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Lochoir Pony Stud   -  http://www.coll-lochoir.co.uk/                                September 2010

A feast of Eriskay Ponies

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Sheila MacKinnon had dedicated many years of her life to breeding a quantity of eriskay ponies.  In her own words, she is "Hooked on Eriskays".

Lochoir Pony Stud currently has just over 60 ponies, although a handful are not eriskay's - the rest are.

What a wonderful job, Sheila has done in her contribution to a critically endangered species.

I have included an edited version of Sheila's own story below, which makes for very entertaining reading.  Thank you Sheila.


All photos taken by S MacKinnon 


PART 1 - HOOKED ON ERISKAYS     written by Sheila MacKinnon (Edited)                       (C) Copyright


Buying a pony is rather like getting chicken pox it starts with one spot and ends up with a rash!
Having decided on buying an Eriskay we set about finding one. This was not as easy as we had thought it would be.  They are on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust’s critical list and in 1994 there were very few. We contacted the Eriskay Pony Society and they found a gelding for sale but by that time we had decided to buy a mare so that in time we could breed from her. 


Our next step was to contact three breeders in Scotland and visit them since it would give us a chance to see a number of ponies and to learn more about the breed. This proved to be a very good decision even if we still did not find a pony to buy.     We first visited Anne Misselbrook in Dumfries where we met a young and spirited stallion, Peregrine. She also introduced us to her mares and youngsters and filled our heads with lists of their pedigrees. Her enthusiasm for the breed was infectious so we were even more eager to continue our search. 

Our next call was to Lady Grant in Aberdeenshire where we met not only her mares but her stallion, a very laid back Tobermoray. It was there that we were introduced to horse homeopathy and the value of herbal medicines which have proved invaluable to us. At both places we had the opportunity to see just how friendly the breed is (as well as their owners!) and how adaptable the ponies were to living at the back door!     

Our last visit was to Tony Young and his family. From Tony we learnt a lot of the history of the breed and were introduced to the problems faced by a breed with an extremely small genetic pool. He opened our eyes to the excitement of selective breeding and rescuing such a little known breed from obscurity. He had albums of photos of all his ponies but it was when we discussed conformation and the inherent problems caused by inbreeding that I realised just how knowledgeable he was.     We returned to Northamptonshire filled with energy and a new name - Underriver Farm, the home of Mr and Mrs. Brookes and the Hollanden stud. Some weeks later we journeyed to Kent to meet them. At last here there were ponies for sale! There in a large barn divided up into big pens were a number of Eriskays – and White Park cattle. Delightedly we walked from pen to pen, I immediately fell in love with a mare in foal, Centaine, but she was too expensive for us and I really wanted to ride that year. The pens were occupied by different age groups. There were also two stallions, Brian with two elderly mares and the lovely Zannas Mhor who was with Centaine and Tamara, both already in foal to Fingal.

Walking in among so many ponies all clamouring for attention was almost overwhelming. But after much stroking and inspection I chose three year old, Hollanden Lorna (Lorrie to us) and then because you really cannot come away with only one pony we also bought Milly who was a year younger but very pretty and a daughter of Centaine. Neither was broken in but this did not matter as I have broken ponies before. We had a very pleasurable time with the Brookes chatting in their farmhouse kitchen where we learnt a lot more, this time principally about the history of the breed and how they came to be in the south of England. It was with great excitement that we returned the following week with our trailer and brought both ponies home. 
And that was when the Eriskay pony started to teach us about themselves and they have never stopped!

                                                                      / to be continued

Kimberly Wise - "Eriskay Pony" Artist                                  August 2010

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Kimberley Wise is a talented artist who has devoted some of her time to building up a living library of eriskay ponies.

In her own words, she is "a Mum, artist and sculptor, painter of horses dragons and fairies. I live with my husband and two children in a small village near to our field where we keep our ponies and grow a few vegetables".

You can view her etsy shop at http://www.etsy.com/shop/Oakmoon for some magical creations.

Kimberley also has an intriguing blog at http://oakmoonstudio.blogspot.com/


If you would like to have your eriskay ponies portrait done get in contact with Kimberley via this convenient form below:


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    EQUINE ART QUERY - Kimberly Wise


Coming soon...........                                             Examples:

Kimberley's "Eriskay" creations

Some of Kimberley's other equine art...

A few of Kimberley's other creations