"Think not what the Shetland pony can do for you - what can you do for the Shetland Pony?
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Holiday accommodation Cranford. Berwick

‘Great news re the Evaluation Scheme xx well done on all your hard work’

Was one of a few messages on 'evaluation' recently sent to me. I understand the sentiments, but it was the council who quashed it, not me, and I wouldn’t mind betting they had a rather more torrid time than I did. Of course it’s important that members who believe they have an idea that would benefit the lot of the pony, having researched and considered its ramification, should offer it up for consideration by the council. The key parts of the above statement are the words ‘having researched and considered its ramifications’. That means not asking council to turn the rules upside down because someone has a personal interest mission going on. For example, for those who breed ‘dilute’ colours and want, ‘mushroom’ ‘lavender’ ’smokey cream’ and various other ‘colours’ accepted by the stud book. No doubt in years to come, this may happen. I may think it’s silly, but no doubt it’s harmless, and I WOULD NOT campaign either way, unless it came to a huge issue, then i would happily publish the views for and against. Personally those who promote dilute colour acceptance in the stud book, may do better to firstly, be sure they’ve cracked temperament, movement and conformation in the progeny they breed and worry about what shade of ‘smokey cream’ it is, or isn’t.
You may recollect, despite there being several comments on the news page opposing ‘evaluation’ and none ‘for’. That was not me denying them a voice, they declined to submit an alternate point of view, perhaps they knew there wasn’t one.

Mr Tony Dennis

Very saddened to announce that Mr Tony Dennis, from the renowned Kerswell Miniature Stud, has passed away.  Tony, together with his wife Jane, founded the stud many years ago and probably had the most influence on the miniatures in the U.K.

He was a well liked, larger than life character that everyone warmed to when meeting him and he will be sadly missed by so many in the Shetland World . Our condolences go to Jane and his family.

Tony Dennis passed away, 82 years of age peacefully at home after a long illness. Tony retired as a professional jump jockey in the late 1960s and moved from Surrey to Devon in 1972 with his wife Jane to run a stud farm breeding hunters and taking visiting mares but Tony wholeheartedly embraced breeding Shetland ponies with just as much enthusiasm. He loved his showing and meeting up with so many other breeders many of whom became life long friends. No one enjoyed the after parties more and he much enjoyed recalling the good old times when eventually he had to slow down! He loved his ponies and was proud of their success, starting to breed them at a time when good minis were hard to come by and ending with the knowledge that the Kerswell bloodlines are used in so many studs today.
 Not only have all the top studs imported Kerswell bred ponies into their herds, assuring consistent type, it’s a shame Tony wasn’t still here and able to do ‘clinics’ on how to show a pony in hand. He really was the consummate show man, a total perfectionist.  Just to watch him bring a pony to ‘halt’, perfectly balanced with its weight over all four feet, was and remains a skill mastered by very few. I remember him at halt, stepping forward one full stride, turning to face the pony, and with the lead rein at 45 deg left a clear view for the judge to view the pony from any angle without the handler pushing and shoving the pony into position.
 Jane [the power behind the throne!] will continue with a few ponies I’m sure, and will have memories to be cherished, not only of their successes, but their lives together and the great times those of us had who were and are lucky enough to be their friends. Bless you Tone, your legacy and place in Shetland pony history as a ‘great’ is established and assured.

pictured.........Tony, still showing one of his 'boys' age 74

The following tribute in 2008 at the Shetland pony owners and breeders show awards presentation Dinner, Spa hotel Tunbridge Wells. 'Lifetime achievement Award to Tony and Jane Dennis'
Having been associated with Shetland ponies throughout my life, when our stud was born in the 1980s I was very conscious at that time that as far as miniatures were concerned, the Fairy ponies from the South park stud were about as good as you could get. In great demand they were hard to acquire and were very expensive, supply and demand ruled. Some breeders having acquired stock from South park were starting to make inroads into improvements in miniatures which at that time, well shall we say, most of them were at best, poor specimens. Amongst the leading lights acquiring Southpark stock and adding their own twist to it were the Birling stud, owned by the late Lionel Hamilton Renwick, Di Johnston’s Parlington stud, Audrey Runnalls at Tawna, Joan Lambert's Brandon and of course Jane & Tony Dennis’s Kerswell stud. All of these studs have made a tremendous contribution to the breed and the best miniatures in the country with little exception have these studs influence in their pedigrees.
Their innovative miniature pony centre in Devon was a fantastic venture that by its very nature required a large number of ponies to make such a venue a real and viable attraction. Too often quality suffers at the hand of quantity, but an awareness and a definite policy direction made sure over the years that quality and type were produced consistently at Kerswell. The quantities bred at Kerswell have allowed their efforts over the years to put a real stamp on the breed. Everyone knows the influence of Ron of North Wells, but it was Jane and Tony that found him suitable mares that would produce that certain look so recognisable that have gone on and produced so many more ‘Ron’ type stallions, that have been the foundation of a lot of the top studs today.
Jane and Tony are two of the most knowledgeable, self effacing and popular people in the breed today, it would be remiss of me and my advisors in these matters to let this last opportunity, through this awards scheme not to acknowledge their huge contribution to the breed and breeders of miniature Shetlands. I am delighted that the 2008 award for achievement goes to Jane and Tony Dennis and their Kerswell stud. GH.

