Photos: Would Your Shetland Pony Like A Shetland Calendar?

These photos are of Shetland Ponies
in their native Shetland Isles

Thordale Photography:
Copyright photos,  posted with permission

Calendars Available for 2013:


Photo: Such A Good Shetland Pony

I love my pony.
He even walks a nice straight line at the Show.


Original Upload:  Copyright photo, posted with permission

Photographer: Frances Taylor

Queen Elizabeth’s Favorite Shetland Pony Retires As A Military Mascot

The 23 year old Shetland pony, Cruachan III, has officially retired as mascot for the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

For nineteen years he has taken part in Highland games, fairs, the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and numerous Military Parades.

The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders have had a regimental mascot since 1929, always a Shetland pony called Cruachan.

So far there have been three ponies called Cruachan. In 2006, the  Highlanders were formed into the Royal Regiment of Scotland.

The tradition of a Royal Shetland pony as mascot named Cruachan continued.

Regimental mascots not only take part in parades and ceremonial occasions, but often live in suitable accommodation in the barracks with the regiment.

This photo shows Cruachan III and Pony Major Paddy Payne leading the Coming Home Parade of The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland, after their tour in Afghanistan.


Cruachan III stands barely 3 feet tall and has an unusually calm temperament. He is a personal favorite of the Queen. She has always requested that he be present at any parades when she is at Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

It was at this year’s Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, celebrating the 60 years of the Queen’s reign, that Cruachan III was, again, a star performer.

There were more than 1,000 pipers, drummers and other musicians performing on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle.

Military bands from countries around the world including Australia, Switzerland, Norway, Canada and the US performed during the three-week run.

Cruachan III at front and center


According to Cpl William Perrie, who looks after Cruachan III while on duty, it was the pony who stole the show at the Tattoo for 25 nights in a row.

He added: “Everyone just loves him. Basically he was the center of attention every night.”

This year’s Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo marked the last performance of Cruachan III.

It was now time for his much deserved retirement.

Captain Dougie McDougall is happy to see the 23-year-old Shetland Pony retire from service.

All those at the Redford Barracks at Edinburgh who have cared for the Royal favorite Shetland pony believe that Cruachan III deserves his retirement after nearly two decades of military duty.

Cruachan III will now be relaxing in his own field with long-term companion Islay, also a Shetland pony.

As for the Royal Regiment of Scotland, they are preparing for the arrival of Cruachan IV to begin his career as their next Royal Mascot.


Link: Royal Regimental Mascots

Link: Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo 2012

Link: Reford Barracks, Scotland

Link: Balmoral Castle


Re-written from Story Sources:
Edinburgh Local News
BBC News
Daily Mail
UK Government on Line

UK Ministry of Defence
Katielee Arrowsmith

Super Pony With The Heart Of A Winner


 “Teddy” and Karen O’Connor win the Gold
at 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil


Good things are said to come in small packages. And “Super Pony” Theodore O’Connor proves it.

Teddy, also known as the Flying Pony is the exciting new star of a tough equestrian sport called eventing.

At 14.1 hands high — a little more than 56 inches at the top of his shoulder — this mighty midget is a hair short of the height of a horse. But that hasn’t stopped him from winning big — really big.


Teddy thrilled the horse world by winning an Individual Gold Medal and helping the United States win the Team Gold at the 2007 Pan American Games in Brazil this past July.


If he continues to perform at this level over the winter in Florida and into the spring, he and his rider, Karen O’Connor, of The Plains, Va., could make the U.S. Olympic equestrian team next year and travel to Beijing.


Teddy once again displayed his amazing athletic ability, under the skillful guidance of his Olympic veteran rider, to the delight of their growing throng of international fans.


Teddy, Karen’s bionic pony partner, is a 14.2h sport pony, bred by P. Wynn Norman. “He doesn’t know he’s small,”   says Karen.


He has tremendous springs and a huge jump, making even the most difficult combinations look like simple gymnastics.

Teddy is 3/4 Thoroughbred, 1/8 Arabian, and 1/8 Shetland Pony and, with Karen on board, thinks all things are possible!


Eventing is a demanding three-part test of horse and rider.

Part I is usually dressage. The goal is to make a difficult set of carefully controlled movements look simple. It requires precision, balance and grace.

Part II is usually cross-country, which involves 25 to 40 jumps strung across a course of several miles. Cross-country showcases strength, endurance and smarts.

Part III is show-jumping, which is done in a ring. This measures speed, nimbleness and accuracy.

In all three areas, Teddy makes up for his size with something that can’t be measured in inches: a huge heart.


“It doesn’t cross his mind that it can’t be done,” says O’Connor, even though Teddy is so small he sometimes can’t see what’s on the other side of a cross-country jump.

As Teddy approaches a jump that might be four feet high and 6 1/2 feet wide, O’Connor’s job is to keep him “wanting to be careful but also brave and confident.”


Eventing takes a lot of training, which takes a lot of time. Many horses in the sport are teen-agers. Teddy, a chestnut gelding, is 12.

Several trainers passed on a chance to work with Teddy because they thought of him as a kid’s mount. O’Connor saw past his size to his potential. The result is a champion pairing that’s the talk of the eventing circuit.

Teddy comes from a breeder who has been experimenting with a mix of thoroughbreds, Arabian horses and Shetland ponies. Although Teddy is worth $300,000 to $400,000, the group that owns him isn’t looking to make money; it just wants to support his career.


O’Connor’s husband, 2000 Olympic gold-medalist David O’Connor, compares Teddy to a wide receiver in football or “a 5-7 point guard” in basketball.

Teddy beats much larger competition because he is so quick, intelligent and athletic, David O’Connor says.


 His wife agrees. “Size is never going to stop Teddy,” she says. “He feels like a giant out there.”


Farewell, Teddy
May 29, 2008

News Link: Washington Post

Link: O’Connor Event Team

Link:  Photographs from O’Connor Pan Am Gallery

Like My Hat ?


“Alfie” ~ Pony Now Happy In Pub


A three-year-old Shetland pony named “Alfie” had a loneliness problem.

His owner, Sharon Sutherland said that the little pony started accompanying her to the pub three months ago after he started squealing when he was left alone in his pen.

Almost every day, he makes his way to the village pub in Woodmansterne, Surrey, England for a glass of Guinness and cheese crisps.

“He hates being alone so, if I go to the pub, he has to come, too,” Sutherland said.

‘There was a sign saying dogs weren’t allowed in, but it didn’t mention ponies,’ she said.

And though patrons at the pub were a bit surprised to see a horse in the place, he is now a welcome customer.

Landlord Matthew Lowe said: ‘I was a bit surprised but he’s a lovely horse and doesn’t cause any problems.’

Story Link:  Little Alfie

Earlier Post:  Shire Saddles Up To Bar

I’m bigger than the pony … right?


Have A Spooky Horse? Try Tchaikovsky!


Ponies soothed by classical music


Horses and ponies at a Derbyshire stables are being acclimatized to the noises of bonfire night – by listening to Tchaikovsky.

It is well known that fireworks can startle and frighten many pets.

But Kenstud Pony Rescue, near Belper, England, is employing Tchaikovsky’s famous 1812 Overture, complete with cannons and explosions.

The music is played to the animals in the stable block to steady their nerves in the run-up to bonfire night.

Lesley Manger, of Kenstud Pony Rescue, said: “If there’s music like that playing all the while, they don’t hear the fireworks, they’re not bothered about them.

“So it’s better to make sure there’s enough background noise before the fireworks are let off.

“I’ve used it for 30 odd years, so it does work!”

Story Link:

Mom says … we gotta come home, now


Farm Photo: The Variety Pack