew what he has achieved she would be very proud of her boy!
 November -. We were delighted to receive this lovely pictue from the new owner of Pure Amber Nectar in her new career hunting. Debbi reports she has not put a foot wrong which for a 4 year old is brilliant news.
 October -. HOYS update- for the 5th consecutive year Hallmark has won at HOYS, retaining his Maxi cob title! Then on Sunday night, against stiff high quality champions from all sections he contested the supreme again and what a wonderful night when Hallmark was crowned HOYS Supeme Champion!! What a result for a pure bred Irish Draught and an emotional night for his owners and producers- huge congratulations to all. We also feel very proud to own his dam Rose who may not be quite aware that she bred such a superstar but for a little non-show mare she has done a hell of a job. We are now on Facebook so please follow us for regular updates on our Pure Irish Draughts page.
 September -. We've had great news this month on 2 of our homebred fillies which we sold. Evie by Lady's Tralee Raj who went up to Northumberland is doing really well and is much loved by her owner Yvonne. She has been very easy to break and ride, Yvonne tells us she has super paces and her instructor loves her too! Its lovely to hear they are taking things slowly with her as she has grown to be a very big girl- about 17.1hh now- who would have thought she would have grown this big as she was Ambers first foal. Evies little sister Honey by Tobias Corbett has also been very easy to break, riding away in about a week and has been enjoying life with new owner Debbi in Nottingham on several fun rides, hunt rides and has even had a go at some big BE jumps and took everything in her stride. Now renamed Barbara, Debbi tells us she has now been declared a seasoned hunter! This all makes breeding very worthwhile and we look forward to hearing how they both get on in the future.
 August -. The national Breed Show was back at Lincoln this year which is a location we do enjoy due to the close proximity of rings/stables and lorry park, we enjoyed seeing friends but and after all year building up to this it all seemed to be over far too soon. We took Monty and Rosie, their first appearances with us and we had a successful show. Whilst Monty was down the line on the saturday in the NFU champs and really not liked by the judges which was a big disappointment, it was a different story on the Sunday under different judges he came 3rd in the 2 year old gelding class again in good company and the judges complimented him on his excellent movement. Rosie also came 3rd in a strong large mare class and the judges told me she looked superb for her age. She was a little run up after the long journey seemed to take it out of her so were pleased with the placing. We just can't seem to break our 3rd-itis at the breed show having never managed to come higher than this but we carry on in pursuit of our first red rosette at the national show- maybe one year we will do it! We were pleased to see Ferdi's full sister Ema won the reserve champion mare. Photos of Monty and Rosie below at the show.
 July -. A couple of first this month- I did my first stint stewarding at Midland counties which was a very good interesting day with a perspective from the inside of the ring! Next, we had our first outing of the year to Aintree Show and Montys first outing since a yearling in June 2012. Monty came 4th in a strong class and qualified first time out for the NFU champs. We were very pleased as it was not his finest hour- after extensive preparations at home and also trotting like an old pro in the collecting ring once he was in the class he did NOT want to trot, honestly horses can make fools out of you! He liked spooking at the grand national fences too. Hopefully with a bit more education he will be fine at the breed show in September.
 June -. We've not updated for a while-I'm sure we are not alone in having possibly the worst winter on record!! At times we thought it would never end and indeed it was mid May before the grass started to grow and we were still feeding hay and haylage to the horses in the field morning and night at a huge cost. All this meant that the girls did not have their first season till end May so they will hopefully be going to stud soon. Early shows were off as the horses did not look well enough in their coats, only losing them fully once the much warmer weather started end of June. On a personal note we very sadly lost our old springer spaniel Sam in April after 16 happy years so that was a hard thing to come to terms with, after waiting 6 weeks we finally could not do without a dog any longer so Herbie the cocker spaniel has joined the family and is giving us lots of fun!! Our Rebel Rose's son Hallmark has been having yet another fantastic season winning all shows and qualifying for HOYS. He also in June scooped the huge Leeman Supreme Ridden prize of 1000 at the North Of England show against very stiff competition, he really is a superstar horse and a great advert for the breed. Photo below of him featured in Horse and Hound.
News 2012 
 November -. Honey went off to her new home in Nottingham to start her new life where she will go hunting and then maybe have some foals later. We are delighted as this is the best home we could have found for her- good luck to her new owner Debbi! As winter has come we have realised we have limited time with work and so very sadly we have decided to offer our stunning gelding Ferdi for sale. It has been a very hard decision to come to but we simply will not have the time to produce him ourselves to where we want him to be and he is a genuine HOYS/RIHS contender both in hunter weights and workers and of course he can do all the Irish Draught classes ridden and in-hand too. He will only be sold to the very best of homes as he is a genuine unspoilt, unblemished straight moving heavyweight with clean limbs, loads of bone and superb movement. He has had 4 weeks long lined and ridden and jumped but we have now turned him away. He works in a natural outline and will be easy to re-start ready for the 2013 show season but he needs more work and time than we can give. Please contact us for further details.
