66th Fayre Oaks Sale Report
Interest in Welsh ponies brought enthusiasts from far and wide to the annual Fayre Oaks Sale. A total of 314 animals were forward for the two day sale with 242 finding new homes producing an average of £883 the highest since 2003 with a clearance rate of 77% up from 65% in 2018.
Overseas interest is always strong for this sale and this year’s event was no exception with many European countries represented. Not surprisingly Dutch buyers were most numerous with 23 bought followed by 11 to France, 9 to Ireland, 6 to Germany, 5 to Belgium and 1 to Portugal. In general terms the offerings of section A ponies were better than the section B and part-breds and this was reflected by all but one of the top 10 ponies were section A. The influence of buyers looking for potential performance animals provided a useful stimulus to prices.
The Saturday night High-Flyer section of the sale produced the top price of £7,000 for the two days. This was the four-year-old stallion Thistledown Ice Warrior, top of a well-produced consignment of 25 ponies from Sandy Anderson’s Thistledown Stud. Broken by and produced for the sale by Sharn Linney he looked ready to start a novice ridden season with no doubt future sights set on a HOYS ticket. Bought by university student Isobel Lines who is no stranger to mountain and moorland ridden classes having shown Dartmoor and Highland ponies previously.
Top of the Sale: Thistledown Ice Warrior (c) June Hunt
Mrs Ann Overton-Ablitt has been a loyal supporter of the Fayre Oaks Sale over many years and her consignment this year included two full sisters by Nantdywyll Telor and out of Thurstonhouse Posie, a daughter of Pendock Legend. Both were in the customary Colne mould of this successful line and both had a show ring record to add. The four year-old Colne Princess had already bred a foal at three but was left empty with an eye on possible First Ridden classes; she was bought by Mrs P Watson from Truro for £5,000. The year younger sister Colne Pandora sister certainly pleased the eye and most certainly one to watch in the future. Mr D Meredith from Dolgellau snapped her up at £3,200.
Another three-year-old with a record which included a win at Cheshire and a placing at Royal Welsh was Miss Williams’ filly Rhesfair Lady Million. Bidding was decidedly slow on this free moving filly which eventually rose to £4,600 with the hammer falling in favour of Kevin Moy from Lanarkshire.
Rhesfair Lady Million
Colour certainly plays its part in the sale ring so it was not surprising that the Batt Family’s striking palomino mare Earlsmeadow Angel’s Gemini attracted the interest on the Sunday morning. Dutch enthusiast Henri Leeuwenhaag has shown similarly coloured mares on this very showground over the years to great success so not surprisingly she caught his attention having the last call on her at £4,300.
Earlsmeadow Angel's Gemini
The 2016 Royal Welsh Palomino champion Twrog Brenin Aur provided more choice for the colour enthusiast. Looking the part under the lights, this eight year old stallion offered height, bone and breeding being by Islyn Hafoc. Mrs McNeil from Sheffield took him home to Yorkshire for £3,500.
Twrog Brenin Aur
A mare that lit up the grass parade ring on Saturday with her movement was the six-year-old Thistledown Sonic Flashlight. Coming from a prolific line at Thistledown she was obviously a mare with options to go ridden or be shown in hand. Mrs Zara Neacell from Lea Marston in Warwickshire secured her at £4,100 with the aim of having her coming out in lead-rein classes with her six year-old daughter Victoria.
Thistledown Sonic Flashlight
A phone bid of £3,900 from Mrs J Lindley-Almeida in Portugal secured the four-year-old Thistledown Luella, a bright chestnut mare with four whites by the former International champion Thistledown Special Agent.
The top priced section B Balfour Prince Regent also went overseas. The ten year old chestnut son of Moelview Prince Charming had many strings to his bow; proven sire, previous HOYS qualification; 70% + dressage scores and working pony ability. All obviously ticked the boxes of Marian Spruyt who had last shout on him at £3,600 for her riding centre near Rotterdam in Holland.
Balfour Prince Regent
The attractive part-bred dun gelding Courtway Picasso had much to attract buyers with a ‘plaited’ pony on their shopping lists. By Rotherwood Peter Rabbit and out a Weston Wyseworth mare, he already had numerous lead-rein championships under his belt and was secured by Mr D Stephen from Northampton for £3,000 to top the part-breds. Another dun lead-rein, though much different in type, was the four-year-old mountain pony gelding Cwmpenmarc Mr Chip. Already this genuine pony was popping a course of jumps with a seven year old rider which no doubt augured well as a future cradle stakes pony. This “real kids pony”’ had the hammer fall at £3,000 in favour of Mrs Speakman from Manchester.
Courtway Picasso (C) Anthony Reynolds
Paul and Margaret Brightwell brought an interesting consignment of section A ponies from foals to ridden. It was their six-year-old championship winning lead rein Cosford Diamante that proved best with a bid of £2,800 from Mr D Cowell. By the former sale graduate Thistledown Vierra and with a wealth of Bengad breeding on the dam side she looked to have great future ahead of her.
Foals have traditionally always attracted interest with many looking for “something to show”. Nine foals broke the four figure threshold topped by Mrs Jo Swift’s buckskin filly Isycoed Seren Dipity at £2,500. She was a filly who knew how to ‘show off’ making full use of her extravagant movement and endless presence. Mr Gwilym Howatson of Sangrug Stud bought her. The Roberts family, who had produced the top filly, had £1,700 from Mr Berry Bakker for their home-bred Lynard Sweet-Caroline, a roan filly from the first crop of Lynard Jackson.
Isycoed Seren Dipity
Sandy Anderson’s Thistledown Bendigo was also bid to £1,700 but surprisingly was not the usual type readily associated with the prefix; an attractive roan colt with four white socks he went to Mr W Green from Bristol. The Gadlys prefix is no stranger to top prices with its foals and this year the consignment was led but the dark palomino filly Gadlys Anya by Glyncoch Kansas at £1,300. Tracy Landon’s Linksbury Jaylo was best of the section B prices at £1,300; a chestnut filly by Linksbury Royal Charm she was already a winner in the ring. Linksbury Royal Charm also sired the next top section B the black filly Linksbury Penny Black at £1,250.
Report and photos (unless stated) courtesy of David Blair.