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Recent Show Results and Other News from Fourmerk

March 2014

Vicki's 40th birthday was 20th November 2013 and I gave her Royal Caledonian as her present. We had a big party at Fourmerk for her which started at 2.00pm and continued til 3.30am - so I'm told! It was a really good day! The last guests arived about 7.00pm.

We've had a winter of horrendous rain and the fields are badly poached. Vicki's three geldings trashed their field so badly that they had to come in 24/7 in January. Mud everywhere! We entered a mare for the ntional Stallion Show on 1st March but she had mud burn on all four coronary bands so wasn't looking good nough to show.

2nd March:

October 2013

15th October:

It's so long since I've updated, so apologies to everyone. Vicki made us a facebook page Fourmerk Highland Ponies and I tend to rely on that more nowadays

It's been a busy year, even without homebred foals to contend with. In the spring, Hallam went to his new home with Molly Lawson who had him jumping over small cross-poles in the space of two weeks. It's a great home for him

Hallam jump photo Hallam_jump-1.jpg

Next to leave was Royal Strathearn who was bought by Abby Woods. Again, it's a super home and Abby has shown him successfully - 3rd at Peebles.

Strathie aka Harris photo Strathie2013.jpg

Fourmerk Heather Jock went to Jane McNaught to be backed and never came home! Jane fell in love with him and bought him. She took him to RHS where he was 6th in a strong class

Heather Jock & Jennifer photo P1020459.jpg

On the subject of shows, Rebus, owned by Louise Robertson, had an amazing Highland Show, being pulled in 1st yearling colt. Well done!

Rebus 1st yearling colt/gelding photo P1020465.jpg

Also in the news from the showing world is Fourmerk Rosalyn, now owned by Sallie Hurst. Rosalyn was initially sold to Wendy Saunders and was bought last autumn by Sallie. She did four shows and was champion at all four! Recently, she was Supreme Champion at NW Champs Show. Well done, Sallie and Rosalyn (aka Diva)

Rosalyn NW Champs photo RosalynNWChamps.jpg

As to our showing, we have only done three shows this year: Gargunnock where Eilidh was 2nd and Cally was 3rd; Drymen where Rosemaree, 20 years young, was 2nd, Eilidh was 3rd and Hermione was 5th; and Central Scotland Highland Pony Club Show. Rosemaree was 1st veteran and Eilidh was 2nd.

Eilidh @ Gargunnock 2013 photo EilidhGargunnock2013.jpg

Eilidh @ Gargunnock

Cally @ Gargunnock 2013 photo CallyGargunnock2013.jpg

Royal Caledonian aka Cally @ Gargunnock

All 3 mares: Rosie, Hermione, Eilidh photo P1020630.jpg

Rosemaree, Hermione, Eilidh @ Drymen

Our news doesn't end there! In July, I took a trip to Islay to see the late Jane Dawson's ponies. I had an amazing few days with Wendy Saunders and Liz Mangham. I bought Ellster Islay Summer Thyme (Nashend Buzzard x Teigandene) who arrived in September. Such a pretty pony!

Thyme photo ThymeSeptt2013.jpg Vicki, not to be outdone, bought herself Rum of Fourmerk (Kestrel x Rosemaree) who arrived back at his original home mid-September. He's broken to ride and Vicki has been enjoying hacking out on him.

Claire & Rum photo ClaireonRum.jpg

Claire riding Rum

3 riders Oct 2013 photo VickiClaireEilidh.jpg

Vicki on Tiree, Claire on Rum, Eilidh on Dillan

Our last purchase is potentially our next stallion. Ashleyvale Glen Bogle, colt foal bred by Julie Osborne arrived in October. He's by Lyncrest's Marcellus (by McInnes of Fourmerk) and out of Margaux of Hirstmund (by Fyfedene). We're delighted with him! So well mannered and so attractive! Thank you, Julie!

Glen Bogle photo GlenBogle.jpg Glen Bogle Oct photo GlenBogleOct2013.jpg

So it's been a busy year with lots of excitement, including my visit this month to the German Highland Pony Breed Show in Lower Saxony. Lovely to met up with old friends and their ponies and to meet lots of new HP enthusiasts at the show.