 HOYS UPDATE!!!! -. News just in last night- Hallmark IX has made it 4 years in a row winning at HOYS, retaining his Maxi cob of the Year title for the 2nd year!! We are so thrilled for his owners and all connections such a great achievement for any horse but extra special for a pure bred Irish Draught. Doubly special for us of course as he is out of our beautiful mare Rebel Rose, mum is very proud of what her son has achieved.
 October - We finally had our long awaited holiday, decided not to go to Cavan this time but we have heard from friends that prices were very poor along with the quality, it is a very hard time for breeders in Ireland at the moment, we have to hope the market will come back. After his extended summer break maturing Ferdi has gone away to be broken and start the next chapter in his life- ridden work! We can't wait to get on with him and get prepared for the shows next year. His son Monty has also matured well this summer. He now measures 15hh at 16 months old and is really chunky. With Rosie in mare classes, Ferdi ridden and Monty in youngstock in-hand classes we are quite excited about 2013! Monty and Ferdi are pictured below this month- like father like son.
 September - Something of a rollercoster month for us with both James and I out of the country for weeks at a time with work and very hectic! This meant that sadly we could not take Monty to the breed show so I just went to watch and had a fun weekend- very pleased that our good friends Rachael and Julian had great success with their mare Munfin Rubie Low and her yearling son Munfin March Lad both winning their classes. At the start of the month we had yet again bad news, my poor Podraigh has damaged his check ligament pulling a shoe in the field so 12 weeks rest for him and unfortunately Rosie is no longer in foal on her 30 day scan so we will try again early next year when both our Rosies will be off to stud together. We collected her after the breed show and she has settled in nicely with us. Such a genuine sweet mare and very affectionate we can't quite belive our luck- as beautiful on the outside as the inside. Picture of her back home on her first day with James.
 August - We collected our new Rosie at the the start of the month and having decided on Diamond Lodge for her this year she went straight up to Lancashire to Bowland stud. Amazingly when they scanned her the next day she had a large follicle so she was AI'd straight away and we have just had the great news that she is in foal at the first scan!! Fingers crossed now for the heartbeat scan in a few weeks and she will finally be home with us.
 July - They do say as one door closes another opens and my goodness has this been true for us this year! We heard through a friend that a mare was available on breeding loan and as if somehow 'meant to be' she was a mare we had seen a few years back at the breed show and had tried to buy but she was not for sale then. We went to see her and it was a done deal at first sight, here was the mare of our dreams, our very own Pink Carnation and she could be ours. So to cut a long story short she will be coming home to us soon after we decide on the stallion for her and try for a late foal, very exciting indeed! She is Silver Rose RID by Fast Silver, and we are very grateful to her owner Miles Hewitt for allowing us to have her. I hope we will have some super foals from her, she has already bred one stallion son, Killarny Jack IDSH so hopefully she may breed one just as good for us. Picture of her below.
 June - Well after a pretty bad year our luck was due to change and it sure did when Monty made his first ever outing to Derby County show. Forever now to be known as 'The Dream Derby Show'! After winning his class he went on to take the overall in-hand championship beating the 2 and 3 year olds which was just fantastic. The judge loved him and said he had won by a mile which was lovely to hear. We were just happy that he behaved well but this was the icing on the cake. His dad Ferdi was very proud and called to him as he came home to say well done son. What a great vindication for us that Ferdi's baby is winning proving that progeny from a Class 2 stallion out of an AID mare can beat progeny of Class 1 stallions out of Hornby mares! We hope to have great fun with him. Photos of Monty below showing how he has also inherited the family movement passed down from grand dam Tiddy!
 Ferdi update! - Pictured below end May just after his 4th Birthday and 6 weeks after his 'big op' you can see how he has filled out on the spring grass. He was never a very colty stallion but he is already much more relaxed and not looking for women constantly! He is a complete sweetheart and we love our boy.
