Our History - Our History
The first two stallions to be purchased in 1949 were the Welsh Mountain, Square Flashlight and the Thoroughbred, Golden Fern who had to be chased out of the lorry, as he was unhandled and quite violent to start with. At about the same time the Dartmoor mare, New Moon, who turned out to be Dartmoor champion at most shows she entered, including the Breed Show, was purchased.
In the early 1950's, a Palomino 2 year-old colt was purchased from Mrs Frank, of Crudwell, who said he was rather precocious as he had got several of her young fillies in foal! He was named Bubbly, stood 13.1hh and was by the Franks' stallion, Potato who was TB X Welsh Riding Pony. The dam was a Welsh mare called Sunday. Bubbly started as being a little wayward, but with Anne Bullen's talents, he soon became the perfect riding pony. He was shown in hand by Jennie and ridden by all the girls as he proved to be a fantastic jumper. He was National Palomino Champion for 10 years. He was a beautiful looking pony, a lovely mover and a very influential sire of children's ponies. His influence is still noted in many successful ponies of today.
Bubbly sired the stallions Bramshott Midnight Sun and Drayton Bubbling Gold, both champion Palominos. His daughters, Prosperity of Catherston and Catherston Moon Fairy, the latter, who's female line founded Sarah Vey's (nee Bullen) Godsfield Stud, were both winners at the Royal International Horse Show. He also bred many winners from New Moon, who would not get in foal to a pure bred Dartmoor, but did to Bubbly and Golden Fern! Bubbly also bred Blagdon Gaytime, a big winner in Riding Pony classes and also the dun mares, Blagdon Folly and Blagdon Fiesta. Anthony Adverse, one of his first crop, who although was only 14hh, won many Working Hunter Pony classes, One Day events, was 5th in the Leading Junior Show Jumper of the year 1958 and won two classes, out-jumping horses at the Royal Winter Fair in Toronto in 1958. He also sired Catherston Moonstone. winner of the Pony Club ODE Championships 1956, Catherston Double Bubble, a big winner in WHP classes, to mention just a few. Bubbly has stock in Germany (Catherston Red Gold) and his great grandson (Catherston Nightlife) is in Australia. Perhaps his grandson Catherston Nightsafe, Supreme Champion NPS, Ponies of Britain, West Midlands Show and Bath and West, son of Prosperity of Catherston is the one who has carried on his line so well. He was leased to Germany for two seasons and has bred some lovely ponies over there as well as siring Champion Hacks, Eventers, Show Hunter Ponies, Show Ponies and Dressage Ponies over here and abroad. His influence is still carrying on with the fillies and colts which are left.
At the same time as Bubbly was so successful, the Bwlch Stud produced Bwlch Valentino. He also sired many good show ponies and Catherston took on Bwlch Zingaree (by Valentino), who was a full brother to Bwlch Zephyr. Bwlch Zingaree, a chestnut, was a good outcross to the Bubbly palomino and dun mares and although not as fashionable as his grey brother, did breed some notable ponies for example, Foxhill Sunny Jim.
The Thoroughbred stallion, Xenocles, was bought out of training from Nora Willmot. By Nearula, out of Desdemona by Dante, he was very well bred, but not a success on the race course. However, this didn't stop him becoming an advanced Eventer and Prix St Georges Dressage horse. He won Wylye ODE, Windsor ODE and was 4th at Tidworth 3 Day Event and had a fantastic temperament. He would always put his heart in to everything. He sired Xenarchus, out of Jenny Grey (AA). Xenarchus was also an advanced Dressage horse and went on to represent Great Britain when ridden by Young Riders at the European Championships. Xenocles was also the sire of Autumn Folly an International Show Jumper, out of Spring Fever, bred and owned by Judy Crago.
In 1970, the Loriston-Clarkes were told about Triumph by a friend. Bred by the late Mrs de Warren-Rogers by the small Thoroughbred stallion Papillon de Martin, out of Taba, an Arab/Dartmoor cross mare, he was leased by Catherston Stud. This influential stallion, when mated to Prosperity of Catherston, produced Catherston Credit, Junior Eventer in the U S A and Catherston Nightsafe. With Desert Storm, he produced Catherston Toledo, who became a Young Riders Dressage horse in Germany. He also produced many working hunter ponies and helped put some better limbs on to the Riding Pony. The Champion Anglo Arab stallion, Carbrooke Surprise, owned by Mrs. Crawford, also joined the Stud for a few seasons.
The 3 year old Dutch Courage was found in Holland was purchased by Mrs Steele and was graded in the newly formed BWBS stud book. Dutch Courage went in to training for two years before he was ever used as a stallion. Jennie was not sure that she would be able to control him, however the horse settled and behaved extremely well. He has really stamped his stock, not only by siring eight graded stallions, to become one of the most influential stallions this country has seen but with his progeny winning in the 3 disciplines.