January 2013

11th January:

Happy New Year to all my friends!

My New Year started very badly. Barty, my flatcoated retriever, had been sore on a hind leg from November and despite several vet visits and x-rays, there was no diagnosis so he was on painkillers and anti-inflammatories. In December, his other hind leg was affected: more x-rays, more medications and samples of fluid from his swollen lymph glands sent to the lab the Friday before New Year. The results came back on Hogmanay: Haemangiosarcoma. I was told nothing could be done, that it was just a matter of time. That day he deteriorated more and by New Year's Day, he was in such pain that the hard decision was made. Vicki and Colin were with me when the vet came. He was kindness itself to Barty and us. He even stayed while we buried Barty in the garden.

Barty was only 7 years old. He was my constant companion and my "hearing" dog. I am devastated. He helped me through the worst of times. I owed him an end to pain. My poor, poor boy.

I miss you so much: I miss your singing to the "Archers" theme tune and to the chimes of Big Ben on the radio; I miss your warning barks when someone arrives here; most of all I'll miss the best friend I could ever have had. I'll never forget you, Barty.


November 2012

26th November:

Rebus (Kestrel x Rosemaree) went to his new home on Saturday. He loaded perfectly and arrived safely at the livery yard. He is the kind of pony who takes everything in his stride and he has settled quickly with his new family.

10th November:

I found Elise lying dead in the field this morning. No sign that she'd struggled. It looked as if she had just dropped down. It was a terrible shock. She was only eleven years old and was very special to me. I bought her from Scott McGregor was a weaned foal. He hadn't wanted to sell her but agreed if I would show her. She was a stunning pony in every way: character, conformation and in the foals she left me. She was Reserve Female Champion at RHS as a two year old, Champion at Doune and Dunblane amongst many other successes. Her foals were H.S.,Lizzie, Eliza, Ebony, Ewart and Endrick. I miss her "smiley face" terribly.

October 2012

10th October:

8.00pm: Strathie (Royal Strathearn of Fourmerk) has just arrived at his new home at a livery yard at Fishcross, Alloa. He was a real wee star and loaded without hesitation. He's a really obliging pony! All best wishes to Abby, his new owner. I know he's gone to a lovely home.

1st October:

A friend mentioned that a news item had appeared recently about a horse which swims from an island on Loch Lomond to the mainland. I knew immmdeiately who it was: Fourmerk Anise, now known as Shoshoni. She is by Innes of Invervack out of Saffrom TB. I sold her as a youngster to Roy Rogers who produced her for Western Riding. Click on the link below to see the article and photos.

Click here to see the article about Shoshoni



Yesterday, I was given a deposit on Strathie (Royal Strathearn)who is going to a lovely new home soon.

Click here for a photo of Strathie


September 2012





Photo courtesy of Peter Page.



Photo by








18th September

Diva (aka Rosalyn) was shown at a riding club show on Saturday, where she won novice in-hand, won the unusual coloured and won the M&M large out of 10! She also took Champion--- again! The judges complimented her on being an excellent example of the breed. Well done Sallie and Diva. I'm really dleighted with their successes.

14th September:

We took Eilidh, 4 year old mare to Central Scotland HPC Show on 2nd. Eilidh has taken time to mature and so hadn't been shown. I had intended to show her this year, but with so many shows being cancelled, it didn't happen. So Central was her first outing. She was shown by my son-in-law, Colin, and this was a first for him as well. I knew she would be a young mare in a class against mature mares, but she needed the experience. She behaved pretty well, which was the object of the exercise.




Another first was Rosalyn, (aka Diva,) I sold her as a yearling filly and she's now 5 years old. She was sold recently and after two weeks in her new home, was taken to East Morton Show for experience. She won 2 classes and was In hand Champion, much to her new owner's delight. Well done, Sallie and Diva!






After a long delay, Ensign Ewart eventually arrived at his new home with Brigitte in Haute-Vienne, France. It's great to see him happy and relaxed in his new surroundings. He is now known as Elliot!

Photo courtesy of Brigitte.