 May - Well, we've not updated for a while as we've had rather an upsetting and disappointing start to 2012 unfortunately. Starting with the colt inspections, our lovely Ferdi was not liked sufficiently by the inspectors under the new HSI system and was given Class 2. This was quite a kick in the teeth for us, he had been extensively vetted both prior to and on the day and x-rayed, all of which he passed with flying colours. Of all the things you worry about and things you feel they may pick up, we certainly never expected him to fall down on his movement or jumping which we have always felt is superb but that is what let him down in the scoring. In the summing up comments we received they felt he was a young horse that should mature more which maybe meant they felt we should take him back?? We will never know as not one of the inspectors spoke to us! As hard as it has been, we have take the decision to have him cut and he is now a very happy gelding who we hope to have much fun with in a ridden career. It is not the life we had hoped and planned for him but it will no doubt be a happier one for him out with his buddies. Our only upset is that he was the last of his line with many rare bloodlines, superb bone and type which we feel could really have enhanced the mare herd. His only son Monty is a clear example of this but we can see that his father lives on in him now which is lovely to see. We have always felt strongly, our own personal opinion, that colts should not be turned down on maturity and should not have to be re-presented in a year or two at great personal cost to the owners. It is not rocket science that a rising 3 or 4 year old colt will deepen, fill out and will form correct muscle once he is ridden and becomes more established in his paces. If they wish to see this then why allow young unbroken horses to go forward? If their frame is correct, their movement straight and true and their conformation good then the rest will come with time. We have seen this time and again with our youngsters and particularly since the draught is a slow maturing breed not fully complete till 7 years of age. It is a personal choice and many do subsequently pass successfully as recent years have shown but a similar number do not and waste their money for a second time. The colt is the same animal with the same semen and his foals will be no different even if he has more bulk and muscle!! So, that was the end of that era and we are moving onwards and upwards, or so we thought... Only 2 weeks after Ferdi was gelded, our mare Rose who was in foal to him, had a severe foot abcess the stress of which very sadly caused her to abort her foal at 9 months. We named her boy Gabriel as he is a little angel now, he was a perfect liver chestnut colt identical to his mother but with 4 white socks just like Monty. As you can imagine, coming so soon after Ferdi's gelding, this was a double blow for us as we faced the realisation that there would never be another Ferdi foal. Luckily Rose was fine after quite a long illness and now seems back to full health. After what she went through we have decided not to put her in foal this year but we will try again next year and keep our fingers crossed for more luck! Everything must happen for a reason, although we don't always see it at the time. We feel we may move things in a different direction now and concentrate on ridden for a while while we take stock. We are very proud of what Ferdi achieved coming this far as a well behaved colt who gave a good account of himself at grading, the picture below was kindly taken by our friend Jennifer on the day, and as he is now roughed off and ready to go away for backing we will have many more years of fun still to come with him.
News 2011 
 November - Monty is now 6 months old and has been weaned. He is a chunky little brick of a foal and looks quite cobby at the moment so we will see how he develops next year. We managed to get this fabulous shot of him with his big Uncle Podraigh together little and large! We had a great trip to Ireland to Goresbridge horse sales which was really good and we managed not to bring anything home, however tempting it might be! Ferdi is coming in now to prepare for grading next March so lots of work for us to do which nobody feels much like with these cold dark nights drawing in, roll on Xmas and the New Year.
 October - HOYS UPDATE!!! Well, what a fantastic result for our mare Rose- her son Hallmark made it 3rd time lucky and won again at HOYS this time as Maxi Cob of the Year. By all accounts this was one of the strongest classes and he performed wonderfully to scoop the title. Huge congratulations to his owner Heather Boden and Simon and Natalie Reynolds who produce him. We had quietly hoped he would do it and of course his mum is very proud of her boy! He really is a fantastic stamp of a cob and has the all important 'look at me' quality of a true champion- 3 wins in 3 consecutive years at HOYS is no mean feat for any horse. We hope Rose can produce another just as good for us next year. Below is his picture from Horse and Hound.
 September - Pearl made her first outing of the year at Moorgreen Show qualifying for the NFU champs- we decided not to take her this year and just concentrate on Honey who had a successful show. First of all on the saturday she came 4th in the NFU youngstock championship and we were thrilled with how she behaved and great comments from the judges who thought she should make a great small hunter. Then on Sunday we were 4th again in the 2 year old filly class- so she was nothing if not consistent! Honey is still for sale to a good home where she will be loved. Photos of Pearl and Honey below at their shows showing off the family 'movement'!
 August - Well we are delighted to say our beautiful Rebel Rose is scanned in foal to our Ferdi due July 2012. We are eagerly awaiting this foal- will it be another future HOYS champion like her son Hallmark?? Hallmark has had a phenomenal season for new owner Heather Boden winning all his HOYS Maxi cob classes this year and gaining the coveted Topsepec Supreme ridden championship at the GT Yorkshire show for the 2nd year running. We wish them all the success and good luck for the forthcoming Blue Chip finals and of course the HOYS Maxi cob of the year. Monty has just had his 2 month birthday, looking a very chunky boy and Ambers other progeny have been having successes in the show ring over the last few weeks- Pure Amber Nectar came 1st at the NW Irish Draught show pictured below and will now be heading for the National Breed show to the NFU championships on Saturday and then youngstock the following day. Pure Tralee Lass came 3rd at the Northern ID show and qualified for the NFU championships also on her first outing of the year- congratulations to her owner Yvonne, also winning best turned out!
