by Tina Palmer.
Fell Pony Mare, 2000. Graysons Lucky Robbie x Robbswater Rainbow
I first fell in love with the Fell pony when some friends bought two six month old fillies from the Penrith Sales. One of these fillies, Jemma, came up for sale at the age of three and I pleased with my husband to let me buy her. We bought her and I’ve had so much fun with her over the years that I decided to put her in foal. I took her to Tredellans Farm on the St Just-in-Roseland. I’d met the stud owners, Doug and Barbara Hall at the local shows where I’d also met Robbie, their stallion. It was when I arrived at Tredellans, Barbara introduced me to Tredellans Bramble, the first filly born to the farm and who was also sired by Robbie. I fell instantly in love with her as she stood in the yard looking very proud and as if to say; “Yes, I know, take a good look, I am beautiful”.
I took Bramble home with me when I went to collect Jemma from Barbara’s Farm. As we took the ramp down to let Bramble out, instead of taking in her surroundings first, she instead burst out like a bullet and took off up the lane with my husband dragging along behind, barely able to keep hold of the rope! It didn’t take her long to realise she had strength and wasn’t afraid to use it to her advantage, as I quickly discovered. When trying to lead her anywhere, I was dragged; in and out of the field, the stable and the showground. It was not much fun! Jemma was a dream compared to the monster I’d brought home. My poor farrier said that she is the only pony that has made him sweat! She hated having her feet trimmed or shod, she even cow kicked him in the shins as he turned to walk away.
As she was being so naughty, I took it upon myself to seek help with showing Bramble and enlisted the help of Jonathan Payne of Trekerwys Native Ponies, who did a fantastic job with Bramble in and out of the show ring, notching up an impressive tally of championships in-hand including a winning at Royal Cornwall. More importantly, the training from Jon helped me to become more confident again and I was able to go on and show her myself even taking a fantastic reserve supreme championship!
Over the years, I discovered how much Bramble hates to be alone; whether it is travelling in the trailer or simply being left in the field alone. She even took to dismantling my electric fence one day when I was busy in the yard grooming Jemma. She carefully pulled up all the posts one by one and then as they fell to the ground she just hopped over them and came to join me in the yard!
I put Bramble in foal when she was five, to Barbara’s new stallion, Murthwaite Black Bobby, who had the most amazing mane and tail I’d ever seen – he is truly magnificent. The following year on 5th May 2006, Bramble gave birth to a gorgeous filly who we names Teasel. She foaled at lunchtime in the middle of the field with an audience of six people and another Fell pony. Bramble was an excellent Mother, but sadly, we lost Teasel the following year after she stepped in a rabbit hole and broke her leg. I may put her back in foal one day, but for now I have my hands full with several other ponies and my own daughter who is soon to make me a Grandma!
Bramble is a special mare to me, she tested me and pushed me and ultimately made me a much better horsewoman for it! She’s given us so many happy moments and as a ridden mare has become a delight. We adore hacking together and cover enormous distances, purely for our own pleasure and often fundraising for charities that we believe in. She’s also been learning to jump over the past year and she really enjoys it. She’s matured into one of my greatest friends and we look forward to many more happy years together.