30th November -0001 :

This year we have only bred one foal, Merlyn, and we did not want him to be on his own after weaning. We went to the Cob Sales at Builth Wells (14-16 October) with the intention of buying a filly foal as a companion and possibly to take her to shows as a foal and later. For years we have also been looking for a grand old fashioned mare with lots of bone as a wife for our elderly stallion Ystrad Dewi Flyer. In between rushing around looking, bidding, cups of coffee and danish we took a few photos. They do not do justice to the Cobs in the crowded environment but they do capture some of the atmosphere of the Sales and can be seen in the Photo Archive. On Friday and Saturday we did not see any foals we wanted to buy and our only bid on Saturday was for Felinmor Floella Magic, a fifteen year old mare pictured below. We have often promised ourselves that we would never buy another elderly mare which merely became an ornament but Floella had been served by Blaengwen Brenin, one of our favourite stallions. In the event it was disclosed that she was not in foal and we stopped bidding at a modest price and she sold for 1700 pounds.

Lampeter Show was the first show we had attended with a camera since we launched our website last Autumn. In consequence, we took lots of photos and promised the many people who spoke to us that we would put them on our site this week. Unfortunately, seven of the eight films which we took have come back from the processors with scratch marks across the photos. They have had to go back and complaints are not dealt with as speedily as normal processing. When they are returned and loaded there will be some exciting action shot of Section D and Section C stallions which, hopefully, will be worth waiting for. We know that we should be using our digital camera but we still have hundreds of pre-digital photos to scan and load onto the site and, until that task is completed, we are not converting the site to digital! In the meantime we are adding new shows all the time. At the moment we are working on the Royal Welsh 1996 and have just loaded some stunning stallion pictures - the best ever of Ebbw Victor! Among recent shows to be loaded is Lampeter 1998 which includes Tardebigge Estelle (17000 pounds at the 2005 Cob Sales) in the yearling class. Another recent addition is the Royal Welsh 1993 which includes Danaway Flash Jack and Pentrepiod Welsh Flyer as yearlings. Both went on to win stallion classes!

In autumn 2005 we decided to build a website and scan in all the photographs that we had taken at the shows over the previous 25 years to provide an archive of ponies and cobs. We had no idea what this task entailed, many thousands of photos were still in their packets unsorted and we did not know if we could interpret the notes we had made in our catalogues at the time. If we had realised that sorting and scanning all our photos would take more than a year we may never have started but once we got started the positive feedback kept us going. We had our 100,000th visitor long before we had completed the site and the volume of e-mails provided both continuing encouragement and a major distraction! We have now loaded all the photos we could identify, including Lampeter and Glanusk this year. We will now have some time to up-date the details about our own cobs, who have been neglected, and catch up with all the other jobs at home which have not got done! We do appreciate all the feedback about the site, the contacts that we have made and the fascinating information that we have learned. It is humbling to think that many thousands are visiting the site every month and interesting to learn, from web traffic analysis, that in April we had visitors from the Ivory Coast, Tuvalu, Czech Republic and four from the Seychelles!

We did not have any foals in 2007 (three are expected in 2008) and so we searched for a filly foal to keep Rainhill Rowena company at the shows in 2008 to and compete in yearling classes. Thanks to the kindness of Meirion and Dianne Evans we are leasing Gwynfaes Eurolwen for the 2008 season. She is pictured with her mother in September. She is very woolly and muddy at the moment but, by the time the showing season starts, we expect her to be transformed!

Through our Cobs we have discovered Wales - the green valleys, the magical mountains, the history, the myths and legends and, of course, the wonderful people. We love the literature, the stories of the great Cobs of the past and the caravanning holidays in our lorry. One of the great characters, and a real gentleman, who had a fund af stories about Welsh life and the Cobs of the past was the late Albert Lewis, the farrier, from Brechfa. Albert used to hold the mares at Gwynfaes when they were served by Culhwch and he took a great interest in their progeny. The last mare Albert held, before his final illness, was Rainhill Rosebud who subsequently produced Rainhill Rowena. The world Albert used to describe is very different to the world of today. The picture below really does show Albert loading a newly shod pony onto the local bus for its journey home!