 July - We finally managed to make it out to our first show of the year- the Midlands Irish draught show at Solihull. Honey did us proud and came 5th in a large class of about 15 entries of mixed ID and IDSH youngstock. She was the first placed pure bred 2 year old in the class and we were delighted she collected her qualifier for the NFU championships at the breed show in September. She behaved really well and since this was only her 2nd ever show we were very pleased with her. The following weekend it was the new Aintree National show and after a long wait(4 hours!) for the class we came 3rd in another strong class. She is sadly offered for sale to a super home where her potential will be reached as she will not be big enough for us to ride but should make a cracking hunter for a smaller lightweight rider and has lovely bloodlines to breed from in the future. Monty continues to thrive and is now 6 weeks old- time flys! Photo of him below and Honey with James at the show.
 June - Amber foaled a huge colt, 'Monty', the firstborn son of Ferdi 7th June at 1am. It was a stressful foaling- a red bag delivery but luckily we were able to save him as he is a really strong little fighter hence his show name Pure Brave Knight. Pictured on his first day out in the field, he is a real character and is running poor Amber ragged!
 April - Finally our lovely Rebel Rose has arrived- late night on the transporter from Ireland. It has taken her a few days to settle after her long journey but she now seems very relaxed and already part of the family. Pictured below on her first day out at home. We are in the process of viewing stallions for her this year. Rose has a fabulous pedigree- not only the rarest of bloodlines but already the dam of one of the most successful show cobs- her pure bred son Hallmark IX- there can be no higher accolade for a mare than to breed a horse of this quality. He is very similar to his dam as the pictures below show- some of his many successes in 2010 included- winning the prestigious Topspec Top of the North supreme ridden at the Great Yorkshire show, Champion performance horse and then overall Ridden Champion at the IDHS(GB) breed show, culminating in Champion cob of the year at HOYS.
 March - At last we feel spring and summer are on the way- the sun is shining, the grass is growing and the show entries are being filled out! We have alot more to be positive about now- Amber is 3 weeks away from foaling, looking very well and we are eagerly awaiting her foal. We have a new purchase, an Irish Premier RID mare. She is a complete outcross and we are very excited to have found her- full details will be added to the site as soon as she arrives home with us- picture of her below. Also a great pic of Tumbles and Ferdi enjoying their first day out without their rugs on after winter.
 February - RIP Tetrarch Boy 2003-2011. We have had a very upsetting start to the year and have sadly had to say goodbye to our beautiful boy Splodge. It is always hard to make sense of losing a horse but particularly hard when they were as lovely and talented as he was- we are devastated to lose him at such a young age. Always the most loveable horse he used to love falling asleep on your arm and his favourite passtime was having you blow up his nose. He constantly had his ears pricked, he had a superb quality head with the kindest of eyes and was a tremendous mover with such promise- he could turn on a sixpence and his extended trot and piaffe were something to behold! He was always our little monkey and will be sadly missed by us and of course his best friend in the world Podraigh.
News 2010 
 October - We made the long journey up to Northumberland with Evie to her new home. She travelled brilliantly and bobbed off the box with not a care in the world and not a backward glance at us meeting her new field companion! We couldn't have found a nicer home for her and she has settled in very well. We look forward to seeing her out and about next year and wish her new owner Yvonne all the best with her. Pictured below are Evie and her baby sister Honey on her last night at home.
 September - A big month for us- having spent all year building up to the National Breed show off we went to the new location at Arena UK in Grantham. It was a successful show for us with good results. In the NFU Championships it was a huge class of around 15 and Pearl came 4th and Evie 5th. However, in showing you live and learn and we certainly would never take 2 in the same class again!! They played up all the way through calling for each other so we were VERY pleased to be placed so highly! On the second day both girls were graded in the morning and learning from the previous days' mistake we just took Evie into the 2yr old filly class on the Sunday afternoon and we were delighted to come 4th, again in a very large strong class. She is shown below moving like a dream at the show, our last photograph of her as she is off to pastures new with her new owner.
