Fourmerk Highlanders

Introduction and History

Welcome to Fourmerk Stud and Fold, owned by Joan Alexander

Fourmerk Farm is situated between Kippen and Gargunnock, eight miles west of Stirling, with the Gargunnock Hills to the south and impressive views across the Carse of Stirling to the north. The farm is at least two hundred years old and was originally part of nearby Boquhan Estate. Until 1985, it had been in the hands of one family, the Mores, for almost a century. They grew crops and kept livestock, including Clydesdale Horses, many of which were prizewinning animals, although their prime purpose was agricultural work on the farm.

Ronnie, Vicki and I moved to Fourmerk in 1988 from our previous home at Burnton of Boquhan, one mile down the single track road. The stud name, Boquhan, now belongs to our daughter Vicki (now Fletcher).

Ronnie is a lawyer at Bartys in Dunblane and I was - in another life - an English teacher. I have served for two three year terms as a Highland Pony Society Council member and was Breed Show Secretary for the 2000 show. Although not on the Highland Pony Society In Hand Judges' Panel, I have been judging all breeds and disciplines since 1990 and have judged throughout Scotland and also in Germany. I was secretary of Gargunnock Show for five years and worked for several years as a freelance equestrian journalist with 'Stirling Observer' and had articles published by 'Scottish Farmer', 'Riding' magazine, 'Riders' Journal', 'Scottish Equestrian' and 'Horse and Hound' as well as 'The Highland Pony Gazette' and various enthusiasts' magazines.

When we moved to the farm, I did a crash course in agriculture. We gradually built up a herd of forty hill cows with a Simmental bull, a fold of twenty Highland cattle and forty seven ponies, the majority of which were Highlands, but also a Clydesdale, two Welsh ponies and three Thoroughbred mares. The non Highlands were used for producing part breds.

At that time, Ronnie was working in Glasgow and after a few years, he found that getting up early to feed and bed cattle and doing the same in the evening was too much. We didn't have a holiday for several years, either. When our groom left, we didn't replace her and we cut back on the numbers of ponies and cattle.

Life changed dramatically on 30th May 2007 when Ronnie suffered severe brain damage as the result of an accident. He no longer lives at Fourmerk and the cattle were sold. I still buy in Highland steers to finish. I am lucky that Vicki, Colin and the twins moved to Burnton - to our old house - in 2012 and so have a huge input into the farm.

The stud usually has about twenty ponies. There are Fourmerk Ponies in England, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Sweden, USA and Australia.

We have two stallions at stud: Kestrel of Fourmerk (Atholl of Fourmerk x Kelpiedene)and Tuskerbister Jarl Haakon (Jock of Invervack x Bonnie Lass of Finnlarig). In 2013 Vicki and I bought a eaned colt foal, Ashleyvale Glen Bogle as a potential stallion. He is by Lyncrest's Marcellus (a McInnes of Fourmerk son) and out of Margaux of Hirstmund (by Fyfedene)

We always welcome vistors as we njoy showing our ponies to people.

This website was designed and constructed by Ellie Douglas 09/99.

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