We had a very successful showing season in 2008 and, despite the wet summer, it was never raining when we were in the ring. We do, however, have some very mud splattered rosettes! Two year old filly Rainhill Rowena (pictured by the Event Photographer) started the season with firsts and youngstock championships at the Home Counties and South Eastern Association Shows, firsts at Windsor and Bath and West, where she went on to win the WPCS Silver Medal. She then had six seconds at the South of England, Three Counties, Shropshire and West Midland, the Royal Show, the National Welsh Championships and Monmouth. The season ended as it started winning at the Midland Counties Association Show, first and Welsh Champion at Romsey and first and Champion at Royal Berkshire.

Welcome to our new website. As well as providing pictures and information about Rainhill Welsh Cobs we are creating an archive of photographs that we have taken at the shows over the last twenty five years. We have thousands of photos, mostly still in their packets, and so it is going to take some time before they are all loaded!

Nearly 200 photos from eleven Welsh classes at the 2009 Winter Fair are now loaded on the Archive. Held in a large heated marquee at the Royal Welsh Showground it is a difficult venue for taking photos! There were large entries of very high quality stock and so the ring was very crowded; the Section A fillies had to be split into two classes! It was great to see so many enthusiastic spectators but it made it hard to squeeze into the front row anywhere, let alone in a good place for taking photos! Notwithstanding my niggles, and the feet and worse which were cut off in the photos, it was a great show and we spent a fortune on Christmas presents at the trade stands as well !

Over 800 photographs taken at Lampeter and Glanusk Shows are now in the Archive. If you missed either or both shows almost every Section D is pictured at least once and, if it is not there, it is probably because your shirt was hanging out covering your number! For Lampeter Show there was a beautiful April day without a cloud, or vapour trail, in the sky. It was easy to forget the struggles of the winter in the snow and rain and enjoy glossy coated cobs storming into the ring and stretching their handlers to the limit! At Glanusk Show we had a dull day but the worst of the rain held off until the show was almost over. The layout of the ring makes it possible to take photographs of the cobs making their dramatic entrances into the ring and so there are many more action, sometimes very extravagant action, photos and fewer standing still! For us the highlight of the show was Rainhill Olwen, ridden by Debbie Cooper, taking third place in a strong ridden class just a year after first being broken to ride!

On 19 June 2010 a Grand Studs Open Day in Ceredigion was held to raise money for the Royal Welsh Show Ceredigion Appeal. Three studs: Pennal, Trefaes and Menai and Friarly opened their doors to some 500 cob enthusiasts. The stunning display of quality and quantity was was a tribute to three remarkable studs. The 350 photos we took are in the Archive under Pennal, Trefaes and Menai Open Days. After a hazy start the sun came out for a day of unbroken sunshine! We must have seen nearly 200 ponies and cobs: with the bonus of a stallion serving a mare, a mare about to foal and a day old foal! It was evident from the huge team of helpers from car parking and catering to preparing and showing the cobs and the beautiful programme -a real collectors item, that months of preparation had gone into the event. At Pennal Stud the ring was like an amphitheatre cut out of the hillside providing a grandstand to enjoy the cobs and marvellous views of the surrounding countryside. The grandeur of the setting was matched by the quality of the cobs. As you would expect Prince of Wales Cup holder Pennal Brynmor gave a great display storming round the ring with a succession of handlers but our eyes were also caught by some fabulous fillies - we will need to start saving! The display at Trefaes was on a flat hilltop with beautiful views in every direction and a stiff breeze! It was wonderful to see 24 year old Trefaes Black Pearl, grandmother of Drogeda Stormy Tempest, whose picture is in our Archive at the Royal Welsh as three yearold! The stallions appreciated the large ring and Trefaes Black Marvel, powering from behind, needed a very fast handler. A couple of young cobs, anxious to return to their friends were too strong and fast for even the fittest of the display team! Trefaes Guardsman belied his eighteen years and, in harness, looked as if he would never stop! Another drive through beautiful countryside took us to Menai and Friarly Stud. The visit started with an impressive ridden display and later an in-hand presentation with three sections represented. In between three large groups of mares and foals filled the ring. Peter Jones bravely sought to identify and discuss each animal. Unfortunately, for the photographer, the herd did not stand still and kept getting between us and the pony or cob which had just been named! Hopefully a lot of money will have been raised for the Ceridigion Appeal and all the hard work at the three studs provided us with a very special day.