 August - Honey had her first ever outing at the North West ID show and did very well coming 2nd in her yearling class and was so relaxed and well behaved throughout. Pearl on the otherhand decided to have a naughty day and played up throughout her class refusing to trot or stand for the judge and coming 4th. I guess that's horses for you, they can all have an off day and she was in season winking at a rather dishy colt in the class!! We were thrilled that Evie won the mixed youngstock class at Canwell show with strong competition. Pictures below of a beaming James! This win was particularly poignant for us as we have now agreed the sale of Evie to a lovely new home up in Northumerland where we know she will be loved. As we have already entered her for the breed show and her RID grading she will stay with us now until October. It has been such a hard decision to sell her as she has blossomed into a beautiful girl but we know she will her give her new owners many years of pleasure and we look forward to seeing how she progresses.
 July - Another super win for us at the Midlands Irish draught show with our Pearl and we were presented with youngstock champion trophy for the year. She really did us proud and received some lovely comments again from the judges. She is shown below winning the youngstock class. Both Pearl and Evie have been entered for their inspections in September so we keep all fingers and toes crossed that we have 2 fully graded mares this year!
 June - A great start to the showing year Evie was 2nd at Midland Counties qualifying first time out for the NFU championships in September and we couldn't be more pleased with her. She received some lovely comments from the judges and was well behaved throughout- she is offered for sale now to a lovely home. Amber has been scanned in foal to our colt Ferdi and we are very excited to see his first baby next year. Pearl has had a terrific start to her showing year also qualifying first time out for the NFU champs winning her class at Derby County show and then becoming in-hand Irish Draught champion. We are so thrilled to get our first ever championship with her and hope she continues her winning ways this year!
News 2009 
 October - RIP Ballina Lass 1990-2009. We very sadly said goodbye to our beloved Tiddy who was put to sleep after a short illness. This is a devastating blow for us as she was one of the 'special ones' that we all dream about. She was simply a super model of a horse with the most terrific ground covering walk and the most jaw dropping floating trot we have ever seen. We are extremely lucky to have 2 of her daughters and 2 of her grandaughters who will continue her line and ensure that her memory will live on. We are so fortunate to have had her in our lives, she was a complete character and a very 'noisy' horse always calling to us every day when we saw her and it seems a very quiet yard without her. The joy which she gave us will always be remembered. This is our last treasured photo of Tid taken just a few days before she died. Sleep well my darling.
 September - Another showing year draws to a close and we have had a super year.At the National 2009 breed show we were placed in all classes we entered which was excellent as all classes had lots of entries, far more than we have ever seen in previous years! Ferdi came 6th in the NFU youngstock, 3rd in the male yearling and gave a good account of himself. As he is currently going through a large growth spurt comments from both judges was that he was a little bum high but had great limbs and bone. Pearl did very well and came 5th in the yearling filly class, a particularly great achievement for her as all the other winning fillies were out of Hornby or Select Hornby RID mares AND we were proud that she was the only filly entered in the class out of an SID mare so she really held her own in strong company!
 August - A super month for us, with some great showing results. It started at Anglesey county where Pearl was 2nd in the mixed Youngstock(1st yearling) qualifying for the NFU champs on her first ever outing and Evie was 4th(2nd yearling). At the North West Irish Draught & Hunter show Ferdi won his class and was reserve champion in strong company with some fantastic comments from the judges. We were really shocked and pleased to get the reserve as we were against much older horses, many already big show winners so for a yearling it was pretty good! As part of our winnings we received a free photo of Ferdi(shown below right) from Ken Ettridge photographs. Photo by the event photographer of Pearl at Anglesey.
 July - We are absolutely thrilled that at the last ever Royal show Ferdi won the yearling Irish Draught class! This was a very special moment for us as it was not only his first win but at the premier county show in the country. This means he has continued his family winning record at The Royal from his prolific dam line descending from Samantha, On a Promise, Caitin and Annabel- quite an unbeliveable achievement for this fantastic bloodline! We still have alot to learn with him and have taken some professional advice now regarding producing him correctly for grading as we want to ensure we give him the best possible chance.
 Honey update! - Updated pictures below of our lovely little girl almost a month old. We are very pleased with her she is such a dinky little thing and we hope she should make a lightweight cob being a much smaller and chunkier stamp. She is very bold and inquisitive with a loving nature and is quite adept at showing a clean pair of heels racing round the field- is it a draught or a TB?!
 June - Well what a few days, Evie and Ferdi went to their first show at Midland Counties, Utoxetter, and had a great day coming 2nd(Evie) and 3rd(Ferdi) both qualifying for the NFU Youngstock Championships at the National breed show in September. We couldn't be more thrilled especially as it was a mixed youngstock class and we were beaten by a 3 year old who was 2008 supreme youngstock champion at the breed show! It was a big day out for them both but a good learning curve and we now do some further training for Ferdi's next show at The Royal in July. With very great thanks to our friend Julian Swift for the ringside photos below! As if that wasn't good enough news Amber then gave birth to a stunning chestnut filly bang on due date again at 6.30am Tuesday morning 9th June. We have named her Honey and her show name will be 'Pure Amber Nectar'. We had difficulty taking any good pictures as she doesn't stay still for long so further updates to come but all details are on the mares page. To have 3 fillies in a row now is just fantastic so we have taken the decision not to put either mare back in foal this year and plan on covering both early 2010.
