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All the Latest News!

Morrich Kelpie and Morrich Fearna have been hacked out for the first time.


































New Foals 2013

Ryedale Grace foaled a filly (as yet unnamed) at around 9.30pm on the 30th May 2012 aged 10 minutes. She had not cleansed by 8am next day so I called the vet. As the vet walked into the field, the afterbirth came away. Don't ya just love 'em! I swear she is on commission from the vet! (The bill was £55).















Glentrowan Belina foaled a colt foal on the 29th June 2013. There were no problems and mother and son are doing well. A stallion for the future? What a chunky lad! Aged 2 hours.



New Foals 2012

Ryedale Grace foaled a colt (Morrich Torran) to Josethdene on the 1st June 2012.

Morrich Torran aged one year.










Glentrowan Belina foaled a colt foal (Morrich Skerry ) to Josethdene on the 21st June 2012


Mary-Mac of Tormore foaled a filly (as yet unnamed) to Josethdene on the 27th September 2012




New Foals 2011





















Mary-Mac's (Molly's) new filly foal (Morrich Kataline), just born and a few minutes later, on the 29th April 2011, sired by Josethdene.


The same foal as above at 27th June 2011.










Glentrowan Belina with her colt foal, Morrich Corrie, sired by Josethdene born on 8th June 2011. The picture was taken on the 27th June.










Stop Press:   Josethdene was awarded Ridden Highland Champion at The Sutherland County Show on Saturday 24th July 2010 . His son was Third. This against some stiff opposition from top quality ridden ponies. And I just heard news of another son of Josethdene's, Kerrera Duke. I tried to buy Duke from Sheila McGregor but was pipped at the post, so bought Joe instead! Here is a snip from an email from his new owners,

"Thought you might like an update on Duke.  We sent Duke a few months ago to Richard Telford who is situated in Scotland, because he wasn't manageable for us at a show ridden. Well Richard loves him, he has done all sorts of things Hunting, Cross country and hacking him out with different ponies. He has now competed at two affiliated shows.  His first was West Midlands Stallion Show at Malvern, he won and went champion  in hand and was reserve in the cuddy championship...the judge loved him and said he would win the cuddy one day not just qualify!  He did a novice ridden class which was one of the biggest classes of the day, pulled in top and stayed top!  He was very well behaved with so many in the ring but just still a little vocal!  On Sunday, we were at Hambleton, again he won and went champion in hand and reserve supreme as well as first and champion in his novice ridden class.  he nearly missed his ridden class as someone was trying to buy him off Richard!  We are going to east anglian native this weekend which is on saturday and sunday.  Richard is doing a novice class on the Saturday then Victoria is going to ride him in a novice on the Sunday. Everyone loves him to bits, we are hoping to get him back soon if we can prise him away from Richard. Sorry not been in touch sooner. I'll send some photos soon".


A bit of excitement!

You may have seen something on TV news about the heathland fire on The Fendom, at Tain. The fire came up to and over the boundary to Miller's Place, the home of The Morrich Stud, but died out when it reached my mature trees. Nevertheless, it was quite exciting. A lot of gorse and young trees burn but no one was hurt, thank goodness. The pictures tell the tale: As usual, just click on them to enlarge them.





Youngstock and started ponies for sale. Please go to the For Sale page. Videos soon!

Josethdene at Stud:

  Click on the thumbnail picture to enlarge it.

f you wish to bring your mare to Josethdene, it is essential that you  read the Stud Conditions and complete a Nomination Form.  Both can be downloaded from this page. Mares can arrive without smear test results as the test can be done by our own vet, but it does mean you will be charged livery and, of course, vet fees.

The stud fee is currently  250 plus 2 per day for livery. These prices include VAT at 17.5%. Numbers of mares accepted will be strictly limited on a "first come, first served" basis so you are advised to apply early!


If you are looking for a stallion for your mare, please click on 

*Stallions - Josethdene" 

and see the video. Scroll down the same page to see pictures of his new foals.


Picture - left: Josethdene in the snow.

Click on the picture to enlarge it.

Like a good Highland pony, Josethdene is not bothered about the hard weather and lives out as usual. He just wishes the fence wasn't there so he could join his mares.


New Video

Go to the stallion page to see the new video and scroll down the same page to see pictures of the new foals.


The hard frosts are making the foxes hungry and I have had a few unwanted visitors. Last winter I lost about 30 hens. I thought they were safe as they roost in the trees but the foxes just waited for them to come down in the morning. But this winter things have changed. Aza hates foxes and whines in the morning to be let out to check the boundaries. She has killed one and chased others across several fields. So peace now reins.


Highland ponies are tough! Provided they have enough roughage, they will fill their bellies and let the microbes in their intestines produce central heating. Insulation is provided by a thick furry water repellent coat. What no livestock likes is driving rain or sleet, so they seek shelter if they can but at other times will stand outside, ignoring a nice warm shelter! I always say the field shelter was for me as it eases my conscience! The ponies can go inside if they want but generally they don't!


(Left) "We are Highland ponies and don't care about the weather!"










The biggest daily chore at The Morrich Stud is thawing out the water troughs. With night time temperatures averaging minus 10, it is the first thing that has to be done every morning. But being near sea level, snow seldom exceeds five inches.




New Grass

Nine acres have been put into new grass at The Morrich Stud. All now safely tucked up and protected from the worst of the frost and wind by a blanket of snow. The existing grass had degenerated to almost all weed species. The new seeds mixture contains mostly rye grasses for hay with no clover. Clover can cause problems with horses so, as some hay will be sold, "no clover" was advised. I was surprised that the soil analysis said that pH (lime status) was OK. Because of the late harvest, the contractor arrived late to plough so the grass seed was only sown on the 30th September which is very late indeed. Thanks to a warm autumn, all seems to be well and the grass is growing but I must confess to being worried especially as a ground frost caused some burning and it looked a bit brown. But it has since recovered nicely. But that has left me short of 9 acres so I will have to buy in feed.