It was cold, but snow free, when we set off very early on 29 November for the Royal Welsh Winter Fair. Our car said that it was 30 degrees fahrenheit outside (we still work in fahrenheit!). As we drove west and dawn broke it got colder and colder. 24 degrees at the Severn Bridge and 15 as we approached Builth and there was lots of snow! We were tempted to stay in the cosy car with the heated seats but instead braved the frost and snow to take a couple of hundred photos of over one hundred ponies and cobs. The penalty for two days with cold feet was a rotten cold which together with Christmas tasks and doing the horses with pipes frozen (but still no snow) delayed the loading of the photos on the website . They are now loaded in the Archive and at least you can enjoy this record of the Winter Fair in the warmth of your own home!

On Saturday 23 April the whole of Britain basked in sunshine - the hottest day of the year everywhere except Lampeter Showground! All day a stubborn grey cloud hung overhead and a chill wind made it feel even colder. The day at the cob ring was brightened up by the colourful range of cobs on show with chestnuts, roans and more getting a look in! The Champion Cob, Horeb Tomboy, stormed round and round the ring, his feet scarcely touching the ground and he is pictured below and in the Archive with four different handlers! All the colt classes and half the stallion classes were won by English bred cobs and the three year old filly class was won, remarkably, by a Norweigian bred and owned cob. Normality was restored with Fronarth and Derwen wins in the other filly classes! Over 400 pictures of the cob classes are in the Archive.

The photos of all the cob classes are now in the Archive. It rained heavily at the show but I kept on taking photos with the result that condensation got in my camera lens and so some of the photos are disappointing. The good news was that it was also raining at home for the first time in seven weeks, hopefully saving our pasture and the hay crop! As admirers of Gwynfaes Culhwch we were delighted that his six year old son, Trefaes Black Flyer, was Champion Welsh Cob.

It is frustrating when you know that more than 1,000 people are visiting your website every day, many hoping to see photos from the Royal Welsh, that a technical problem prevented us loading pictures onto the website. Happily the problem is solved and there are now 950 photos from the show. While solving the problem a new feature was added - the progeny of mares and stallions are now listed under their family tree. We missed some classes because we were competing ourselves but the Event Photographer, who has the great advantage of being in the ring rather than the grandstand, took some good photos of our yearling colt and so they are included! The Royal Welsh was our first show with a new camera which takes 8 photos a second and so there are more pictures capturing the unique action of Welsh Cobs. Tomorrow we will start on the photos from The International Show where we took a thousand photos between showing two cobs!

The photos we took at the Winter Fair on 29 November have all been loaded in the Archive. We spent the first day of the Fair Christmas shopping at the hundreds of stalls and so there are only pictures of the Cobs and Ponies of Cob Type who were showing on the second day. Last year there was snow and it was freezing inside the marquee where the show is held. This year there were very strong winds and the banging and flapping noises spooked the horses but thankfully the marquee had been well secured and did not blow away. There are not quite as many photos from the October Sales as usual because we were also shopping - for a filly foal. You can see our purchase - Ilar Alexis - in the Archive together with about two hundred and fifty cobs from the Sales.

If you are a member of the Welsh Pony and Cob Society you will probably know that, for the last few years, the management and operation of the Society has been a shambles. Hundreds of thousands of pounds have been wasted on legal fees. Big changes are needed to ensure that the Society is run economically and effectively. We need dramatic improvements in administration, communications and promotion. There are too many real and imagined conflicts of interest which can only be addressed by independent disciplinary and judging arrangements. I am standing in the election to Council because I believe our members and Welsh ponies and cobs deserve better. I think I can make a difference. Before I retired I worked as a director of an international accountancy organisation and have wide business and charity governance experience. When you have finished the horses for the day please drag yourself away from the new Journal or even my website for a moment. I would really appreciate it if you could vote for me: Anthony Booth, on the white ballot paper. A pre-addressed envelope has been provided but, I am afraid, it needs a stamp. The closing date is 28 March but please do it now. If elected I promise to keep on taking photos and inputting extended pedigrees on the website as well.