 May - Updated pictures of the youngsters are included below- now they have shed their winter woolies and have the spring grass we suddenly realised how much they have grown! It was measuring time today and we couldn't quite believe how big they are: at 1 year now Ferdi stands 15.2hh and has 9.5 inch bone!! At 11 months Evie stands 15.0hh and has 8.5 inch bone and Pearl who is the baby of the bunch at 9 months stands 14.3hh and has 8 inch bone. Evie and Ferdi are entered for their first show at Midland Counties, Uttoxeter in June so preparations are under way for that and we hope they show well. As Pearl was a late August foal we feel she will take a little longer to mature and may be shown later in the year or as a 2 year old in 2010. Amber is only a few weeks away from the birth of her second foal which we are very excited to see. James is convinced it will be a colt and has chosen 'his' name already but I would really like a big chestnut filly and have chosen 'her' name also so we will see who is right! Very sadly we have to report Tobias Corbett was put to sleep after a bout of colic which is a tragic loss to the breed and his owners Michael and Julie. We are extremely fortunate to have used him last year and this will make the foal even more special to us now. We do feel that he was the most superb example of an Irish Draught that we have seen and thankfully he has 2 stallion sons who will continue his line.
News 2008 
 November - On the 1st November we became the proud owners of our first colt! Ferdi is a superb example of the Irish Draught with tremendous bone, substance and quality. Even as a 5 month old foal you can see what presence and character he has and we have very high hopes for him as did his breeder, Caroline Saynor, of Highwood Stud. His breeding is excellent and combines the very best of outcross and performance bloodlines- he is by Attwood Black Laughton out of the champion mare Annabel who is by Western Sun and from a line of champion mares herself including her grand-dam the superb 'On a Promise' with whom Caroline had so much showring success. Annabel is the closest thing we have found to a truly 'perfect' draught and it is her temperament and type which we can very much see in her son. We hope he will be the future of this Bell Laughton branch of breeding and a worthy successor to Attwood Black laughton. Further updates will be added to the site as he develops. Evie is now weaned and she and Ferdi are great friends together.
 October - The girls are growing fast now and weaning, for Evie, is fast approaching. Both girls are now almost completely grey and are a joy to handle being very well socialised and lovely individual characters- I couldn't resist the cheeky picture below of the 2 of them. We sadly missed the Breed show at Lincoln this year as Tumbles had a nasty foot abcess which meant we couldn't leave her for the weekend so we keep saying- next year will be our year....fingers crossed! Tiddy returned home from stud sadly not in foal this year but as Pearl was very late we half expected it and Tiddy had lost alot of condition feeding her as she is a very greedy girl with the milk! We hope to take her back early next year and try her again. Amber on the other hand is blooming and we very much look forward to her second foal next year.
 September - We have been lucky enough to agree the sale of a very exciting and stunning stallion prospect! 'Our' colt foal will be coming home to us at weaning and we intend to produce him and put him forward for grading as an RID stallion when he comes of age. He is everything we were looking for when we started our search- he has superb breeding being out of a champion mare and from a prolific family, he is from the last crop of a very rare stallion, he has superb limbs, movement, quality and above all is what we consider to be a 'perfect' Draught! He should mature at around 16hh with over 10" of good quality bone which is exactly the 'type' we wanted. As an added bonus he is also an outcross to all our own mares and fillies! It is a big financial and emotional commitment to try and bring a colt on for inspection but we feel passionately that we should do all we can to preserve this rare line and that this special colt should give us the best possible chance of achieving our goal. Below is a picture of him with his dam showing 2 'proper' Draught behinds! Full details will be added to the site once he is home with us.
 August - We are very excited that Amber and Evie have qualified for the Snowford breeding championships at the Breed show in September at their first ever outing at the North West Irish Draught show! We have been absolutely overwhelmed to welcome our second pure bred filly foal into the world! Pearl was born 14th August at 5am and is a precious treasure that we never thought we would have as we were convinced that Tiddy was having a colt! Her show name will be Pure Lady Luck named after her granddam Lady Luck RID a foundation mare by Colman. We were very lucky to find Tiddy and have her graded, lucky to have got her in foal after many tries and very lucky to now have a stunning filly who looks to have inherited the best from both parents. Pictured here just a few hours old we cannot wait to see how she develops and it is lovely that Evie will now have a playmate to keep her company- in fact Pearl is technically her aunt and Amber is her sister!