August 2012

Photobucket Photobucket

28th August:

I've just been sent photos of Fionnlaidh of Fourmerk by his new owner. Fin was foaled in 1993 and I sold him as a yearling and lost touch with where he had gone. I'm just delighted to see him after all these years. Thanks to Elaine for the pics and I hope her niece Ashleigh will have lots of fun with Fin.



5th August:

Both my colt foals have had deposits left on them. I am very happy about the homes they will both go to and wish their new owners every happiness with them. Elise's foal, Endrick, will be going to the North East of England and Rosemaree's colt, Rebus, will be going to Rosyth.

I didn't make it to the Breed Show as Elise wasn't sound. Thought she had an abscess but the farrier couldn't find anything.


July 2012




Elise's colt foal


Elise's colt foal


1st July:

Since last update, Bella (Fourmerk Heather Belle, 4 year old mare: Haakon x Honey) has gone to her new home in Germany with Patricia Laves. She arrived safely but tired after her long journey.

Our only show this year so far was the Royal Highland. Although disappointed not to be in the tickets, I was so glad not to have to parade a pony in a thunderstorm on the Friday.



I have two colt foals this year, both by Kestrel: Rosemaree's, born on 6th May and Elise's, born on 21st May.

A deposit has just been paid for him today


Rosemaree's colt foal


Rosemaree's colt foal

March 2012

5th March:

The 2011 foals were weaned in December and have access to the cattle court. They are all doing well and I haven't even needed to give them hard feed this winter.

I had a wonderful holiday in Australia in November, visiting three Highland Pony friends in New South Wales. I stayed with Scott McGregor and his daughter Mhairi at Tamworth; with Sue and Jim Jarman of Rosemarkie Stud near Tenterfield; and with Stuart Clarke and Cheryl who used to breed Benacre Highland Ponies in Hilston. It was a very relaxing holiday and it was great to see Highland Ponies in this environment, especially Fourmerk Royal Scott at Scott's. All three made me very welcome and went out of their way to show me around. I saw camp drafting which was really exciting. (Google it if you don't know what it is!) I spent my last day exploring Sydney and it poured all day!

Vicki, Colin and the twins moved to my old house, Burnton of Boquhan, on 5th January! They sold their house at Greenloaning in two weeks! It's great to have the family just a mile down the road - close enough and far enough away.

The fields suffered badly in the torrential rain in December and January and some might need to be re-sown. Structural damage from the 3rd January storm was to ridging and slates. At least spring is in the air again: the snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils are in flower, all at the same time.

November 2011

29th November:

So much has happened since I last wrote. Ewart and Bella have been sold, both going to Europe. They will leave Fourmerk in spring 2012. Bella is to be served by Kestrel before she leaves.

September 2011

27th September:

Holly went to her new home yesterday. She left from Crieff to go to Millport on Cumbrae with her new owners, Sheila and William. I know they are the right people for Holly and I hope they will all be happy with each other. She arrived safely yesterday afternoon and was munching grass.

5th September:

Yesterday was Central Scotland Highland Pony Club Show at Strathallan. I had entered a few ponies, but as Vicki wasn't able to help with showing (she has 3 wisdom teeth extracted last week) I took only Rosemaree and her colt foal, Royal Strathearn. The weather was glorious and it's always such a sociable and well run show. I had a lovely day, catching up with friends. Rosie was 1st veteran and 5th brood mare; Strathearn was 4th foal.

2nd September:

Owl's End Hermione arrived with Eric Gillie yesterday morning! Vicki and I saw her on Horsequest and couldn't resist. She's by McInnes of Fourmerk. I am really delighted with her. She is a beautiful 4 year old mare and has the sweetest nature. We intend to have her broken to ride, we'll show her and I hope to have a foal from her by Kestrel at some point. She's settled in well with two younger fillies. Thank you, Dorothy!




August 2011


Vicki leading Elise, Nicola with Ewart


Nicola and Ewart

19th August:

Yesterday Elise and her colt foal, Ensign Ewart of Fourmerk, were shown at Blair by Vicki and Nicola. I was delighted when Elise was placed second (to the eventual champion). Ewart, who was born on 1st June, so is quite young by comparison with most foals, was also second. He is well grown for his age and he behaved well. They were reserve mare and foal combination.