New Foal

Lalagarve Mistletoe was purchased in 2008 and went straight to the Lochalsh Stud where, together with Molly and Breagha,  she ran with the stallion, Sporrandene of Kildavie, all summer. At the end of the summer, she was brought home to The Morrich Stud. When Josethdene arrived here in late October 2008, she was served by him two days later! She had a very strong foal on the 18th October 2009 (picture below). Mistletoe is quite protective of her foal and moves off if she is approached too close. But since the vet had to remove a retained placenta, I can't really blame her!

(Update: 14/3/2010). Mistletoe's foal, can now be handled and becomes more confident every day. Gracie has a nice filly foal and Molly has a colt. All are doing well and integrating with the herd. It is lovely to see the foals playing together in the evenings. Breagha is definitely in foal but, wise girl, seems to be waiting for warmer weather before foaling. So that is 100% fertility for Josethdene, not as planned -- but as a wise man said, a late foal is better than no foal at all).

For similar reasons, I am expecting both Molly and Breagha, also Gracie, to be in foal to Josethdene. Molly looks "imminent", Breagha less so. Gracie never shows until the last moment! Joe also apparently served Gracie around the same time. She had gone to Highfield Glen Albyn at the Chapelton Equestrian Centre, Muir of Ord, and should have foaled in June/July 2009 so although no one saw her being served by Joe we think she must be in foal to him. Not sure if I like foaling at this time of year but maybe better late than never. Next year things will be better organised.

Watching a stallion with his mares is an interesting experience. A certain amount of mounting goes on even if the mare is pregnant and this appears to be herd bonding behaviour. A mare may also signal to a stallion that she is in foal (by rapid swishing of her tail), telling him not to bother but tail movement may also indicate that she is receptive. I'm learning more and more about equine body language every day and it is fascinating stuff.


Mistletoe looks very over weight in this picture because she was suffering from a condition which caused her to retain fluid. When she was pregnant, she looked absolutely huge! However, two vets independently declared that she was fine, just had excess allantoic fluid and would probably have a very small foal. In fact, the foal is a fine big lad and he is as strong as an ox! Mistletoe had a retained placenta which was easily removed by the vet "just in case".







Left: Aza, German Shepherd, meets foal.

My ponies don't usually have a problem with dogs.















I make no apologies for posting the information below. In the Spring 2009, after running with mares all winter, Joe understandably looked a bit lean. Several visiting vets made favourable comments about his condition ( "Isn't it nice to see a Highland pony that isn't obese!") but for the shows, he was considered "too thin". Of course, it is always those who know the least who are the quickest with advice. Well, I have been around stock all my life and an animal with a gutter between his buttocks is not thin! One of the more experienced judges very kindly advised me that he certainly wasn't thin, perhaps a bit lean, but needed more muscle on his back end if he was expected to win at shows. To achieve that would require greater body mass (fat if you like!) which could then be converted to muscle with exercise. Now that makes sense! Joe is going to be doing a lot of running up and down hills next summer. Where animal welfare is concerned, I will always be outspoken and if that is a fault I am guilty as charged.

"Obesity in show horses is much discussed, but why does it happen and what are the implications?", asks Peter Green MRCVS. Peter Green goes on to say....

.......When this is discussed in public, the usual defence is that true show condition requires a pony to be fit, well muscled and in "peak condition". The trouble is that, for many, "peak condition" means simply overweight. Judges and competitors strive for the perfect outline, particularly the perfect topline, and in many ponies the only way to achieve the full, rounded quarters, loins and croup is to pile on the fat".

If you like a bit of controversy and want to read more on Condition Scoring, click here.

Black Isle Show 6th August 2009
was shown in the Ridden Highland class by Claire Kinvig and although he came Third was highly complimented by the judge.  I think he was the only stallion competing in this class which speaks volumes. No one can believe he is a stallion. Apparently, Joe needs more work to develop the muscling of his bum which is fair comment as Claire can only get over to ride him once a week and he is still running with his mares. Still, it is quite a compliment when the judge says she will be sending a mare to him next season!  Click here.

Sutherland County Show (Dornoch Show) 18th July 2009
Morrich Stud had a good day with Josethdene winning First in the Highland Stallion class shown in hand by 17 year old Chereen McKechnie ,  2nd in the Ridden by Clair Kinvig, then Morrich Finn taking Reserve Champion handled by Lisa Inglis. Pictures on the show page. Click here.

JOSETHDENE, 10 year old Highland Stallion at stud. Click here to visit his page!

Click here for a pedigree for Josethdene

Josethdene is a 10 year old stallion from the famous Ballinton Stud, bred by Scott McGregor who emigrated with most of his ponies to Australia to be near his daughter. Salinadene, his mother, was one of Scott's favourite mares but considered too old to travel so she was left in the UK. An obituary for Salinadene can be found at http://www.debbiespears.co.uk/links.htm (scroll down).  Josethdene has sired at least nine foals so he is a dad already.

 I expect to be able to make Joe available at public stud to a limited number of mares during 2009. Please enquire.








Josethdene came Second in the Highland Stallion in hand class at The Highland and Native Pony Enthusiasts Club Show on the 31st May 2009 at The Black Isle Showground, Muir of Ord, Inverness-shire, handled by Chereen who had her 17th birthday the previous week.












Josethdene pictured early in the 2009 show scene and still looking a bit lean after running with his mares all winter.



More news and pictures on the Stallion page.


This page is under continual and regular revision!