 July - A very exciting month for us as Amber and Evie are now back home- Evie is 6 weeks old already and Amber has been scanned in foal to Tobias Corbett for 2009 which is wonderful news. We have entered them for their first show in August at the North West Irish Draught show at Mawdsley and hopefully then the main Breed Show in September. Tiddy is at stud due to give birth any day now so we await the new arrival with baited breath and hope we have another lovely and healthy foal. Due to a variety of factors we have decided not to put Tumbles in foal this year as we have decided to look in earnest now for a colt to bring on for inspection. We are therefore limiting ourselves to 1 or 2 foals each year so that we can give equal time and attention to all our horses.
 Evie update! - Pictured 11 days old Evie is really looking super. We know we are biased but she is stunning and already showing superb movement often beating Amber racing round the field at great speed!
 June - Well she's here!!! Our longed for first ever pure bred filly foal arrived on the evening of 12th June at 11.30pm. A big black filly with a tiny star and pink snip to the muzzle- however the spectacles indicate she will in fact be grey. We have called her Evie as she was born on the eve of her dams birthday and her 'official' show name will be- Pure Tralee Lass. We couldn't be more thrilled and will excitedly be watching to see how she develops now. She is the image of Amber but also very like Raj's foals so he has defintely stamped her. Picture of her a few hours old with further updates to come.
 May - Splodge did his first ever 8 mile fun ride with Auntie Tumbles and had a wonderful time- he saw plenty of obstacles and was not fazed with anything so we were thrilled with him. Also considering that he is not yet fully fit he was full of running and seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself. We have decided to give Podraigh a break from showing this year to allow us to concentrate on the mares and foals as there are only so many hours in the day so he is enjoying very much relaxing in the field chatting up his hareem of mares! Amber has gone to stud ready to foal down and be re-covered by Tobias Corbett. Her udder had started to swell so the signs are that she may not go to full term, we are obviously very excited as the time gets nearer and keep fingers crossed now for a safe birth and a lovely healthy foal, only 4 weeks to due date and counting!! So now the wait begins, Raj x Amber, what will their baby be like??? Colt or filly??
 April - Quite a quiet month we are eagerly anticipating the foals with Amber in particular looking extremely large now with only 7 weeks to go! Splodge is commencing with some schooling work and is doing very well concentrating on his balance and asking him now to work with the correct bend. The most exciting news is that we finally realised it was 'now or never' and have decided to put our lovely Tumbles in foal this year!! We considered many stallions and it was a very difficult decision as we basically want a carbon copy of her but we know this will be very difficult to achieve! Whilst we would love her colouring again and considered many homozygous warmblood stallions to guarantee this, we realised that paramount to us is to replicate her superb temperament and substance immaterial of colour and ideally to have no foreign blood in this cross. We were very fortunate indeed that we found all of these things in the IDSH stallion Ballybane Shamrock who(even luckier for us) stands at stud literally 5 minutes from our yard in Cheshire so we will be able to prepare her for a walk through covering and keep her at home which is excellent. We were extremely impressed with his gentle temperament when we went to view him and the 2 together should produce a lovely foal with a super character and we hope he will add the refinement through his TB blood that we are looking for- also as Tumbles is Skewbald we still have a 50/50 chance of the foal being coloured so fingers crossed! Tumbles has been swabbed and will vist the stallion in May. The foal will technically be a 3/4 bred Irish Draught which is very exciting indeed.
 March - The stallions have been viewed and our choice for this year is the RID stallion Tobias Corbett x Slyguff Hero. We were very impressed when we went to view him up in his new home with the Cornthwaites in Bowland and both mares have been booked to him for the 2008 season. We had admired Tobias for many years and had read much about him being 'the finest example of an Irish Draught' so were thrilled to have this opportunity to use him. He is now 22 years old but we were stunned by his super free movement and his tremendous bone and we would like to hold onto this bloodline before it goes. The picture below was taken on our visit.
