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A History of the Toyhorses

I founded the Stud purely for miniature Shetland ponies and the criteria I set myself in the early sixties was that all my breeding stock should at least win in the showring. Edwina, Janie of Cuttmill, Diane of Yarpha and my stallion Hurtwood Romany all won championships. Edwina was the most famous of the foundation stock. Our first two foals were called Romeo and Juliet and to my joy Juliet's owner came to see me at the Royal Windsor Horse Show a few years ago and Juliet is still alive.

In the seventies I introduced spotted ponies to the Stud with the arrival of Ermintoes. His first spotted colt (conceived at full gallop!) was Hayes Hill Domino. I also had the good fortune to own Toyhorse Alpine Boy whose sire had a small amount of Welsh blood in him. This bloodline has since produced some of my very best miniatures including Toyhorse Alpine Spring Lass and Toyhorse Alpine Shadow Girl. The male line is continuing with TH Prince Baluga, TH Jiminy Cricket and TH Ali Baba in this country and abroad there are many Alpine bred stallions now being used including the famous TH Choirboy in the USA.

In the formative years I became very interested in the miniature horses produced in America and became Honarary Foreign Director of the American Miniature Horse Association. This was a register for all horses 34" and under. At one of their AGMs there was an item on the Agenda to make the horses registered in the AMHA into a breed of their own. By then my Stud had expanded dramatically and I was horrified that all my pure British bloodlines were suddenly to become the basis for an American breed of horses. They had been registered in good faith with the AMHA and at the meeting I attended I had a great deal of support from the members to stop the by-law going through and indeed I won the vote. However, the Chairman stopped the meeting there and then and said we should retire for lunch and resume afterwards. She decided to put the controversial issue to the vote for a second time after lunch as she felt some people had left the room early!

I was too shocked at her non-democratic actions to lobby people during lunch time. "I'm ashamed to be American" was the most general comment I received together with "we're all behind you Tikki". Well they were, but the lobbying during lunchtime by the opposition produced the few extra votes needed to get he by-law in. It was passed by one vote and a new breed of horse was formed.

I had already formed a British Miniature Horse Registry and decided there and then to form the British Miniature Horse Society and used my registry to found it. This was duly done in 1994 at the AGM held at the home of one of our Directors, Mr Norman Grundon. The success and expansion of BMHS has been most gratifying to see.

A few years ago I introduced some American bloodlines into the Stud when my friend Paulo Gucci died. He had purchased many horses from me and I was lucky enough to buy his horses including the USA imports during the winter after his death. I also purchased a herd of falabella horses from Linda Johnson including the spectacular RG Gat Remondo.

These comparatively new bloodlines enhance the Stud, crossed with the British Miniatures they work well. TH Ice Fantasy, TH Amor de Maio, TH Prince Malibu, TH Maldive Prince, TH Count Bustino and TH Princess Dotty prove it.