History of the Society
by Marlene Schroder
From 1946 and during the 1950s there were three studs importing and breeding welsh ponies and they are looked upon as the foundation of the breed and the society in New Zealand. Miss Nichols Kuriheka Stud, Mrs Deans Chawton Stud in Canterbury and the Elliott's Punga stud at Wanganui brought in some very good stallions and mares from the U.K. forming the basis of bloodlines that today’s breeders can still take advantage of. The people involved with those studs worked together and used each others stock for the betterment of the breed. The imported ponies were registered in the U.K. and the breeders knew how important it was to keep a register for future generations.
In 1965 the inaugural meeting was held at Timaru when Llewellyn Richards of the Criban Stud in Wales was visiting his nephew David Coxhead 'Crick', who had recently imported several mares and a stallion. With his guidance the gathered breeders and enthusiasts were able to model the NZ Society on the parent body in Wales and with David as Secretary the Society was duly accepted by the Registrar of Incorporated Societies in Christchurch on 16th May 1966. Miss Nicholls was the first President followed by Mrs Deans, followed by Miss Robin Elliott, followed by Mrs Collier, followed by Mr Mal Jenkins, these five breeders first registered their stock with the Pony Breeders Soc in the 1957 Stud Book. The first Stud Book of the NZ Welsh Pony & Cob Soc was printed in 1969 consisting of Section A and partbred ponies.
The cobs appeared in the second Stud Book printed in 1974. Colleen Boston 'Glynmawr' was the President and Priscilla Neill, who was a great enthusiast and promoter for the Cobs, was the Publicity Officer. The volume is dedicated to Knighton Bellboy (imp). The first recorded Welsh Cob to come to this Country was the stallion Grove Welsh Dragon in 1925 with two mares Hawthorn Lille and Noyadd Wllyn Gwen followed in 1939 by the stallion Lloyd George. The Sec B ponies also appeared in the second Stud Book with Sec C making their first appearance in Volume three. Printed in 1978 this Volume is dedicated to Hewid Daffyd the Section D Stallion who along with Broughton Gay Girl and Woodlin Beau Brummel were bequeathed to the Society by Mr W.R. Hawker. Jean Smith "Kohinor" was President and Mrs Verna Moore "Evermore" was Registrations officer, this volume contains the photos and details of some of the beautiful ponies that were imported during the 1970s .
Stanton Park Cervantes
Volume four is dedicated to Miss Nichols. Mr Robin Bruce was President and Mr Jim McCulloch was Registrations Officer. It was printed in 1981 and shows a substantial increase in registrations and a very healthy Society. In 1985 Volume five of the Stud Book was printed and dedicated to Mrs L Elliott. Mrs Robin Collier was President and Mrs Dorothy Barker the Registration Officer. David Coxhead wrote the forward for Volume six when it was printed in 1992 and recalls the early days of his involvement and comments on the 25th Anniversary Annual General Meeting celebrated in Timaru in 1990. Brian Barker 'Nanteos' was President and Dorothy was still Registrations Officer. Lynne Cox 'Willusk' was the President when Volume Seven was printed in 1997 it was dedicated to Priscilla Neill. Once again there was a healthy increase in the ponies registered and the volume contains colored photos for the first time. All ponies registered here can trace their breeding back to the ponies in Wales thanks to the foresight of the foundation members and the dedication of registration officers since who have jealously guarded the purity and sincerity of the register.
The Society is managed by a Council led by a President with two vice Presidents, one from the North and one from the South Island, a Registration Officer, a Publicity Officer and two Public Relations Officers one for the North Island and one for the South Island. They are elected annually at the Annual General Meeting held in June in different parts of the Country usually alternating between Islands. There are nine Councillors elected on a three-year rotational basis. Council appoints the Patron and the Secretary. Also elected at an AGM but do not serve on Council is the Newsletter Editor, The Performance Competition Convener, three Sire Rating Conveners and a Convener for the In-Hand Competition. Council meets twice a year in Wellington, with many Councillors travelling long distances to attend. Full Council meetings are held the night before the AGM and the afternoon after. Business consists mainly of issues relating to registrations and the rules or other concerns bought to the attention of Council by members plus the usual discussions to do with the running of a Society.
