‘Our Crown Prince…or Princess!’
Name: Dyfed JR
Sire: Primrose Tom
Dam: Dyfed Countess
JR was born on the farm in 2007 and was named after our farm patriarch John Rees Lewis who was affectionately known to the family as JR.
The 2nd born to Dyfed Countess, JR is a 3rd generation of our bloodline born on the farm and a younger brother to Celt, or ‘Major Mercury’ Household Cavalry Drum Horse.
JR was a popular member of our equine family and before he was gelded, sired Dyfed Epona born in 2010 through Cotebrook Dark Lady (Bonus), Derwen Fawr Rhiannon born in 2011 and Dyfed Willa Rose born in 2013, both through Metheringham Upton Pansy.
Once gelded, JR became our ‘Princess’ – loving the attention and fuss of our farmyard visitors! Never one for work if it could be avoided, JR preferred the adulation of his many fans!
A New Life!
But just like his big brother Celt, opportunity came knocking. Along with his big farmyard friend Caerberllan Joseph, JR left us in early 2017 for a new life as a trainee Drum Horse for the Sultan of Oman!
Delivered with Joe to the Sultan’s British base in Wargrave near Reading, both were then flown out from Heathrow Airport to Muscat for a new life!
Amidst great wealth, JR and Joe are now being well looked after in purpose built air conditioned stables! JR is doing well in his training and we receive regular updates from the Arabian Peninsula on his progress.
We are incredibly proud that the shire carrying our patriarch’s name has gone to follow in his brother’s big hoof-prints as another Eglwyswrw globe-trotter!
Name: Dyfed Grey Celt
Sire: Springbank Storm
Dam: Dyfed Countess
Born on the 20th June 2005, Dyfed Grey Celt was the first foal born on the farm in 11 years. Little did we know what was to follow!
He was a surprise to us even back then. He was premature and was Grey – despite his Dam Dyfed Countess and Sire Springbank Storm both being black!
Shown in hand from a young age, Celt had a quiet temperament which would work in his favour when the Household Cavalry advertised for a new Drum Horse in 2008. That October aged just 3, he began a new life in London as a trainee Drum Horse!
Life in the ‘Big Smoke’
Celt debuted for the Queen on a State Visit for the Emir of Qatar in October 2010 and made his mark at his first Trooping of the Colour in June 2011.
Officially named by the Queen as Mercury, the ‘Messenger of the Gods’, he was given the rank of Major – the highest given to any animal in the Army!
In over 10 years in the Household Cavalry, Major Mercury has become the leading Drum Horse and is now the ‘big brother’ to all of those new trainee horses…including our Ed!
We are very proud of Celt and look forward to following his continued work in the Cavalry for many more years to come!
We enjoy keeping an array of animals on our farm and we endeavour to do our bit to support many rare breed favourites.
Long-term residents are our hardy Welsh Balwen Flock.
They are so rare, they were nearly wiped out entirely by the ‘Big Snow’ of 1947! A popular sight on the farm comes each Easter time with lambing season. Those white socks, white faces and long white tipped tails are the cutest thing imaginable!
The ‘Guardians’ of our flock are our faithful Llamas Anna, Efa & Lisa who have been warding foxes away from our small corner of north Pembrokeshire for the best part of a decade and more!
Not necessarily the most sociable of our farmyard friends, they are nevertheless fascinatingly curious of all of the comings and goings on the farm and would expect you to come and say hello whether you want too or not!
‘A name fit for a Queen, named by The Queen’
Name: Dyfed Guinevere
Sire: Milnerfield Jack
Dam: Dyfed St Helena (Santes)
The newest addition to our Dyfed Shires family, this young lady was born on the 21st April 2020 – the first foal to our 12 year old Santes. Like her Mam, she’s a feisty young thing who knows her own mind!
Sharing her birthday with Her Majesty, we approached Buckingham Palace to invite The Queen to choose a name from a shortlist offered and we were delighted when she accepted!
Keeping with our ‘Camelot’ theme which has seen previous foals on the farm named Lancelot, Merlin & Morgana, Her Majesty chose the name ‘Guinevere’. We think it suits her beautifully!
Meet Our Donkeys!
