Fernilea and her part bred TB filly foal Jameela of Talisker
Jumping Coloured Poles
Her first ridden show
Fernilea of Talisker is a 14hh, 6 year old, yellow dun mare that rather unexpectedly came into my life when I visited the Newark meat market in 2000. I was looking for cheap winter horse rugs. I decided, as we all do, to have a quick look around the ponies and I was totally shocked when I saw a 2-year-old pony that barely resembled a highland. She was in a terrible condition, absolutely petrified of people, obviously ill treated, beaten, and was covered in lice and sores. Her mouth was so ulcerated that she could barely eat the mealiest bit of hay that had been provided for her. I enquired about her and managed to find out where she had come from, that she was registered and also her breeding. I purchased her on the spot for fifty pounds, which included her delivery to my stud in Cambridgeshire.
The vet was waiting her arrival and instantly advised us to have her put to sleep. My family and I decided that we would at least give her a chance and spent several long, tiring months nursing her back to health and trying to gain her trust in humans again.
Despite being promised her registration documents, they never arrived and it was decided to register her in the appendix section of the highland pony society studbook.
Once she had been with us several months we decided to take her to her first show, the Ponies UK extra show at Hertfordshire County showground. To our surprise she won her class, and qualified for the Glyn Greenwood Championship at Ponies UK that summer. We took her to several other shows that year and she was in the top two at most of them. When Ponies UK came round, she won the Machonochie trophy for the best highland filly, which really made my day after all the hard work nursing her back to health that year. In 2004 when Lea was 4 years old I decided that it was time to break her in, she took to her ridden career like a duck to water. That October we took her to the East Anglian Native Pony Show at Keysoe for the Ponies UK Novice ridden qualifier, she went like an open pony and won her class and qualified first time out. She also qualified for the Keston in hand championship that day as well.
Lea was going so well for me, but I didnít want to push her too soon so I decided that she should become a mum. Being an appendix mare I thought it best to breed a part bred from her, as this was something that I really wanted to do someday. After a good long search I found a gorgeous TB stallion called, ĎAintlifelikethatí, that I was sure Lea would fancy the pants off of and 11 months later baby Jameela (beautiful in Arabic) was born.
This year Lea has been introduced to jumping and hunting. At our first hunt of the season we where informed by a hunt marshal of the "route around the jumps as that fat little pony wonít manage them". We are now at the end of the season and the comments have completely changed to "my god that thing can jump", I am now looking forward to entering her into the working hunter classes this spring.
I never would have thought that the pony I purchased in that sorry state four years ago would have turned out the way she has. Itís amazing that such a petrified, neglected animal can totally overcome what she has been through and develop total trust in humans again, as she has done. She has definitely burrowed her way into my heart and will spend the rest of her days at Talisker.