Originally written for Equestrian Life Magazine, March 2013.
Devon based Cathie Pearse is an entirely home produced breeder of top quality Welsh As, Cs and Cobs and has a selection of stock for sale. She’s bred Royal Welsh winners, ridden a Royal Welsh winner and reached record breaking figures with homebred stock at the Royal Welsh Cob Sales. Cathie is also on the Welsh Pony and Cob Society Panel of Judges. With the help of daughter Tori Bearham who provides support on the yard and is showing more and more in-hand and daughter-in-law, Sarah Rainnie who now shows the ponies under saddle, we have a chat with Cathie about her passion for the Welsh breeds…
1. How many ponies do you presently have at Uphill and do you have a favourite?
I have 15 ponies and cobs and I try not to have a favourite, but I love the youngstock that Trefaes Silver Sapphire has , she is a consistently cracking broodmare.
2. Trefaes Silver Sapphire is the dam of Uphill James Fox, the double Royal Welsh winner. What future prospects has she produced that we should be keeping an eye out for?
Well, there is Freddie Fox, who is a 3ry old now and he was 4th at the Royal Welsh last year so he will be out this season to be sold later this year. I like to keep them until 3 and then sell them out to what I hope can be a bright future for them. I also have a cracking filly, Megan Fox, a 2yr old that will be out a little bit this season , and we now have a newbie called Arctic Fox , he’s only a month old but already fabulous!
3. Our co-editor, Magpie, loves the ‘Fox’ suffix you add to so many of your names which we assume comes from the sire of these ponies being called ‘Crumpwell Fox wild’. Where do you usually look for inspiration when naming foals??
I usually look at the breeding of the mares and choose from a name from their pedigree simply because I just like it. Word association is also a good one, all Sapphire’s line have ‘Fox’ in – Ii fancy one being called ‘The Fox Hat’ but I’m not that brave!
4. You’ve got two ridden ponies on the circuit at the moment, the open Welsh A stallion, Crumpwell Fox Wild and the novice ridden Cob, Wishaw Sea Lord. What have you been doing over the winter to prepare them for the coming season?
Mr Crump, as we call him, our Section A stallion, has been off all winter, we decided he needed some time out but he is now back in light work. The weather has been a constant problem with bringing on a youngster, so our section D, Wishaw Sea Lord has done a bit of cubbing and hunting and we are now preparing him for this season; schooling, hacking up on the moor, galloping, he loves it! We are now in March going to take it all a bit more serious and he will be out in April.
5. What are your aims for your ridden ponies this season and how do you intend to achieve them?
Mr Crump will be covering his mares early, then we will campaign him for the HOYS qualifiers, also he will do the local county shows in-hand as well as ridden and of course Royal Welsh. Sealord, he will do some novice ridden NPS, then county shows and toward the end of the season we will put him in some HOYS qualifiers, we will see how he goes.
6. You’ve attended many county shows and championships, but which one is your favourite and why?
I love the Royal Welsh Show! Well, who wouldn’t -if you are a Welsh enthusiast, it’s four days of the best breed in the world!
7. If there is one tip you could pass onto others when searching for success with their own ponies, what would it be?
Never give up and always follow your gut instinct. Llisten and learn – I still am!
8. You’ve had enormous success both in the show ring and auction house, what has been your most memorable achievement to date?
I have three big memories; the first one was selling Uphill Tom Thumb at the Royal Welshg Cob Sales in 2001 for a massive £14,500! It was the year of foot and mouth disease and it really saved the day for us. The second was winning the Royal Welsh with our Welsh A colt, Uphill James Fox, because I bred him, fed him and led him, simply awesome! The third was winning the ridden stallion class and standing reserve champion ridden with Blaengwen Sion Aled. Also, I have to mention Finglebridge Field Fare, a Section C mare who about 14 years ago we tried to qualify her for Olympia and in one season she notched up 7 reserve championships – we were robbed!