Sadly we missed the sales last month. One of our mares had a bad attack of colic just before we were due to set off. We did not relish the prospect of her bouncy colt foal travelling with her to the horsepital and so we immediately weaned both our foals. We are glad to say that the mare is completely recovered and the foals are happy again in their paddock. I photographed almost all the stock at the Thorneyside Open Day and so it is possible to see pictures and extended pedigrees of the cobs which achieved such amazing prices at the sales. Eventually, in September, we completed loading more than 2000 photos from the Royal Welsh Show including almost every Welsh Cob in the in hand classes. If you are missing it is almost certainly because you had no number, the wrong number or your shirt was hanging out.

After a miserable winter Lampeter Show launched the new season on a beautiful spring day with unbroken sunshine and some great classes. I have loaded more than 500 photographs of the Section D classes and the driving. I hope to complete the remaining class before setting off to Glanusk but I got involved in a very animated conversation during the South Wales Stallion class and neglected my record keeping. Back at home, trying to sort the photos, all the entries seem to be bay with matching socks and a different handler every time they went round the ring.

600 photos of 300 lots from the October Cob Sales are now in the Photo Archive. In addition, to provide extended pedigrees, I have entered details of 1500 parents, grandparents, great grandparents and more. Sadly there are no photos from the Gala Evening Sale. We set off for the ring in what we thought was good time but almost every seat and vantage point was already taken. From where we were sitting it was not possible to see much of the ring, let alone take any photographs.

In February I belatedly loaded onto the website the last of the photographs that I had taken at the shows in 2014. I was getting quite panic stricken at the prospect that I would still be sorting pictures from the 2014 Royal Welsh when I set off to Lampeter Show with my camera in April. In addition several thousand horses have been added to the database to provide more extended pedigrees and this work continues. And I have even updated the photos and information about our own cobs.

We attended the Cob Sales at Builth Wells on Saturday and Sunday. Nearly 500 photos of 250 lots are now loaded together with extended pedigrees. I had photographed some of the entries passing through the sales ring at previous sales and it is interesting to see their prices rising and falling.

On Sunday we bid, with more commitment, for Ystrad Dewi Venus, a black eight year old mare in foal to Trevallion Valentino. We have owned four Ystrad Dewi Cobs and would have loved another but our every bid was instantly topped by a very determined bidder and so we stopped at 4500 pounds. Luckily, back at home, Flyer did not know how badly we had let him down!

Conveniently, after all those late night checks, our first foal of 2006 arrived at 8.30am on Saturday 1 April. Here she is just one day old! Rainhill Rowena is by Gwynfaes Culhwch out of Rainhill Rosebud.She is a bay with three white socks in contrast to her full sister, Rainhill Olwen, who is a chestnut with four white stockings. Mother and baby are doing well and more pictures will follow in our Stock pages.

The 2007 showing season has got off to a great start! We have been showing two full sisters, three year old Rainhill Olwen (photo above by Horsepower Photography) and yearling Rainhill Rowena (photo below by The Event Photographer). They are by Gwynfaes Culhwch out of Rainhill Rosebud (see Stock). Olwen was first at Devon County, second at Windsor, Bath and West and Three Counties and third at the South of England. Rowena was first at the South of England, second at Devon County and Three Counties and fourth at Bath and West. We have been staying overnight at the shows and so have been able to show the fillies from the stables and have time to enjoy the rest of the show!

Our yearling filly, Rainhill Rowena, pictured above and below (photos by Keith Curtis), went from strength to strength as the season progressed with wins at Northleach, Midlands WPCA and Home Counties WPCA Shows. At the Southern Counties WPCA Show she won her class, was Section D Youngstock Champion, Section D Champion (and a bronze medal), Welsh Youngstock Champion and Reserve Champion of the Show. The showing season ended for Rowena at the Royal Berkshire Show where she again won her class, was Welsh Youngstock Champion, Welsh Champion and Reserve Mountain and Moorland Champion. It was hard for big sister, Rainhill Olwen, to keep up but she was always in the ribbons and, at the Southern Counties Show, she stood Reserve Youngstock Champion to her sister! We look forward to showing Rowena in 2008 and Olwen is in foal to our 23 year old stallion, Ystrad Dewi Flyer. We will be waiting anxiously in mid March 2008!

