Horse breeding is a labour of love and most stud masters recognise the long term nature of proving that the “nicks and crosses" have worked and young stock produced will live up to the optimistic expectations and genetic potential behind their pedigrees.
Rossanne Mason is the proprietor of the Penmain Pony Stud in Launching Place and she has spent many years carefully selecting her brood mare band so as to produce dual purpose ponies that will train on to be successful in the performance disciplines and beautiful enough to win in the show ring.
Rossanne stands the beautiful riding/performance pony stallion Penmain Posh whose most recent spectacular win was the Supreme International Riding Pony at the 2010 Barastoc Horse of the Year Show. No wonder ... Penmain Posh has it all – looks, movement and the measuring stick makes him the perfect sire for smaller WB or TB mares to produce the perfect dressage/performance pony.
Earlier this year I purchased the 2.5 year old riding pony Penmain Fabian from Rossanne and was very impressed by her knowledge of Australian performance pony bloodlines and confident predictions as to which of the Penmain youngsters would suit my purpose. My options were somewhat limited as the remaining stock at Penmain were only rising 2 year olds, yearlings and weanlings. Rossanne told me on the phone that she felt that she had a 2 YO (rising 3) with spectacular movement that she thought I would like… and would definitely suit my requirements.
I told her that I really wanted a 3 YO, rising 4, but as Alex Wright from The ACE Group had told me about the top scoring weanling of the 2010 ACE Tour - Penmain Aristocrat, (pictured right) I was keen to meet this well regarded youngster, his multi winning sire Penmain Posh and the other youngsters at the stud.
It did not take me long to make a decision to make Penmain Fabian my pony dressage prospect as Rossanne told me of her soft spot for his imported sire, Robert Cockram’s Sandbourne Royal Ensign (dec) and as she has many progeny from this sire, I knew Rossanne’s recommendations were absolutely sincere. Fabian’s mum is the Riding Pony/TB cross Kolbeach Catwalk and her pedigree traces back to the immortal Keston Royal Occasion. I found it fascinating to hear how this gene pool has interacted to make the perfect little dressage prospect that I now proudly call mine. Pictured below Penmain Fabian.
I am delighted with Fabian’s development as he grows into a beautiful moving and elegant pony with powerful and engaged hind legs giving the lightness of the forehand that is ideal. I call him “my little Rembrandt” as so much of his way of going reminds me of the renowned, multi Olympic medallist partner of Nicole Uphoff from Germany. Fabian has a similarly sensitive and his reactionary nature which is perhaps why he demonstrates the lightness and lift that the most discerning dressage rider would welcome into their stables.
I have stayed in touch with Rossanne and we compare notes with early riding of our Penmain ponies. Rossanne is breaking in Penmain Posh with the help of Liz Alexander who has a wealth of experience and is providing the expertise, another pair of hands and eyes on the ground which will allow Rossanne to take on the early work herself. She told me earlier today, “I really want to do it myself and allow the pony’s progress to govern the rate that we ask for more. I had my first ride on the arena today … including a canter and he was a very good boy! Liz is pleased … and I am over the moon. I will send you some pictures!” Here is Posh taken in Autumn showing his beautiful movement in a free demonstration and here he is in the roundyard earlier today. Well done Rossanne, Liz and Posh.
13.2hh, Multi Supreme Champion at Melbourne Royal
and Barastoc Horse of the Year Show [view video]
Liz and her team are breaking in another stunning Penmain Pony – County Squire for his lucky new owner Melinda. He is proving to be the perfect gentleman and will be seen out and about soon and I cannot wait to see his going under saddle.
I was able to tell Rossanne that Fabian too has had a couple of rides, as I am slowly bringing him back into work with the help of Jana Popp. Jana is from Germany and has a vast amount of experience with youngsters.
Fabian is about 2 hands smaller than she is used to riding, but she is very impressed with his elastic free paces and potential to train on to become very special. I believe that we are correct to take Fabian’s education quite slowly for the next 6 months as he is now just “green broken”, so there is no pressure. I would hope to allow him to gradually work towards an appearance at Preliminary or a show appearance in the first part of 2011.
If you are looking to buy or breed a very special pony, do not hesitate to take a look at the Penmain Riding Pony web site and/or give Rossanne a call. Good luck and I look forward to seeing more beautiful and talented Penmain ponies out there in the dressage arena.
To see the best Australian ponies in action, come along to the Australian Sports Pony Registry’s Victorian Pony Challenge on the weekend of the 31st July and 1st August at the Werribee Park National Equestrian Centre where there will be ponies of all shapes and sizes showing just what the smaller equines are capable of. Here is a link to the information.