At least the weather was good for the in hand classes. I felt really sorry for those in the ridden as the heavens opened on them. Really enjoyed my day at Blair and only purchases were a shirt and photos from Julia Shearwood Photography. Thanks for the lovely photos, Julia, and for shelter from the rain.



Ewart flying!


July 2011

2nd July:

Doune and Dunblane Show today with Vicki and Colin leading a mare and foal and I was leading a mare with help from Jennifer Green who owns Hector of Fourmerk and from Lyndsay McDonald. My thanks to both of them. Honey, with me showing for the first time in ages, was first brood mare and Rosemaree, led by Vicki, was second. Rosemaree's colt, Royal Strathearn of Fourmerk, was first and Foal Champion and Honey's filly, Fourmerk Heather Gem, was second. We had a lovely day until about 1:00pm, Honey started to choke. She had intermittent bouts of coughing and I couldn't take any risks, so called the vet. She reckoned that Honey had choked on something which had then caused an inflammation in her throat. We didn't parade - which I felt bad about - and left after the vet had given Honey an anti-inflammatory injection. She seems much better now with only an occasional bout of coughing, but has been kept in as a precaution.

Jennifer Green's Hector was 3rd in hand and I hear he was 1st in the ridden. Alexander, my grandson, was helping to show sheep for the first time. He helped Nicola who helps me with the ponies, to show her Zwarbles sheep in both open classes and young handlers. He really enjoyed it and wants to do it again.


June 2011

27th June:

Just back from RHS where I really enjoyed the show, if not the lack of results. However, Hector of Fourmerk was third in hand for his owner, Jennifer Green and Strathleven Drumochter, (a son of North Wells Summit whom I used to own), was Reserve Ridden Champion. The weather was much better than had been forecast and it was a very sociable show, where I caught up with lots of friends.

Hallam and Holly are at Crieff Hydro stables being backed and ridden out and Honey has returned from Balcormo where she was AI'd to Fyfedene and has been scanned in foal.

7th June: Gargunnock Show was on Saturday and Fourmerk was well represented with Rosemaree, her colt foal by Kestrel, Eliza and Tiree who was being ridden by Vicki. Vicki and Nicola showed Rosemaree and her foal and they were both first. (The other foal in the class was by Kestrel, too). Tiree was second in the yeld mare class and Eliza was first 2/3 year old. The judge was John Reid from Aberdeen. I was really delighted when Rosemaree was pulled forward as In Hand Champion. She is 18 now and hasn't been shown since 2006 till this year. Always in the tickets, she has been Reserve three times at NPS Scotland, amongst many other top placings, Rosie has never had a championship before. Vicki won the Pony/Rider combination class. My camera wasn't working but below is a photo from Kirsten Berry of Vicki and Tiree.



Vicki & Tiree


Elise foaled on 1st June. She has a lovely big colt foal by Kestrel. I think he'll be mouse dun. He was a bit slow to suck, but with a little help, he got there.



May 2011

29th May: Took Rosemaree and her colt foal to Drymen yesterday and they were shown by Shona and Nicola, who did a great job, despite horrific downpours. Both were third and Rosemaree was 1st veteran.



Rosemaree & her colt foal at Drymen. Thanks to Kate Lawson for the use of this photo.

17th May: Misty (Cairns Rhoda) who was served by Kestrel last year after losing her part bred foal at a few days old, had a lovely dark coloured colt foal on Saturday 14th and all is well with mother and son. Misty is 18 and this is her first foal as she was ridden prior to this.


Misty's colt

Misty's colt foal

April 2011

28th April: Rosemaree foaled yesterday at about 5:00am. She has a colt and I think he'll be yellow dun. He's got curly ears!


