RATHOWEN STUD              






Rathowen Stud did not start by breeding Riding Ponies.  It started by deciding NOT to continue breeding the purebred Arabians with which it was already involved, and had several well-bred, suitable mares sitting around doing  nothing after the loss of Bannister (Bandom x Regina Cascade) from a twisted bowel.  We had kept and used his son, Bandolero, with success for a time on Arabians, but eventually gelded him when he had produced what we were looking for in the all-in-one package Rathowen Trinket from the beautiful and extremely sentimental mare Nunbilla Token bred by our great friend the late Mary Blackett.    Token herself was by Bannister and from Eurunderee Image (Ralvon Pilgrim), and was the most agreeably natured mare ever foaled.  After a very successful showing career she produced a strong line that is still going through her daughter Touchstone.

Our swap onto Riding Pony breeding started when we purchased Chippenham Architect (Treharne Talisman {Imp} x Walnut Princess {Imp}) to breed over these existing mares . As so often happens, we became more than casually involved with the breed.  

Radway Right Royal (Imp) (Sandbourne Royal Ensign x Tarantella) and Small-Land Amarillo (Imp) (Small-Land Mascot x Aster ) were added to cross over the good-moving Architect fillies as well as the existing mares.  Radway Right Royal left us with Rathowen Quibble, an up-to-height quality mare, dam of the "Q" line of Rathowen Quantum, Quartz, Quarrel and Questions.

Looking to the future we had purchased from Mrs. Jenny Powell, U.K., the impressive dark mahogany bay colt, Courtland Boy Blue (Imp.)  (Whalton Touch  o the Blues x Oakley Gay Royal), popularly known as "Harry".  This colt, foaled 1993, to mature at 13.2h. has proved not only a success in his own right, both in hand and under saddle, but as a sire of champions and the sire of stock that bred on.  He is an impeccably bred stallion, the last foal of the legendary Oakley Gay Royal, an outstanding mare who at 19 was still able to qualify for Wembley.  His sire is the famous Whalton Touch o' the Blues, himself an in-hand and ridden Champion and sire of the Wembley winners, Jackets Maydream and Jackets Maybe. His name is perpetuated through the Touchstone progeny, and include Touch of Fame, Touch-Me-Not, and Touchwood and her offspring Don Touch. 

COURTLAND  BOY  BLUE  (IMP)       (photo Roger Fitzhardinge)

      ( Whaltons Touch o the Blues X  Oakley Gay Royal )

HARRY DEAD - 30TH August, 2008

Courtland Boy Blue was Supreme Champion Youngstock Exhibit at the N.S.W. Riding Pony Show and Champion Youngstock under Saddle as well. His progeny are following in his footsteps, with in-hand championships at Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide Royal Shows ( different ponies), Supremes at Brisbane (three times, different ponies) and Melbourne.  His stock are out now under saddle with Considerations (Pacific Coast Champion Galloway and EFA New Star Galloway of the Year), Rathowen XL adding to his In-Hand triumphs taking the Ridden Championship at 2001 National Arabian Stud Show.  Rathowen Pensive (Q) and Rathowen Electra (N.S.W.) are both out in Open company performing very well, and V.I.P. and Sentinel (N.Z.) more than holding their own in New Zealand.

Added to these first success stories are those of Rathowen Storm Warning, Rathowen Reflective, Pensive , Considerations,Contemplations and Confusions of Rathowen, Rathowen Mezaire, Solitude of Rathowen, Rathowen Macnamara and little Rave On Rathowen making her first appearance (2005) with great success for Debbie Taylor Thies and her tiny rider.  Success for other breeders and owners come in the guise of LJS Heavens Above National EFA Pony of the Year and the basic mare for Highcroft Stud, and Saltram Centrefold (Grand National Pony of the Year), Rathowen Macnamara (Runner Up National Galloway of the year (twice), with the full sisters Kelly Bond's Confusions and Carlie Taunton's Contemplations taking out Runner-Up Small and Large Galloway of the Year at the 2007 Grand National.

Now we have a few more "names" to add.  Rathowen Scarlet Ribbons who followed the successful Storm Warning into the George household, has become a familiar name successfully challenging the previous champion Confusions for Champion Led Riding Pony Mare for supreme at Brisbane Royal in 2007 but having to give way to her for supreme in 2008.  However Scarlet Ribbons (popularly know as Shreds) blazed away with three successive champion Pony Hacks and Queensland Pony of the Year in 2008, with Confusions Galloway of the Year.  A successful year in most ways, but it was the year we lost him.

Had he not always been stabled and hand fed we would never have noticed that he was unwell.  Nothing changed except his eating habit - he was always a "guts", but he started leaving bits of his feed, and kidney failure was diagnosed.  We still don't know if this was brought on by a bite from the black snake that we found in his box the day before we hospitalized him, as these things are so easily confused, but his figures said he was in bad shape.  However, he was never really "down" until the last, when convulsions took over and he was put down.  That's it in a nutshell.  There will never be another "Harry". He was a "one off". I really haven't been able to face putting this into print before now, a little over a month later.  I wish to thank the hundreds of admirers and friends who have phoned, emailed, called, written, sent cards, flowers, messages, etc. I answered what I could, but anyone I missed please take this as a personal "thank you". 