First show of the year for Lucie Dale and
Cr. Fiddledydee. Both been practicing, left home at 7pm. Long day, got home 5.15.
But worth it, because they came first
and Reserve and collected their Equifest
ticket. So, supper, bath, and 'just ten minutes' in

mummy's bed for a bit of telly.  Oops, looks
like this little girl lasted two minutes before
sweet dreams took over.


I don’t recommend it as a weight loss programme, potentially life threatening if you have certain underlying health issues, but as I start recovering from Aussie flu with attendant gastroenteritis and kidney infection. I’ve  lost 9lbs! I ate next to nothing for 8 days, just couldn’t fancy it. Doc said it could take 6 weeks to fully recover, I’m pleased to know that because I was beginning to believe ‘death was the only cure’.  I shall persist with my ‘skinny’ diet, and turn a negative into a positive. If you’ve got it, you’ll know, it’s like flu you have never had before. Take care. x
Ps. Sorry if ive been ignoring you. Normal service will be restored shortly. 30-1-2018

Mother Nature's Foaling Predictor Kits From Kettlesnout Stud
Having had great success myself over the last few years using these foaling predictor kits from Mother Natures Kit in the USA, I have agreed to become a UK distributor. The kits work by testing the mares milk as she gets close to foaling. Once the milk reaches the 95% reading, then foaling is normally within 12 hours.... using the kit has saved me many sleepless nights and helped maintain my sanity! I personally wouldn't be without them. None of my mares have ever suffered any detriment by taking the very small amount of milk needed to do the test (only half a ml) You can read more about using the kit at or visit my facebook page for more information:
I can supply the full kit for 29.50 including p&p to UK addresses. All that's needed in addition is some distilled/deionised water which you can get from most supermarkets from 1. To get a kit direct from the USA, with higher postage costs, would currently cost just over 39. 
Please email if you need more information/or to order: or ring 07813 130179
Andrea Merrifield

Hi Gerry,

Summer Show will be the last Parklands show. Starting these things is the easy bit, knowing when to stop is the difficult part.

We have had much discussion and having all past the 70 mile stone, in my case starting to be a vague memory all ready, we feel after 13 years we have achieved what we set out to do.

 Prior to Parklands over the years we had put on a number of general local horse shows which were so successful to the point they out grew us and we had to stop.

With this experience and because we knew how, and we wanted to give some thing back, putting on a ‘Shetland pony show’ seemed a good idea. We never expected to have a ‘tiger by the tail’ and in truth with the County show unexpectedly asking us to have a show ring to our selves and then sheer numbers turning up each time to all the Parklands events we just inadvertently carried on.

Now it’s time to gracefully retire whilst still able to enjoy our ponies. We will of course continue to see you all at some one else’s show with them doing the hard work.

Our thanks go out to you all for your incredible support and good luck in the future.

Christine and Ian

The BUXTED STUD in Sussex is situated on part of the Pevensey Marshes where sometimes following incessant rainfall, the paddocks reserved for the stallions is prone to flood. Happily, the water drains off as quickly as it appears, but in the meantime it's a case of 'all in together boys'. Not a problem, they all know each other and following the odd squeal or two, they settle down and appreciate being in the dry.

Harry Joslin aged 2 makes his hunting debut with the Banwen Miners on Harry Potter of Catchpool on New Year’s Day. Mummy could barely keep up as he wanted to keep up with the hounds, needless to say we failed!


This sent to Macmillan today. Well done all who donated.


Sunday, 07 January 2018


Collected by a group of ‘Shetland pony owners and breeders’ via their Christmas ‘card’ scheme which may be viewed on

A letter of receipt/acknowledgement, which I will publish ‘on web page’ would be appreciated. You may email it to me as an attachment on the email address above. This will have been our 15th year when mostly we have exceeded 1000 annually.

Yours faithfully 

 G S Hart……. organiser

WE STILL WANT YOUR NEWS........ Shetland ponies spend 8 months of the year being hairy! Whilst the ponies that have been shown all summer will appreciate a few months off, here's the chance to show to the Shetland pony world, what you get up to with your pony when shampoo / showsheen are replaced with a dandy brush. Send photos and details to