Last year I photographed Mollie and her coloured ponies, in a bluebell woods, just a stone’s throw from their home. Friends of theirs, Sami and Julie saw the photos and got in touch this year to book a shoot for the same week and same location, to make the most of those stunning bluebells.
So last week, Sami and Julie travelled two of their ponies over to Waltham Abbey and I met them there, for the most beautiful shoot!
I know I’m not supposed to have favourites and Sami’s little veteran pony was absolutely gorgeous, but there are no prizes for guessing which pony I wanted to stuff into the boot of my Mini and take home!! OMG, can we just talk about Duke?!
Plumbuck Marmaduke Jinks, or just Duke, is Sami’s six year-old Welsh part-bred, coloured native pony. Sami first saw him when his breeder posted a photograph of him as a week old foal, onto Facebook and she knew she had to have him. His dam, Tranmoor Tegan, is a Welsh section C and his sire is a piebald traditional cob, named Billy. When he was just four months old, they met the breeder in the car park at Grantham service station and Duke came home with them.
Duke’s showing career started when he was two. He won all five classes and stood champion, on his debut outing. “It was clear that Duke was a little show off,” Sami Says. Duke has continued his showing career under saddle with many wins and much success. This year, Sami hopes to take him one step further and try their hand at a few HOYS and RIHS qualifiers.
And what an absolute sweetheart he was. In a new location, six years old to the day (it was his birthday on the day of the shoot), being ridden bareback around the woods and he did not bat an eyelid. Sami describes him as the most gentle, fearless and trusting pony she has ever met. I’m in love!
And of course, we can’t forget about the CUTEST pony we’ve ever met… Little Joe! Cascob Glow is a twenty-five year-old Welsh Section A and Sami, who is the same age as him, has had him since 1998. He was purchased as a six year-old stallion and already had a showing reputation that preceded him.
Joseph taught Sami to ride and she also says that he taught her to stay on, with his bucking and bolting displays. Lol. Joseph and Sami competed at county level shows, from lead rein, to first ridden and then on to open M&M classes. And once Sami had outgrown him, he did the circuit over again with her younger cousins. A real ‘been there, done it’ pony!
However, in 2000 Joe suffered from several fractures to the skull after an altercation with another pony, who’d escaped into his field. After eleven uncertain days at Rossdales, when Sami and Julie thought they would lose him, he was finally back to his old self, giving them the run around in his paddock and his future was looking bright, again. And other than a slightly wonky nose, you’d never know about his previous trauma.
Joe’s veteran years haven’t been wasted in the field, either. He now competes at Pony Club with another young rider who’s taken over the reins and he’s busy teaching her everything he knows.
Thank you so much to Sami and Julie, for such a lovely afternoon. It was great to then see you at Windsor, too. And of course, thank you Mollie and Debbie, for all your help, too! What a perfect shoot!