We showed Harry only as a youngster he was twice Supreme Junior Exhibit at the N.S.W. Riding Pony State Show, and also Junior Champion under saddle.  He was also East Coast Arabian Derivative Champion, Champion at the Arabian Nationals, and Australian Champion Arabian Riding Pony. After this, stud work intervened, and we did not get time to exhibit him as we would have liked.  His first crop of foals was a pleasant indication of what was to come, and it was not long before they were beginning to leave their mark in the showring, so we were not concerned about not having sufficient time to show him himself. 

                                             RATHOWEN BY GEORGE

George was sold as a weanling colt to Julie Conti of Dreamtime Stud in Victoria which had decided to breed a few Riding Ponies.  They showed him in-hand most successfully but on Julie's ill health we were ble to buy him back a proven sire and show winner and is home again to try to fill his father's shoes.


In the 2004 season the well performed Rebecca of Ravenswood (Treharne Talisman {imp.} x Ravenswood Rafiqa) bred by Sally George of Queensland, produced a stunning bay colt by Harry, which was appropriately named Rathowen By George, sister to Rave On Rathowen shown so successfully by Mrs. Debbie Thies.  Although sold to Julie Conti of Dreamtime Stud in Victoria we managed to buy him back for our own use.  He has had a good season with the Victorian State Title Championship to his credit as an Arabian Riding Pony, and Champion Australian Saddle Pony stallion at Melbourne Summer Royal, and Reserve champion Arabian Riding Pony Stallion also.  Since then he has produced some lovely offspring for us - the beautiful Rathowen Red Alert being one out already in the showring, and last season a tall bay filly to make small galloway, Rathowen Suddenly a Star from Sudden Impact of Astral (Sandbourne Royal Ensign ) and an extremely pretty bay/brown colt Rathowen Touch-Me-Not.

Kolbeach Freedom

The delightful and classy brown colt, Kolbeach Freedom (Fairley Tempest (Imp.) x Highmead Fancy Free (Imp.)) was installed in the stud as  yearling.  He is half brother to the wonderfully successful LJS Heavens Above owned by Lisa Cleary, but where Heavens is by "Harry" himself, Freedom is by Fairley Tempest (Imp.), so we have not moved too far from our original theme.

 Because of time constraints we have not shown Freedom much yet, but he was Champion Partbred Welsh at the N.S.W. All Welsh Show at his first outing, Ch. Riding Pony Stallion or Colt at Castle Hill, second at Sydney Royal 2005 in the Riding Pony but first and Champion and Supreme Partbred Welsh Exhibit a few days later. He has been nicknamed "Clancy", and has produced Royal Show winners from his very first and subsequent crops. 


Kolbeach Freedom (Fairley Tempest (Imp.) x Highmead Fancy Free (Imp.))   (photo Lorelle Mercer)


"Clancy's" first foals were born in the the 2007 season, and they are to be viewed in "Youngstock".  His first filly, Rathowen Ruby Red from the ubiquitous Rathowen Russet (Chippenham Architect x Kizmaha's Alzena) dam of Rathowen Lady in Red, Rathowen Scarlett Ribbons, Rathowen Red Ruffles, etc., Rathowen Rustic, R. Russell, and R. Rudyard, was his first representative in the show ring.  At the NSW All Breeds Foal Show, biggest in Australia, she made her debut winning everything she went in - Riding Pony, Arabian Derivative, and Partbred Welsh, with Clancy's second filly , Rathowen Free Spirit (from R. Sepia Shadings and brilliantly shown by Andrew Buckley) Reserve to her in these classes, but taking the Supreme Saddle Pony foal.  Ruby was unanimously named Supreme foal of the Show, and followed up by taking Supreme Arabian Derivative Exhibit, and Champion Partbred Welsh at Castle Hill a few weeks later. Since such a brilliant start she has been Champion Part Welsh mare at Sydney Royal, twice and Supreme Part Welsh Exhibit once, Australian Champion Arabian Riding Pony, and multi champions at all levels. She will be starting her ridden career shortly.

 Clancy has also produced a delightful bay filly Rathowen Sorcery (from Radway Royal Sonnet (Imp.)  exhibited currently by Martine Duncan and Georgia Dalley to win her Novice class at Sydney Royal 2014, and took Reserve Champion Small Pony at Brisbane Royal as well, and is now the R/U NSW SHC Small POTY.   Rathowen Robed in Red, from our lovely Rathowen Lady In Red won her class at both Brisbane Royal and Sydney Royal, and went Supreme Youngstock at Brisbane.

 2014 saw Brisbane Royal success with Sounds of Silence (Shooshie) taking Supreme Led Australian Saddle Pony Exhibit for her owner Emily Myers, and going on to win both Champion Novice Pony Hack and then winning the Open Championship from Quantum.  Ridden by the inimitable Georgia Dalley the little youngster  Sorcery was Runner-Up Champion Small Pony.  Later in the year she went R/U NSW SHC 2014 Small POTY.