Our Foundation Mare Annac Na Dailach with Foal Foaline of Talisker
Greadhaich of Talisker Winning the Glyn Greenwood in 2005
How the Talisker stud was formed.
Talisker is a small stud located in Ramsey, Cambridgeshire, breeding highland ponies.The stud is run by myself and my husband Steve.
I first got into highlands after riding a trekking pony on the Isle of Skye, after falling in love with his cheeky character, Ruaridh of Talisker was later purchased and registered in the appendix section of the stud book.I had lots of fun and success with Ruaridh and from the moment I first rode him, I was hooked on the breed.
After owning highlands for several years and after about two years of gentle persuasion, Linda Impey very kindly gave us our foundation stallion Corriegarth Rhiddorroch.‘Red’ as he was known to his friends, was a yellow dun stallion standing at 14hh with a superb temperament.Something he was well known for was ‘ladies first’, His breeder Sheila Brooks had taught him this as a foal and it stood him in good stead as his manners were impeccable.
Red carried both the valuable derculich bloodlines on his sire’s side and knocknagael bloodlines on his dam’s side, being by the lovely Highland Chief who spent his later years at the Queens Balmoral stud and out of Ruth of Knocknagael, a bay mare bought by Sheila from the famous Beechwood stud in 1977.
Red had not been shown much in his youth but was male champion at the 1990 breed show with Audrey Barron (Kincardine) and after riding him in his later years, I do wonder how he would have done, had he been shown under saddle.He was such a lovely pony to ride.
Our aim as a stud is to maintain the old department of agriculture bloodlines, the traditional pony characteristics and to breed ponies with super temperaments that make all round competition and family ponies. Red fit the bill perfectly, I could not have asked for a better foundation stallion and I will be forever indebted to Linda for this.
Annac Na Dailach (Whitefield Zircon x May Rose Na Dailach (Cock of the North) followed as our foundation broodmare.Annac a grey dun mare standing at 13.3.hh, had been shown very successful in hand and ridden and although her breaks were not that great, she was a fun pony that would jump or take anything in her stride, the perfect all-rounder.
Sadly on Good Friday in 2005 after leaving us with some wonderful foals, we lost red to a heart attack at the age of 29, we always knew red wasn’t the sort of pony to go down hill. Red was considerate to the end and is sadly missed at Talisker.
Red left us with 3 beautiful fillies (Druimfearna, Blaven and Rhidorroch) and 2 colts (Greadhaich and A’Bhaisteir), sadly Druimfearna of Talisker broke her leg at the age of 1 day, but with a trip to Newmarket, several months box rest in plaster, and a very tired me from hand rearing her, Druimfearnas leg was as right as rain and she had a very successful few years in the show ring as a youngster.In 2007 Druimfearna bred us our first Red granddaughter (Glamaig), a real credit to her grandsire.
After losing Red in 2005 we did not feel like competing or getting the ponies out, but in the June we took Greadhaich, Reds son to the East of England show to give him a show education while he was still 3, Greadhaich won his class and the mountain and moorland championship and qualified for the Glynn Greenwood championship at the ponies UK summer championships in the August, Greadhaich did not get out again until the championships where he did his father proud yet again, winning his section and taking the championship, we were over the moon and it was a lovely end to a terrible year.
In September 2004 I went for a trip to the Balleroy Stud to take a look at some potential colts to breed to my red filly’s. I instantly fell in love with Balleroy Minstrel, a very proud mouse dun colt who was the last foal by Minstrel of Whitefield out of the successful mare Yasmin of Whitefield, again carrying the old department bloodlines.Seeing him stride across the paddocks at Lambourn and playing with his pals, I knew he would be a super addition to the herd and in January 2005 he arrived and became Greadhaichs new field mate.
In May 2005 Highland Chief of Whitefield arrived at Talisker, I had always admired Chief in the ring as a youngster, he had many wins including the Royal Highland Show and Ponies UK Summer Championships and we felt blessed that we had the opportunity to purchase him.After being spoilt with Red we were anxious at the prospect of owning another stallion but Chief settled in straight away with us, due to his charming and laid back nature.
Chiefs first foal out of Annac (Foaline) won her class at Newark and Notts county on her first and only time out and our second crop of foals by him (Strollomus and Glamaig) are showing real promise too, all taking on his good looks, charm and laid back attitude to life.
Minstrel was licensed in 2007 and as we did not show him until he turned 3, he made his mark last year winning numerous championships across the country, including having an amazing day at the East Anglian Native Pony Show winning his class, the youngstock championship, the highland championship, being awarded the supreme youngstock championship and reserve Haven championship, not bad for his second time out.Minstrel will be broken and cover his first mares this year and we intend to have plenty of fun with him before he makes his ridden debut in ‘09.
We now have 12 highland ponies in total made up of 2 working stallions, 5 broodmares, 3 youngsters and 2 ponies that are currently being ridden and shown under saddle.All the ponies live naturally in herds and the stallions run with their mares, we breed between 2 and 4 foals per year with the mares having periodic breaks from breeding.
For the future, we intend to carry on the line that Red and Annac have started for us and to enjoy every moment spent with them.