Memorable Trip to Wales
Alvesta Farm Owner Shares Memories of
Visit to the Famous Coed Coch Farm
Coed Coch Bari pictured.
Recollections of Coed Coch Stud by Brenda Podolski
Pictured is Coed Coch Bari. Born in 1971, sold to Australia as the top selling pony at the Coed Coch dispersal sale in 1978.
In August of 2016 it will be fifty years since our first Welsh Pony came into our lives. Betws Auryn was born in 1956 and imported to Canada five years later. We brought him home in 1966. He was truly a dream pony and instilled a lifelong love of the breed.
His sire Coed Coch Madog was the top show and breeding stallion of his day in the Welsh Mountain Ponies and had offspring exported worldwide.
In 1976 Pat Clay of Pajon Ponies and I planned our dream trip to Britain to visit as many Welsh Pony breeders we could fit in and to attend the Fayre Oaks Welsh Pony sale. At the sale I met Gwyn Berry of the Betws Stud who had a yearling colt there, the last foal out of our Auryn’s dam, the famous Criban Golden Spray. She had produced many foals by Coed Coch Madog including two fillies who were exported to the United States, but by that time Madog was no longer breeding so the colt was by another Coed Coch stallion.
We stayed at Bed & Breakfasts, hotels, and with wonderfully accommodating breeders, and even at a castle! Every stud was a joy and privilege to visit. I was especially looking forward to the Coed Coch Stud as by then the ponies and people of the stud were legendary.
Colonel Williams- Wynn was such a kind and thoughtful man. He had us two girls to lunch and expressed his concerns over the ponies and his “boys” as his health was failing. His “boys” were the dedicated grooms, full of knowledge and beyond enthusiastic of their charges. Talking ponies and pedigrees with them had my head spinning, such wonderful memories!!
These fellows encompassed four generations Coed Coch grooms starting with John Jones in the 1920s who encouraged Miss Daisy Broderick to add Welsh Ponies to her farm and stables.
The show and breeding stallions were brought out to display for us….oh to have had the cameras and cell phones of today, but we did manage a few photos including of Coed Coch Bari – overall Champion at the 1974 Royal Welsh Show.
On the dispersal sale of the stud in 1978 Coed Coch Bari brought a record price for any native pony sold at auction at 21,000 gns after a hard fought bidding battle to keep him in the UK between under bidder Lord Kenyon of the Gredington Stud at 20,500 gns and Lady Creswick of the Nattai Stud in Australia. He has many descendants there as well as in the UK.
We visited twenty nine year old Coed Coch Madog and 25 year old Coed Coch Berwynfa in their pastures. I can still picture them grazing peacefully.
Near the main yard was a pasture brimming with beautiful Section A mares and foals. Then off to see the many impressive young stock in a large pasture with a gorgeous view of the surrounding country side. This was where I fell in love with a Section A filly with the most beautiful head and so sweet.
My next visit to Wales was in 2007 with my hubby John, daughters Christine and Karen and Christine’s fourteen month old daughter Eva and pony friends. This time to attend the fabulous Royal Welsh Show, a huge country fair that always has 2000 plus Welsh Ponies of all four Sections and to visit some studs as well. Being farmers in Alberta, Canada we only had two weeks but did manage to visit some breeders around Wales as well as spend three days at the Royal Welsh. We had planned on all four days at the show but were anxious to be off to the studs.
Wyn Jones of the Nerwyn Stud (and youngest groom at Coed Coch back in the day) offered to take us to Coed Coch. What a joy to be back, walking up the paved hill to the stables, with me dreaming of years past and all the great ponies who once graced the stables and pastures. Although the property sat empty, I found it very hard to leave!
What a tribute to the wisdom and for sight of Miss Broderick, and later Colonel Williams-Wynn, plus the stud grooms, who played no small part in the development and success of the stud, ie Shem Jones, Wyn’s dad, who was part of the stud it’s entire fifty four years. And that there are still breeders world wide who strive to breed to the Coed Coch standard all these years after the dispersal of the stud. What a legacy!