Rainhill Flyer (above) was born on Easter Day (23 March). His father is our 23 year old stallion, Ystrad Dewi Flyer, and his mother, the first mare he has served for a decade, is Rainhill Olwen with whom we have had much fun and success showing in youngstock classes over the last 3 years.

Nearly 500 photos from the show this year have been loaded and there are many more to come! Already loaded are more than 150 photos of the two Cob stallion classes - for us the highlight of the show. The sight of more than 40 stallions storming around the ring is a breathtaking and uniquely Welsh sight. It is hard, with a camera, to capture the drama and excitement of the event. The stallion pictured above, Hendrewen Mr Tom, may not have caught the eye of the judge but from the grandstand his extravagant action was unforgettable. Not quite as big, but just as impressive as he stormed round and round the ring, was Croniarth Keltic Starlight driven by Dave Thursting, pictured winning the Section A wagon class.

Rowena’s four year old full sister, Rainhill Olwen, pictured by Horsepower Photography, produced a smart colt, Rainhill Flyer, by our stallion Ystrad Dewi Flyer in March. In August we took them to the Southern Counties Association Show where Olwen won her class, was Champion Section D (WPCS Bronze Medal) and Supreme Champion of the Show. She won again at the Home Counties Association Show and was second at Avon and Border Counties Show. Her foal, Rainhill Flyer had one first and two seconds!

Belatedly, pictures from the Royal Welsh are arriving on the website! There are now more than 500 photos including everything taken on Tuesday and Wednesday. Between the showers on Tuesday afternoon there was a stunning wagons class for Welsh Cob mares and it was really hard to decide which pictures not to use! Apart from countless domestic disruptions, and a couple of shows, I have taken longer than usual to sort the pictures because, in the rain and mud, numbers became illegible or disintegrated! Socks, my traditional fallback for identifying horses were no help, they were all mud coloured! Sadly some nice photos, like the one below, have not been loaded because I have not been able to identify the horse. Who is this stallion?

For many years Danaway Welsh Cobs have been synonymous with extravagant action and excitement in the showring. From the day in 1988 when a two year old colt (Trevallion Harry) from the East of England stormed round the ring at Lampeter leaving competitors from the West of Wales in his wake, Danaway has produced a succession of great showing cobs. Hundreds came to Sittingbourne on 16 August to see the source of so many stunning cobs. We were not disappointed: a sunny day, a marvellous brochure, excellent catering, an enormous amount of organisational effort and forty six cobs. I have tried to capture, with the photos in the archive, something of the drama of the afternoon. It was great to see the famous stallions and mares and fascinating to see the youngstock - the next generation. Not only the cobs but lots of young and very young Attrells who ran like the wind and demonstrated a flair for showing which bodes well for the future of the breed and Danaway Welsh Cobs.

Over the three days more than one thousand cobs passed through the sales ring. In between conversations, refreshments and shopping we managed to photograph more than one quarter of the entries and there are over four hundred photos in the Archive. Once again the sun shone at Builth and we enjoyed our usual autumn break in our horsebox at the top of the hill in the lorry park. Staying at the same spot as as we did for our summer holidays at the Royal Welsh Show! Hopefully , the collection of photos captures the atmosphere of the sales for those who could not make it and is a reminder of a happy weekend for the many thousands who came to Builth. Photographed above is the most expensive cob, Fronarth Fonhesig, at 11,200 pounds and below, in a blurred picture, the most famous, Henfynyw Bailey. Perhaps he was still blurred when collected from his stable!