Rosie's colt

Rosie's colt foal

25th April: On Friday, I was sure Jane's mare Hattie was about to foal. Jane really wanted to be here for the birth and had ordered a colt in advance!I decided that it would be best if Hattie foaled in the cattle court. Jane and I checked her regularly, but went to bed at midnight and got up to check at 5:00am and literally just missed the colt being born! He's a brownish colour at the moment. He took time to find where to suck, but with a bit of help, he found the milk bar. I was amazed at how good Hattie was in allowing me to strip milk from her, as she's not the calmest mare I've ever known. Jane and I toasted Hattie and her son with champers at lunch time. Jane left and came back again yesterday morning with Duncan and we turned Hattie and her boy out.

20th April: Lizzie (Fourmerk Elisabeth) has a filly foal. This is her first foal and I'm so glad I decided to bring her in last night.



Lizzie's filly foal

18th April: Honey has foaled this morning, only a day late by my reckoning. It's a cream dun filly by Haakon.



Honey's filly foal

13th April: I had an email a few days ago from the owner of the first foal I bred. James I of Boquhan, known as Jamie, aged 24, had just been brought out of retirement to give a five year old girl a little ride. The owner and her daughter have had Jamie for many years and he even went to school with the daughter. I was delighted to have an update on Jamie. However, yesterday I had another email to say he had taken colic and it was so bad that there was no option but to have him put down. RIP, Jamie.


10th April: Two ponies, both by Kestrel, have has show ring successes today. Comet of Glenairlie, out of Mary Lewis's Storm of Tower, won his in hand class and was In Hand Champion at a NSWPCG Show in Aberdeen area for his owner, Lyndsey Gunn from Caithness. Hector of Fourmerk, owned by Jennifer Green, won his ridden class, was M&M champion and Reserve overall Champion at Strathkelvin Show. I'm delighted for everyone concerned with these ponies. Well done!





Thanks to Emmie(Knockandy) for this photo.


February 2011

12th February: It's been some winter! I survived being snowed in, iced in, the water pump freezing and cracking, the farm track disintegrating with frost heave,the limb of one of my trees falling and blocking the road, a chimney pot shattering and narrowly missing the Volvo and flashing from a dormer blowing down. The ponies were fine in the very cold weather. I am sure they prefer that to the mud we have now. There are four mares in foal for this year: Rosemaree to Kestrel, Honey to Haakon, Elise to Kestrel and Lizzie who is a maiden mare, to Haakon. Rosie, Honey and Lizzie are all due to foal in the same week in April. Elise, who didn't show in season till late is due end of May. They all look very much in foal.


December 2010

31st December: I haven't been able to update for some time as my computer crashed, taking my html editing programmes with it.

Ebony, my black colt foal out of Elise, and Honeybee, my grey filly out of Honey, both went to their new homes at the end of November, before the freeze set in. Both new owners seem really pleased with them and I'm glad they have such good homes. Ebony will be kept entire.

The wintry conditions have made life here hard. I've survived being snowed in, stranded vehicles, the pickup being hit by a bus and the bus driver lying in his teeth that I hit him, burst pipes and a cracked water pump which was replaced on Christmas Eve. I still have no water to the troughs and steading but have managed to ensure all the ponies have water. They are thriving in these conditions and had frost and snow on their backs showing how well insulated they are.

September 2010

17th September: I took Honey, Bee and Eliza to Central Scotland Highland Pony Club Show. Results not great, but Honeybee was 5th, led by Chrissy Pollock from Fintry, who is the owner of a visiting mare. Chrissy kindly agreed to help show to gain experience of foal handling and did a great job. Thanks to Jim Chrichton for allowing me to reproduce this photo.


Fourmerk Honeybee at CSHPC

Honeybee with Chrissy


August 2010

2nd August: Two pieces of sad new recently: Brenda Dick emailed me to say that Heriot of Fourmerk had broken his leg in the field and had to be put down. Heriot was a lovely natured yellow dun gelding and I know that Brenda and her daughter had lots of fun riding Heriot.

The other was a case of cruelty in Holland. Fourmerk Flora, foaled in 1989, by Merlin of Orangefield and out of Catriona of Orangefield, was sold by me in 2000 to Angela Rhode in Germany. She was sold to someone in Holland a few years ago. When this man's premises and ponies were inspected, the ponies were taken to a rescue centre, but it was too late for Flora, who was put down. I was really sad to hear this and hope the owner will be prosecuted. Poor Flora.