 February - The weather has been changeable going from very wet to freezing and hard ground hence we have been hit with not 1, but 2, foot abcesses- nightmare! All horses are now back sound and we are commencing with some fittening work now the evenings are getting lighter. Amber and Tiddy have come out of the winter looking(if possible) BETTER than when they went in- a tribute to excellent Topspec feed balancer and good quality haylage. Both ladies are looking quite large and James is convinced there are 2 colts in there! We are now in the process of planning for the new arrivals and going through the exciting time of selecting our choice of Stallion for this year. With quite a few fabulous stallions in the running, once we have decided and booked them we will publish pictures of 'the chosen one'! On a very cold Valentines Day we attended the annual Irish Draught Colt inspections and had a very interesting and exciting day. Highlight for us was without doubt the recently discovered 15 year old Bridgeford Ferryman who is a direct descendant of the rare Woodranger line. He was to us the perfect Draught loads of bone, substance, quality and with a fantastic temperament to boot. He is a type rarely seen today with incredible short cannon bone and exceptionally deep body- classic breed standard- and justifiably created a lot of excitement with the crowd especially since he had spent most of his life on a Welsh hill farm running with mares until discovered by his very lucky owners. We will defintely be using him on our mares at some point and we wish his owners all the best with him. I have included a rather rough photo taken on my mobile phone but I think you can see what presence he has. A further 2 RID stallions passed- Diamond Lodge x Gildawn Diamond and Blackwater x Enniskeane Prince and 1 sport horse Killarney Jack so it was a very good day. A full report with pictures is available on the IDHS(GB) website.
News 2007 
 October - Both girls return home and have settled down well as mothers in waiting! Amber is the first mare due on approx June 13th 2008 and Tiddy is quite late due approx August 17th 2008. We are including some astonishingly similar pictures of Splodge and his sire Grange Bouncer- they truly are two peas in a pod and there is no doubting that father has very much stamped his son! Splodge is continuing to do well riding quietly away and is confident and bold hacking alone and in company. As he is a big boy and still developing we are taking things very slowly allowing him time to fully mature into his frame before we commence any schooling work with him. We are concentrating on letting him see the world at the moment and to become fully relaxed and we hope to start more structured work in spring 2008 to prepare him for some novice show classes.
 September - Both Amber and Tiddy are confirmed in foal to Ladys Tralee Raj for 2008 and we very much look forward to our new babies. We owe a great debt of thanks to Janet at Indigo Irish Draughts for her perseverance and knowledge particularly with Tiddy who we are very fortunate to have in foal at 17yrs of age after a gap of 10 years since her last foal- Amber! At the recent IDHS gradings both mares graded, Tiddy SID and Amber AID.
 August - We had an interesting and fun trip to the RDS Dublin horse show a highlight of which is always the Irish Draught classes and the Irish Draught Stallion parade. This year the RID stallion Crosstown Dancer won and was champion for the 3rd time and looked wonderful, he moves amazingly for a 17yr old. He is by Flagmount Diamond RID out of a Pride of Shaunlara mare. Reserve champion was the newly approved 5yr old Mountain Diamond who was my personal favourite and I am sure he will be a 'Sire of the future' in years to come- he had everything I would hope for in an Irish Draught- type, substance, good bone and a beautiful quality head. He is by Welcome Diamond RID out of a Mountain View mare. Below are pictures of both of these stallions taken at the show. We had the wonderful news that Amber is confirmed in foal to Ladys Tralee Raj! We will collect her from stud soon and eagerly await our new arrival next year. Tiddy has been covered and we await her next scan with baited breath lets hope like mother like daughter!
 July - After a slow showing year with a combination of injury, cancellation of shows and plain bad luck we managed to finish the season off with a win at Royal Lancs for the 2nd year running in the heavyweight hunters. This means we have qualified for the RIHS 2008 and the Blue Chip challenge. Now Podraigh has finished for the year we are free to concentrate on Splodge in some in-hand and ridden Irish Draught classes. Splodge arrived home from breaking and is doing well riding quietly away. The exciting news is we have just agreed the sale of Ambers dam Ballina Lass and she will be home with us soon. Tiddy is by Clontoo Lad RID out of Lady Luck RID(Colman). We were very lucky to be offered her for sale and just couldn’t refuse as she is very similar to Amber, with wonderful movement and is a complete outcross. More news and pictures to follow once she arrives.
June - We visit Splodge and Amber part way through their backing process. Splodge is seen here 3 weeks into his training and we are very pleased with his progress. He has been hacking out in company proving to be very bold and unfazed and his schooling is now coming along well concentrating on his straightness and balance. Amber has been a revelation, shown here only 5 days after being sat on for the first time she is happily working in walk, trot and canter after a hairy initial start racing madly round on the lunge at 100 miles an hour!
May - Splodge and Amber travel to Indigo Irish Draughts in Stottesden to be broken in by Janet George and her event rider Olivier. Both are currently doing well and Amber will now be put in foal to Ladys Tralee Raj.
April- We purchase our first pure bred Irish Draught mare, a 10 year old Chestnut mare Amber. She is unhandled and unbroken but quickly settles in well and forms an instant bond with Tumbles as they have a shared love of eating!

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