Rotherwood Bo Jangles and Arnaby Farms
Diane Jackson owns Arnaby Farm in Thamesford, Ontario. Born in England, she emigrated with her family when she was 14 years old. Growing up in England will give any pony-mad person a good start. “I did it all,” she says, “lead rein, first ridden, Pony Club, working hunter, jumper, event, dressage, and all on ONE pony, a phenomenal Welsh B from the Fayre stud. We also hunted, and I mean really hunted with hounds, galloping across fields, jumping stone walls, big hedges etc. I also comepeted at HOYS in the Prince Philip Games with my pony club team. But I was always beaten in the dressage, working hunter and showing by a Rotherwood pony, so I knew they were nice way back then.”
One of the nice things about current sport pony popularity is an increase in the desire to see children ride ponies. “When I came from England,” says Diane, “I was shocked how little kids were on big Quarter Horses, there seemed to be no ponies. When I inquired I was told that ponies are naughty and the big horses are easier for kids to ride.” Arbaby Farm’s quest began when Diane’s niece was born. She explains, “I set out to find her a nice all-around pony, to my dismay I had to spend $1000 or less and pray it did not kill her or spend $10,000. That’s when I flew back to England and did some pony shopping, bringing back Yealand Sing-a-Song (BRP), Krypton Kariadd (SecB) and Nebo Savanna (Sec C). All three ponies excelled and were in big demand. (My niece never did aspire to be a rider.) So since then every year I bring one or two in from England; this year it was three.”
It’s natural that, when searching for a herd sire for Arnaby Farm, Diane was drawn back to her roots. She says “I was drawn to study the breeding logic behind some of the most successful studs in England, such as Llanarth, Cusop, Blwch, Waxwing, Mynach and Rotherwood. Much thought went into the careful crossing of bloodlines at these studs and I was fascinated by the owners’ extensive knowledge of each generation they had bred.”
When looking at show records, the Rotherwood Stud tops the list of most Supreme Champion titles, be it ridden or in-hand. Mrs. Liz Mansfield of the Rotherwood Stud has been breeding Riding Ponies and Welsh B’s for over 40 years, and has repeatedly won every top award in the United Kingdom. “This,” says Diane, “to me is an impressive feat and also a reflection of Mrs. Mansfield’s incredible eye for a quality pony.”
“Then I discovered that many Rotherwood ponies are exported around the world (Australia, South Africa and Europe) and crossed with homebred ponies of Welsh decent, producing wonderful riding ponies,” she explains. “At this point I had to have a Rotherwood, so I contacted Liz Mansfield out of the blue and told her what I wanted, that I was a young breeder that wanted to produce top quality riding ponies.”
The decision to purchase Rotherwood Bo Jangle, a yearling at the time, was made on Mrs. Mansfield’s recommendation alone. “She was wonderful,” says Diane, “she asked me extensive questions about what the Canadian hunter pony/sport pony would be required to do; she was very interested in sending her best pony to suit our needs.”
Since our hunters are not a discipline in England, Europe or Australia, Diane had to exlain what it was about. Diane says, “She (Mrs. Mansfield) was somewhat shocked that hunters had nothing to do with conformation of the pony, but eventually understood the emphasis on the perfect trip.” Working hunter classes, the closest thing to be found in the UK, are specifically judged on movement, conformation and temperament of the pony, and the ability of the rider, in addition to form over fences.
“Finally,” says Diane, “we both agreed that Rotherwood Bo Jangle would indeed suit the Canadian ponies with his elegance, quality, movement, beauty and temperament. I never saw a picture of Bo until after a deposit was made. The decision to purchase was more on Mrs. Mansfield’s credentials than anything. I saw his sister Rotherwood Take a Peep win HOYS in 2003 so when she told me it was her sister, it was a done deal.”
“Bo Jangle is truly bred in the purple,” Diane states proudly. His maternal lines include Bwlch Zingari, Bwlch Valentino, Twylands Troubadour, Cusop Dignity etc. Bo’s dam, Rotherwood Bo Peep, has produced the most prolific winner in British history, Rotherwood Take a Peep, who was Pony of the Year at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) in 2003. Another maternal sister, Rotherwood Peek-A-Boo, has also won top honors in both show rings, and to date every foal that Bo’s dam has produced has been a Supreme Champion both in-hand and ridden classes. The paternal side of Bo’s pedigree boasts Rotherwood Peter Pan, Westacres Concerto, Keston Royal Occasion, and Chirk Caradoc.
Bo himself has done his family and breeder proud while being lightly shown this past fall in Ontario. He won the sport pony class at Fieldstone Farm under judge Jack Braithwaite; he won Overall Champion Sport Pony at the Harvest Festival under two judges, one from the US; and he was also Overall Champion Sport Pony at Twinholme. Judges have consistently commented on his quality of conformation and movement.
“Bo will have four foals on the ground this spring,” says Diane, “two here at Arnaby Farm. We eagerly look forward to Kit Kat’s foal; Kit Kat herself comes from imported bloodlines, Cusop Jovial and Llanarth Senator. Bo is currently away being started under saddle, then he is off to Deerpath Breeding and Development to stand at stud. Once his stud duties are concluded for the year he will be back out on the Sport Pony Circuit both on the line and under saddle.” Plans for the future include showing Bo in dressage as well as hunter/jumper.
When asked if she has any advice for aspiring pony riders, Diane says “I don’t think today’s kids or ponies are really encouraged to do it all. People were shocked when I let one of my ponies, who is competing on the hunter circuit, do PPG and go hunting – they said I would blow her mind and ruin her for the hunter world. I think the pony (and rider) had a blast and they are still very competitive on the hunter circuit.”
“We feel Bo is the complete package and has a brilliant future ahead of him,” says Diane.