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Central Scotland Stud Visit to Fourmerk 2003

A Day to Remember

We were delighted when Central Scotland Highland Pony Club accepted our invitation to come to Fourmerk on a stud visit on 17th August 2003. The club had been here previously in 1993 when we had forty seven ponies, but in the intervening time, the number and compositon of the stud has changed, although there were still some familiar ponies for those old hands to recognise.

As everyone who knows me can vouch, I love cooking and especially making buffet lunches. I make all my own pates, quiches, mousses, salads and puddings and get a real pleasure from doing this. It does however take a lot of time and I interspersed cooking with the trip to Malvern and other shows.

The weather on 17th was lovely. We had cleared one field of livestock to provide car parking which was just as well because seventy people turned up!

When the majority had arrived and were refreshing themselves with wine, beer, fruit juice or home made lemonade in the yard, we started by giving a little of the history of the stud and then showing the stallions, Kestrel, Rannoch and Haakon, explaining about the pedigree of each and his function at Fourmerk. My helpers had the stallions all beautifully groomed and Ronnie handled each of them.

As lunch was about to be served, Scott McGregor and Tracey Elliot-Reep arrived on horseback, riding Ballinton Kingsman and Callum of Gargunnock. The ponies were wearing Australian stock saddles. Tracey is a talented photographer and author and is part of the way on her long-distance ride from Cape Wrath to Landsend. You can follow her progress at Tracey's website (click here). This journey is in aid of charity (Riding for the Disabled) and is called 'From North to South.' Her previous journey, about which she has written a book entitled 'Riding with Faith' was through New Zealand. She left our area after the stud visit, to continue on her route.

Scott and Tracey
This photo by kind permission of Ellie Douglas

We had tables and chairs in the yard and this lent a kind of sociable cafe atmosphere to lunch. It was good to see so many new faces, as well as familiar ones. After lunch, we walked round the fields and identified each pony. We gave everyone a handout of the ponies' pedigrees. We also showed them our Highland cattle. We thoroughly enjoyed having all our visitors and hope it was as much fun for them!

Hosanna
Photo with thanks to Jane Coull

Central Scotland had a charity box which raised over 100 to be donated to Grass Sickness Research - a cause dear to my heart.

My thanks to all those who helped me with food, ponies, house and yard cleaning must be recorded. To Vicki and Colin, Alexander and Eilidh, Ellie Douglas, Alan, Debbie, Kirsty, Jane, Jane, Chrissy and Mark, Alison and Brian (who got roped in unexpectedly), Margaret Gotts and Scott - we couldn't have done it without you! Rita, Jane and Margaret also started the clearing-up operation, which Ronnie, Vicki, Colin, Alexander and Eilidh and I have just completed! My thanks to Ronnie, who showed the stallions and was a general gopher! It was great fun.