Our first foal of 2010 was born on April 8. He is Rainhill Pendragon (pictured above), a chestnut colt by Gwynfaes Culhwch out of Rainhill Rosebud. He is a full brother to Rainhill Olwen, Rowena and Alonzo the Brave. He is the second cob to join us this year because, in January, Gwynfaes Annest, a chestnut roan filly by Gwynfaes Culhwch arrived. Annest will be a companion for Ffleur and we hope to show her in yearling classes. Initially Annest is on loan from Meirion and Dianne Evans but she is so affectionate and smart that it will be hard to let her go! It seems only yesterday that our stock was woolly and muddy, but the show season has already started! At the Southern Counties WPCA Show on April 11 Bryncadno Ffleur won the yearling filly class and four year old Rainhill Rowena was second in the barren mare class. Six year old Rainhill Olwen, who shares her birthday, April 8, with full brother Pendragon, is pictured below. This year she is again being ridden by Debbie Cooper and started the season well with two wins and the reserve ridden championship at the Glamorgan WPCA Spring Show.

Our second foal of 2010, and our eigth by Gwynfaes Culhwch, was born , early in the morning, on 12 May. Rainhill Morgan le Fay (pictured above), out of Rainhill Mayfair, is a beautiful chestnut roan filly with four white stockings. Since we read the story of Culhwch and Olwen we have chosen names for his progeny from Arthurian legends. Morgan le Fay was the half sister of King Arthur and Pendragon his father. Rainhill Pendragon is pictured at five weeks.

700 photos taken at the Royal Welsh this year are now loaded in tha Archives. I took photos of 22 classes but missed the Section D Youngstock because we were showing our own cobs. Despite arriving in the grandstand before 8.00am on Wednesday I could not take any photos! I had got wet photographing the driving classes on Tuesday evening and there was now condensation on my camera lens. After a couple of hours pointing the lens to the sun, which thankfully was out, the condensation cleared but too late to record the drama of the first class! Yet again, after a bit of rain and helped by dancing diggers and the Kings Troop, the main ring turned into a quagmire but it did not slow down the Welsh Cob stallions and their handlers. Trefaes Exterminator and Daniel are pictured above. Perhaps Llanelwedd should challenge the bog snorkelling fame of Llanwrtyd Wells by holding in hand welly races in the mud!

They said it was madness to hold the Ryder Cup in Wales in October because it always rains and it did! But for the last six years the sun has shone on the Cob Sales at Builth Wells, this year from 15 to 17 October. Another sunny weekend, meeting up with friends, over 800 cobs for sale and to admire and there are photos of one third of them in the Archive. The top price of 7,800 pounds was paid for Janton Philanderer, a successful stallion and performance cob, who is pictured above and 21 times in the Archive. Going through the catalogue after the sale to input the breeding details for the website the most frequent comment Aileen, sitting at the ringside, had written was BARGAIN. We are big fans of Gwynfaes Culhwch but it was well deserved that the word BARGAIN was extra bold beside the name of his son, Nantwood Firethorn, a beautiful chestnut foal, pictured below, who sold for just 380 pounds.

The International Show photos are now all in the Photo Archive. In 1992 I was asked by the Scottish Gold Journal to take photos at the Show in Peterborough for their Journal. On a wet and miserable day I raced from ringside to ringside to take photos of most of the winners in all four sections.The weather was much better in Wales in 2011 but because we came to the show with two cobs there was much less time for photography. The one thing that was unchanged was Colin Tibbey and Blackhill Picolo, pictured above, who won the 2 year old colt class and Section A Championship in 1992 and, 19 years later, they showed their paces all round the main ring. In 2011 Colin is still winning, pictured here with 3 year old colt Haverford Imp.

Over five hundred photos from the show are now loaded in the Archive. It was a difficult day for photography, and for the handlers and spectators, with heavy showers, dark clouds and bright sunshine. The two year old Section D filly class epitomised the day. I retreated to the car to keep me and the camera dry and only emerged to photograph the sodden winner, Coppathorne Sweet Rosalie, on her lap of honour. Half an hour later she, and her handler, now looking pristine, competed in the champioships in bright sunshine. We were delighted that Bryncadno Heledd, pictured above, a daughter of Gwynfaes Culhwch was Supreme Champion, a great day for Meirion and Dianne and Jane and Paul at Bryncadno. We have followed the progress of Heledd since she was a foal. She is pictured below with her sister, Bryncadno Ffleur whom we bought as Meirion had already bought Heledd.