June 2010

30th June: Since last writing, I have had an accident. On 10th June, Shona and I were about to worm ponies when they all took fright at something and galloped towards Eliza who knocked me unconscious and stood on my leg. Shona phoned for an ambulance and the next thing I knew, there were 2 paramedics, 5 policemen and my neighbours, Robin and Gregor, all standing round me. I was taken to Stirling Royal where I had 14 stitches in my leg. I was given crutches and told not to put weight on my left leg. I was allowed to drive an automatic car, thank goodness. I am very lucky that Eliza only stood on my leg: it could have been much worse. I did keep saying to the paramedics,"Please tell me I don't have brain damage." They must have thought I was mad.

Lee Ann Bunn from Virginia arrived that day and we had booked a spa break at Knock Castle which I had to back out of.

I was determined that I would go to the Royal Highland Show, but knew I would be useless as far as doing things with ponies. Shona and Nicola took over with the ponies and both tried to make life easy for me for which I am truly grateful.

We got there despite my leg and the lorry's failing to start. Honey was unplaced;Honeybee, her foal, was 3rd; Lizzie, 3yo was 5th and Royal Caledonian was 5th. I was especially pleased that Cally behaved perfectly. I hired an electric scooter at the show which helped stop the swelling on my leg. Lee Ann lived with me in the lorry, but we had no power to the living. It was a good show, with scorching weather and I enjoyed the break.

6th June: Wonderful weather made Gargunnock Show a great event. I took Honey and her filly foal, Honeybee and 3 year old Elisabeth (Lizzie). I was delighted when all three were placed first by judge Sandy Baird and even more delighted when Honey was pulled forward as In Hand Champion.


Fourmerk Honey

May 2010


29th May: Cally and Eliza, yearling colt and yearling filly, went to Drymen Show today. Shona and Nicola were handling them at their first show. (Well, Eliza was at RHS last year with her dam, but hasn't been shown since). They travelled well and behaved well after they had got used to the ring. Cally was 1st and Eliza was 2nd. I have to admit they were the only two yearlings forward but it was good experience for them.


Royal Caledonian of Fourmerk 2 Drymen 2010


Royal Caledonian of Fourmerk at Drymen 2010


Fourmerk Eliza Drymen 2010>


19th May: The last Highland Cattle of my breeding have just been sold. The three heifers (a 3 year old, Annag, and two year olds, Annag and Maisie) have been sold to Vicki's sister-in-law, Morag. I had thought to put them away for beef, but they are all good heifers and should make good cows, so I was reluctant to beef them. I still have six young bullocks for beef.

14th May: Elise foaled this morning. She has a colt foal and I think he'll be black. She was 8 days late by my reckoning. He's a big boy!


Elise's Colt


1st May: Honey has foaled. I thought she might as she was waxing yesterday. All well with mother and daughter, who is grey dun and by Haakon.


Honey's filly by Haakon


Honey's filly 2010 by Haakon

Hope and Honeysuckle made the long journey to Caithness on Wednesday night and arrived safely with their mew owner, Lynn Cormack.

April 2010

16th April: It's a while since I last updated. I survived through the extreme cold, lived without electricity, without water to the house or steading, had a leak from my cold water tank in the thaw and it had to be replaced. In February, my mother-in-law took seriously ill and so I had to visit her in Glasgow four times a week. She now has carers, who are great and that has taken the pressure off me and Vicki.

Hope and Honeysuckle have just been sold and will go together to their new home when their new owner finishes lambing.

Honey is due to foal on 20th April and is already bagged up. She's in foal to Haakon. Elise, in foal to Kestrel, is due at the beginning of May.

Last month, three ponies escaped from their field, gorged themselves on sheep and cattle feed and gave me a few worrying days. The liquid paraffin obviously worked as all three are fine and had no symptoms of colic, laminitis or anything. Thank goodness!

January 2010

25th January: Happy New Year!

The pony who has been loaned is Rabbie Burns of Fourmerk, who is now with Mary and Colin Forsyth at Friockheim. Mary is delighted with him and Rabbie has a really good home with her. She's been riding him and he's been well behaved and friendly.