Coed Coch Open Day
By Frank Megens



     Monday, July 29th, 2002, will forever hold a special place in the memory of Welsh enthusiasts. From every corner of the World, people made a trip to Wales to visit the famous Coed Coch Stud once more. As part of their centennial Celebration, the Welsh Pony & Cob Society, Clwyd Association, organized a special "open house" day on the grounds of the former Coed Coch Stud. For some of us, this was a return after many years and a chance to relive precious memories of past visits and long gone ponies. For younger visitors, this was an opportunity to look at what once was the most important Stud in the World.  Whichever one applied, the occasion was impressive and sometimes intensely emotional for those present.
     The Coed Coch presentation was well filled, giving all visitors a clear impression of breeding at Coed Coch in particular and for North Wales in general. First, we saw a parade of some of the Coed Coch ponies still alive. There was a catalogue with a short description for all ponies present. At the end, 8 Coed Coch ponies entered the ring. Although all the ponies, representing both sections, were of respectable age, they seemed to know where they were and put on a grand show.  Section A ponies and living legends Coed Coch Barnwr (31), Coed Coch Llafar (27), Coed Coch Atebiad (25), Coed Coch Ruby (26), Coed Coch Tami (25), Coed Coch Nelma (25), and Coed Coch Sioned (24) made up the parade of Coed Coch Welsh Mountain Ponies.  Representing section B Welsh Ponies, 28-year-old Coed Coch Onid made the trip to North Wales. Some owners of Coed Coch ponies had decided not to make the trip to North Wales as it might be too much for their ponies. These, however, were present in spirit and through mention in the Open Day catalogue.
     After this parade, the first generation of "post-dispersal" ponies entered the ring. All were direct offspring of Coed Coch ponies, thus demonstrating how Coed Coch bloodlines have been used since the Stud's dispersal.  Once more we saw well known ponies, amongst them Royal Welsh winners and many Champions. After the parade of Coed Coch ponies and their descendants, our Open Day hosts, the Clwyd Association, presented member-owned Welsh from all sections. Ponies entered the ring in hand, under saddle, and in harness.
     More than ponies were on display. In addition to booths with items for sale, the Clywd Association had prepared and mounted a remarkable display of old pictures of Coed Coch ponies from the past.  Not only were there photo albums from private collections, but the Clwyd Association had been given the permission to reprint and sell copies of the original Sale Catalogue of the 1978 Dispersal Sale, an opportunity few could resist. After the final parade of Coed Coch ponies in the show ring, the time arrived for a visit to the old and now legendary stable complex. Although transport was available to the stables, we decided to walk so we could have another look around in the park and let the impressions of the morning sink in.
      

At the stables, visitors could take a tour conducted by either John Jones, former groom of the Coed Coch Stud, or Ann Bale-Williams, owner of the Baledon Stud and frequent visitor of the Stud while it was still running. The tour went past stables of famous ponies such as Coed Coch Madog, Coed Coch Targed, Coed Coch Proffwyd and Coed Coch Bari. The last two mentioned followed each other into the same stable when Lady Creswick of the Natai Stud in Australia bought both, Bari being the top priced pony at the Dispersal Sale. We saw where the famous Show ponies were prepared, foals weaned, mares covered and much more. When we reached the exact location where the Dispersal Sale was held, our thoughts went back to 1978. Total silence took hold of us as we stood next to the spot where Coed Coch Madog, Coed Coch Siaradus and Coed Coch Berwynfa are buried. I could read on the faces of everyone present the strong impression this made.
     Finally, to close an exceptional day, the famous Tack-room was opened. All those rosettes and price-cards hanging everywhere remains an impressive sight. From the first rosette ever won to the last one, almost all were still there. To be perfectly honest, not all rosettes from the last years were there, as there was just not enough room to put them.
     Although Coed Coch itself is no longer operational, Welsh enthusiasts over the world will never forget this Stud and everything it meant for the breed then and now. We will continue to see the prefix Coed Coch present in the pedigrees of many ponies.
Frank Megens
IJsselblik Stud
Holland
To see more of Frank's pictures, click here

 

Coed Coch Ruby

Editors Note:  This is only the first of series of articles and photos on Coed Coch that we are hoping to post starting with our next issue. 
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