Matt holding the Prince of Wales Cup. Nearly four hundred photos from the Danaway Open Day on 8 September 2013, are in the Photo Archive. It seems only like yesterday when the Attrell family held an Open Day in 2009 and we were lost for words to describe the number, quality and extravagant action of the cobs and the extent of the work required to organise the event. On 8 September 2013 the Open Day was even bigger and better in every way except for the one thing outside the Attrells control, the weather, which was chilly with just one very short shower. There was no time to think about the weather as a stunning display of over seventy cobs culminated in the appearance of three Prince of Wales Cup winners in the ring together. The sound of Queen playing We are the Champions only heightened the excitement. The scale of the organisation was beyond belief, the temporary stables, a new show ring, the catering, the brochure, an army of fleet footed handlers and the cobs, all prepared as if for a show. You would have to go to the Royal Welsh to see as many foals, youngstock, mares and stallions of such quality storming around the ring and in addition to the Dr Wynne commentary there was fantastic and appropriate music. It is no wonder that so many made the long trek from Wales to Kent to share in such an amazing day. We just cannot thank the Attrell family enough for a truly wonderful and memorable display. All but two of the cobs are pictured in the Photo Archive, I was running for an umbrella when Trevallion Lady Grace and her foal were in the ring.

We had a lot of fun and success showing Rainhill Rowena (Gwynfaes Culhwch x Rainhill Rosebud) in hand as a youngster and she is pictured above winning the Championship at the Southern Counties WPCA Show as a yearling and, below, as a three year old.

To mark the unprecedented feat by Gwynfaes Culhwch of winning the Section D Sire ratings for 10 consecutive years a celebration was held at the United Counties Showground at Carmarthen on 29July. The star of the show was 20 year old Gwynfaes Culhwch and he was supported by some of his progeny who, over the last 10 years, have contibuted to his remarkable success. Prince of Wales winning daughter, Perthog Gwenan Mai, joined Royal Welsh winners Bryncadno Heledd, Brynseion Bendigo, Gwynfaes Seren Wledig, Horeb Undeg and Nantwood Solomon in a breathtaking display of quality and extravagant action. Some 40 of his progeny, in hand, under saddle and in harness delighed the enthusiastic crowd and demonstrated the extraordinary quality of Culhwchs progeny. 300 photos in the Photo Archive enable you to share and enjoy an exciting afternoon in Carmarthen

We felt that we had no option about buying a companion for Merlyn and, at the very start of the day, we saw a filly, Gwernfythan Melody, trotting up and down and we fell in love with her. We quickly checked the other filly foals on our list, some had still not arrived, and concluded that the only other possibilities were lots which came before Melody. We were not able to buy any of the earlier lots cheaply as an insurance and so it was all or nothing when Melody came into the ring. We kept on bidding far beyond what was sensible or justified or affordable but every bid was topped. As Tina Turner singing Simply the Best boomed out over the tannoy and the price had passed 4500 pounds we tried delaying our bid until the hammer was about to fall but it made no difference and Melody was sold to France for 5100 pounds (and then there is commission and VAT!). Now we were now desperate, with not many lots to go, and no companion for Merlyn

All through the summer the light trade and private driving winners at the big shows have been qualifying for the National Driving Championships, sponsored by Osborne Refrigerators, held at Burghley on 4 September. Rangehill Rainbows End (Jimmy) had qualified at the BDS Championships at Smiths Lawn and at the New Forest Show. We drove up the day before the show and stabled Jimmy at super livery stables near the showground. Tens of thousands were at Burghley for the three day event and so we made an early start and had a relaxed morning in the sunshine with Sally Barlow and family who had driven up in the morning with the milk float. The ring was large but hard, slippery and bumpy and all the horses in the two wheeled light trade class were slightly cautious. There were anxious moments as the judge, Mr W Vine, took what seemed for ever to inspect every detail of our harness and fittings. He even looked at the notebook kept by the milkmaid which listed details of deliveries around Aberystywth in 1938 when milk was 4d a pint! Jimmy won his class and within an hour he was back in the ring for the National Light Trade Championship against some quality four wheeled vehicles including the Champion of the last two years. Jimmy did not put a foot wrong, a great tribute to the driving by Sally in a difficult ring, and we all leapt in the air when the loudspeaker announced that Jimmy was the National Supreme Light Trade Champion of the UK for 2005. Afterwards we had a long picnic lunch in the sunshine with champagne (for the non drivers) and relived every moment of the class over and over again. Showing is hard work, has many disappointments but Burghley on Sunday was as good as it gets!