Dutch Courage started quite slowly in competition, with few successes as a 4 yr. old. As a five year old he quickly came on in his training and balance, being second in the National Medium Championships. At 6 years, he was Advanced and also started covering mares. Dutch Courage perhaps did more for British Dressage than any other horse. On winning the World Bronze Medal at Goodwood in 1978, going first in the Special, when only 9 years, he was holding the lead until the last 3 horses went. The tension and gradual realisation that Britain could win a medal in Dressage, seemed almost impossible, but the impact on the sport was remarkable, with a dramatic increase in the membership. This was re-inforced when the Young Riders took the Silver Medal in 1986. Anne Loriston-Clarke was riding Catherston Dutch Bid, his son, when only a 7 yr. old. Dutch Courage himself, represented Great Britain for eight seasons, won 41 Grand Prix's and 23 Grand Prix Specials. He missed the 1980 Moscow Olympics due to politics but was 6th in the alternative Olympics. He was struck by a virus, therefore missing Los Angeles in 1984 and retired shortly after.
Dutch Courage and his offspring were soon to dominate Catherston Stud. Mr. Bannocks purchased Dutch Gold from the breeder, the late Mrs Goodall, when the horse was sent to Catherston for breaking. He was brought on slowly as a 4 and 5 year old , by Jennie, and he soon showed ability to jump finishing 7th in his first event. He then won Taunton and Brockenhurst ODE's and the next year, the Midland Bank Novice Championships at Locko Park. A tough horse, the next day he was on the boat to Rotterdam, where he started his International Dressage debut. Unfortunately, Mr. Bannocks had to cut down his equestrian interests when the recession came, so Dutch Gold was up for sale. Luckily Jennie and Margaret Clayton were able to purchase the horse and, thanks to Mr. Bannocks generosity, Jennie was able to retain the ride on him. He was soon, like his sire, to represent Great Britain on the British team. Dressage to music became his forte. He stole the hearts of thousands with his light footed dancing, winning at the European Championships at Goodwood, and being the 1st foreign horse to win the World Cup in Berlin, and also winning in Brussells, S'Hertenbosch etc. Dutch Gold has travelled to Toronto, Seoul and all over Europe and is the only British bred horse to win the European Dressage League Points Championship. (Another British bred horse, Milton, also won the Show Jumper Award in the same year.)
Dutch Courage also bred many Advanced Eventers (including Dutch Treat) and Show Jumpers including Clog Dancer, the Asian High Jump record holder (7' 2") in Japan. Dutch Courage x Night Auction produced Catherston Dutch Auction, a 3 Day Eventer in Germany and Catherston Dutch Bid, 1st and 2nd at the European Championships and also a member of the Young Rider Silver Medal team, when ridden by Anne and later ridden by Lizzie in Young Riders and then Internationally at small tour level.
Catherston Stud , although moving more into horses, still had a soft spot for the Native Breeds and one who came first was Bryn-Y- Mor Comet, owned by Mr. John Holmes. A Welsh Section D, he was ridden in Dressage, Show Jumping, Eventing and Driving, by Anne and later by Lizzie. Mrs Harvey-Richards' New Forest, Deeracres Franco was Champion at many Ponies of Britain and other shows, he sired Peveril Peterborough who is still a very successful New Forest pony today.
Another horse who was standing at Catherston Stud in the 1980's was Ramiro. He was purchased in Holland by Catherston Stud and Mrs Steele. He was to be an outcross for Dutch Courage but although he was a big winner in Dressage, his stock became too big to do what was wanted and he was sold to Canada to stand there. At the same time, Rexico by Le Mexico, was purchased for Claire Morrison, who trained him to Prix St Georges level. He was also a very good jumper and was sold as a Hunter Jumper to the USA.
When attending the Catherston Stud Stallion Viewing Day, Mrs Blackburn was so impressed with the attitude and way that the stallions were handled that she asked if Catherston Stud would stand her soon to be retired Thoroughbred stallion, Liboi. He had been a really honest racehorse and had won 10 races, was placed 23 times on the flat and over hurdles from 71 starts. He quickly changed, being ridden by Lizzie, then 13 years old, when he was Supreme Champion of the Ponies of Britain Show, both under saddle and in Hand. Liboi bred a considerable number of winners on the flat from the few mares covered. He also produced a number of winners show jumping, show hacks, PBA's and riding horses. Liboi was presented at the BWBS stallion grading and was the first Thoroughbred to be graded in to the British Warmblood Stud Book. Since then, he has produced the very successful Dressage stallion, Catherston Humbug and the Champion British Warmblood, Catherston Liberator. Liboi's influence in today's competition horse will be long remembered when these young stallion's offspring reach maturity.
Soon after Liboi's introduction to Catherston Stud the Loriston-Clarkes' were approached to take on the older Thoroughbred, Sanbal. Palestine x San Christobel, owned by Her Majesty the Queen. He produced Eventers, Working Hunters, Polo ponies and Show ponies.
Edison, a Dutch Warmblood owned by Mrs de Jong and other stallions who have stood for a few seasons, were: Zandor, a Dutch bred Grade A show jumper who was ridden by John Whittaker for a few seasons but unfortunately was not very fertile and was sold to go show jumping; Sportsnight, owned by Mrs. Stevens, stood for two seasons and then went Eventing and The Star of Orion, who Lizzie trained up to Prix St Georges Level.