Stud Visit from North East of England Group and Many Others! 14th August 2005
Cat got the Quiche!!
Ronnie & Scott after dinner!
No wonder Bonnie had to lie down!!
Gathering in the yard
The forerunner to the stud visit was dinner on Saturday night at the Lion & Unicorn in Thornhll and about twenty of us met up. Lee Ann Bunn from Virginia and Christine Stevenson, Heather Cornes and Suzie Whitaker from Kent were staying at Fourmerk. Gill and David Booth were in a caravan in our yard. Others were staying in various accommodation in the area. Dinner was a chance for everyone to mingle and introduce themselves. It was a very sociable night!
Sunday morning didn't start well because I discovered that somehow the dogs, mine and Christine's, and our cat had got into a room where I'd left food for the stud visit lunch. I always lock the doors, knowing that Barty can open handles, so have no idea who left the room available to them. They had demolished a whole plate of chicken drumsticks, a leg of lamb and the cat had had a tomato quiche. Each had a stomach as tight as a drum and a sheepish look!! I was in a panic and had to do some quick thinking! I spent the rest of the morning totally stressed out! I managed to cook a joint of beef in record time to replace the lamb and quickly made another quiche. I had invaluable help from Shona McLeary, who always turns up trumps for me; from Vicki, Colin and the twins; and from Lee Ann, Christine and Heather who helped by washing up as I cooked! Couldn't have done it all without them, not to mention Ronnie!
Scott met everyone in Thornhill at 9.45 am and they did the tour of his ponies, then they all came here at lunchtime. I have no idea how many visitors we had, but I'd guess at about fifty. I was able to put names to faces from the HPEC Message Board for the first time. It was good to meet Mulletsmum, Anna Wedgewood, Janandjock, Kate & Olivia, Poppy and family, Lynda from the board, as well as Penny Smith from Nashend Stud and many, many others - sorry if I've missed you out, but was suffering from brain overload!! We had people from as far apart as Drumnadrochit and Kent, not to mention our friend from USA.
As visitors arrived, we plied them with wine, beer or soft drinks and with the majority here, we got the demonstration of stallions underway. Ronnie led Rannoch, Haakon and Kestrel round the yard, (all groomed for the occasion by Shona), whilst Vicki gave information on their pedigrees, breeding , progeny and successes.
Then everyone piled into the house for buffet lunch. (Starters: avocado mousse, farmhouse pate, venison liver pate, haricot bean spread; Main Courses: our own Highland Beef, cooked gammon joint, curried chicken mayonnaise, chicken drumsticks, three cheese quiche, tarte provencale, broccoli & stilton quiche; Salads: green salad, coleslaw, egg mayonnaise, tomato & mozzarella salad, potato salad; Desserts: key lime pie, banoffi pie, vanilla cheesecakes, meringues & cream, strawberries, biscuits & cheese). I love making food and did all the catering myself. Only thing is that when I've made it all and set it out on the table, I can't eat it!!
When everyone had had their fill, we want for a tour of the fields. Each person had a list of which ponies were in which fields and some information about each one. I think the field everyone most enjoyed was that with the mares and foals. The foals loved all the attention and clustered round their visitors.
Harriet (left); Honey & Rhanna (right)
Perrie's part bred foal (left); H.S. & Royal Scott (right)
We usually put out a charity tin and donate the proceeds to an equine charity, however, as a friend of ours, John Hallam, has recently undergone surgery for bowel cancer and had a very long stay in hospital, we decided to donate the money to Cancer Research UK. We raised £172! A big thank you to everyone who contributed. (John's wife Rita did a sponsored walk while he was in hospital and raised over £1000 for the charity, to which this sum will be added).
The photos are by Lee Ann Bunn And Christine Stevenson, with thanks.