Rainhill Alonzo the Brave is a strong black colt and full brother to Rainhill Olwen and Rowena. He was born on 19 April. Below is Rainhill Fair Imogine who was born on 8 May. She is our sixth foal by Gwynfaes Culhwch (two more are expected next year) and she could be the best!

And Welsh Ponies and Cobs are not the only attraction at the show!

Rowena was carefully broken to ride by Sarah O Halloran and she quickly demonstrated an enthusiasm for jumping.

We raced around the last lots and Nantymynydd Enfys, pictured below, looked and moved much better than when we had first seen her at the start of the day. We decided to buy her whatever.

Five year old Rainhill Olwen, trained and ridden by Debbie Cooper, is enjoying her first season under saddle. In the Section D Mares class Olwen went better than ever in the difficult conditions, captured above by the Event photographer, and was initially pulled in 7th in a class of 35. Three year old full sister of Olwen, Rainhill Rowena, has had a very successful season with nine wins including the Royal Show, Northleach, Three Counties and Windsor. She was expertly handled by James Scammell (Elmway Stud), who can run much faster than me! Rowena stormed into the ring and the photo below shows all six feet off the ground and how fast James needed to run! Rowena went just as well for her individual shows and that was captured below by the Event photographer. Regardless of their results it is rewarding when your cobs reserve their best performance for the Royal Welsh.

We sold Rowena to Beth Mantel and it was a perfect partnership. She is pictured below out hunting in a photo by Caroline Orme. 14.1hh Rowena is registered as a horse with British Showjumping but has won classes at British Novice and Discovery.

We were just going into the auction ring to bid for Enfys when we saw a smart liver chestnut standing in the queue. We thought that it must be a colt! It was a filly, and on our list, but Fflur Dyma Hi had not been in her stable first thing. With our enthusiasm for Melody we had never been back. She looked too good to be true and, when we returned to the emptying auction ring, we had to get her. Only a few bids and Dyma Hi was ours for 1300 pounds and no VAT. Here she is at home! When we put her in a field for the first time she stormed around with really extravagant action. We have no doubt that you will be seeing more of Dyma Hi.

It had been raining all week and so it was good news when the sun came out as we set off for the New Forest Show with Rangehill Rainbows End (Jimmy). We had to be towed through the mud into the lorry park and luckily found ourselves parked not too far away from the Carter family encampment. John Carter owns the milk float Jimmy pulls in light trade classes and his daughter, Sally Barlow, drives him. By midday, thanks to the sunshine and a roller, the ring was in good condition for the light trade class. As usual at the New Forest there was a large and strong class and Jimmy needed to be on top form to take first place. Three hours later we were back in the ring for the Light Trade Championship against the four wheeled vehicles. The ring was as flat as a cricket pitch and the slight give in the ground gave Jimmy the confidence to stretch out and storm round the ring and he never seemed to touch the ground. He won again and so qualified for the Supreme Harness Championship against the winners of all the driving championships. Judging was by a panel of celebrities who hold up cards awarding between one and nine points and the judges are strongly influenced by the response of the crowds around the ring. Jimmy was the last to go and with the sound of Benny Hill singing Ernie playing over the loudspeakers captured the hearts of the large crowd. Sally, ever smiling, was loving every minute of it as Jimmy covered the ground across the large ring better than ever. In the words of Horse and Hound, the pair brought the house down. The judges all shared the crowds enthusiasm and Jimmy was acclaimed the Supreme Harness Champion of the Show, was loaded with rosettes, a sash and a prize of 250 pounds.

Rowena has had even greater success in dressage and was Champion at the NPS Winter dressage Finals in 2014. She was featured in Horse and Hound winning at Addington (see cutting below) this year.

This month Rowena was pictured in Horse magazine promoting dressage. She is a great advertisement for the versatility of Welsh Cobs.