The inaugural Presentation of the Priscilla Neill trophy was made in 1997 to the Sec A Mare Nattai Bluebell (imp). The beautiful bronze sculpture of a Welsh Pony mounted on a wooden block was commissioned by Priscilla Neill and given to Council to decide how to use it. Council chose to award it to a person or pony considered to have made an outstanding contribution to the breed and or the Society. Members are invited to nominate a worthy recipient and Council vote on nominations at the full Council meeting prior to the AGM.
The Society also runs a Performance Competition with some very nice trophies and a bronze medal being at stake. Points are collated from registered ponies being ridden or driven.
RON HAWKER AND THE WOODLIN WELSH COB STUD. (HAWKER MEDALLION)
by Kevin Townsend
Ron Hawker was of an age that he could remember horses of Cob type plying the streets of Christchurch doing daily rounds. The Hawker family had a large bakery business in Christchurch. Ron Hawker wanted to rekindle those horse drawn days; the idea of importing Welsh Cobs to New Zealand was a dream that became a reality.
He wrote a letter to Ann Wheatcroft of Sydenham Stud in England asking if she could secure a Welsh Cob stallion and a Welsh Cob mare that was in foal, to establish the Welsh Cob breed in New Zealand. Hewid Dafydd was a resident stallion at Sydenham, foaled in 1965, sired by the influential stallion Cahn
Dafydd and out of the top producing mare Chancerie Polly.
Hewid Dafydd arrived by ship to New Zealand in 1974. With few purebred mares available, Colleen Boston of Glynmawr Stud, leased the mare Te Rangi Dianthus to Ron Hawker to mate to Dafydd, the result a filly, Woodlin Cyntaf, foaled in December 1975. Cyntaf, being the first purebred daughter of Dafydd went back to Glynmawr Stud after Ron Hawker passed away, producing foals for Glynmawr Stud and later Waimarie Stud, Kaiwaka, Northland.
Broughton Gay Girl was a big bay mare by Cream Bank out of Cathedine Gwilth by Cathedine Flyer, so 100% Cob blood for many generations. Gay Girl arrived in New Zealand in 1976, producing the bay roan colt, Woodlin Beau Brummel soon after arrival. Beau Brummel being sired by Llanarth Brummel, Ann Wheatcrofts own stallion, Royal Welsh Champion in 1964 and 1965, also a prolific winner under saddle in Britain.
The first Dafydd x Gay Girl foal arrived in 1977, a bay colt, Woodlin Rounull. Hewid Dafydd was also made available to outside mares, one important mare to visit was Robin and Dianna Bruce's Manorshire Little Model, an over height Section A mare who was to become the dam of Kinkora Nell Gwynne, foaled in 1977. Nell Gwynne was sold to Paul and Colleen Rebay a foundation mare for their Lorien Stud in Taranaki.
Ron Hawker saw Cobs reintroduced to New Zealand but passed away in 1977 after a long illness. He bequeathed his beloved Cobs to The Welsh Pony & Cob Society of New Zealand.
As already mentioned, Woodlin Cyntaf returned to Glynmawr Stud, Woodlin Beau Brummel found his way to Bert and Verna Moore's Evermore Stud in Morrinsville where he stood at stud for the rest of his life.
The Council of the Society, in their wisdom maintained that Dafydd and Gay Girl must stay together as a pair as not to fragment the breed any further. Bert Moore, as President of the Society visited every member of the Society during a tour of New Zealand to make sure everyone agreed with the decision to sell Hewid Dafydd and Broughton Gay Girl also the colt foal Woodlin Rounull. The proceeds from the sale have been invested and the Interest has helped The Welsh Pony & Cob Society of New Zealand to continue in a prosperous manner thanks to those members of the time.
As a gesture the Hawker Medallion was struck, the medallions would be awarded, one for each Island, to the Champion at the Welsh Pony & Cob Shows, providing that there were six or more Cobs exhibited on the day.