We may major in Shire Horses, but ever since we first opened in 1992, we have always had donkeys…and they’re multiplying!
From our ‘original’ Jack who came to the farm in 1992 as a young man and who is still alive and well in his 30s in 2020 but now in retirement nearby, to ‘Sugar & Spice’, they have always proved popular with our visitors.
In 2014, Mai and Bella joined us as young 2 and 1 year old sisters to keep Jack and Spice company and whilst the boys moved towards retirement, the girls quickly became stars of the show at ‘Donkey Grooming’ time!
Our 2018 Babies!
In 2018, both foaled for the first time to give us or first EVER baby donkeys on the farm!
Mai delivered gorgeous Gwen on the 4th July and exactly two weeks later, Bella delivered cute Enya on the 18th July. Sharing the same father, Cardigan based Jasper, both are half-siblings and half-cousins to each other!
Our 2020 Babies!
In 2020, it was Bella’s turn to foal first, delivering little Eli on the 11th June – named in memory of our late Aunt Elinor Lewis who shared his birthday. Eli is a full sibling to Enya!
Mai then delivered to us our first ever Skewbald a week later on the 18th June! Sharing his birthday with world famous rugby referee Nigel Owens, we named him Owen to match him up with his full sibling sister Gwen!
‘Standing on the Shoulders of Giants’
We Will Remember Them
Over the past 40 years, many shires horses have lived and worked on the farm. Indeed, 25 of them were born here! They and those that came here from further afield have left their unique hoof print on our soil and in our hearts in that time.
In the early years, John Rees Lewis began his ‘Dyfed’ line of Shire Horses with the mares Stuntney Deborah from Shropshire and St Juliet’s Harmony from Cornwall.
Since then, Dyfed born horses such as Dyfed Grey King, Dyfed Major and Dyfed General have left our farm for foreign climbs in America, Germany and Austria.
We will always remember our show-stopping Dyfed bloodline matriarchs Dyfed Duchess and Dyfed Countess. We will never forget those loyal and trusted workers Tom, Duke and Macs who worked and welcomed visitors to the farm.
We are very fortunate to be in regular contact with new owners of our more modern horses such Dyfed General, Dyfed Epona and Dyfed Lancelot to name a few. We enjoy hearing about their new lives.
Whilst visiting the farm, you can also visit the final resting place of many of our equine family. A Preseli Hills standing stone has been placed for us to remember just some of those gentle giants who once trod the green grass of north Pembrokeshire and who have since moved gently into that good night.
‘A Legend in her own Lifetime’
Name: Dyfed Willa Rose
Height: est. 18.2hh
Sire: Dyfed JR
Dam: Metheringham Upton Pansy
Willa Rose’s Story
Willa Rose is a special girl and a wonderful example of her breed.
Born on the farm in 2013, she has good genes! Her father JR now struts his stuff for the Sultan of Oman whilst her uncle Celt reigns supreme in London and everywhere he goes in the Household Cavalry!
But she hasn’t let their success go to her head. Instead, she has matured into a strong but gentle soul who regularly undertakes the horse and carriage ride for our visitors and is adored by everyone who meets her.
In 2019, she gave us her first foal, Morgana. Things didn’t go to plan as both fell very ill after the birth. With excellent veterinary support, both mother and daughter survived to welcome our Royal visitors Charles and Camilla to the farm only a week later!
We confidently predict a bright future for our beautiful girl!
‘Her Own Boss’
Name: Dyfed St Helena
Height: 16.2 hh
Sire: Clarach Aristocrat Lad
Dam: Dyfed Countess
A ‘little sister’ to Dyfed Grey Celt now serving as ‘Major Mercury’ Drum Horse in the Household Cavalry and to Dyfed JR now stationed in Oman, Dyfed St Helena was born in 2008 to one of our bloodline matriarchs Dyfed Countess.
She was named after the island in the Atlantic which the farm owners had called home for a period of time. But her day-to-day name quickly reverted to ‘Santes’ – the feminine Welsh translation for the word ‘Saint’.
Although a relatively small shire standing at 16.2hh, don’t be fooled! Santes is a real character with more attitude than a battalion of soldiers!
A regular with the horse and wagon ride, she has performed immaculately in a number of weddings – typical, as she loves being the centre of attention!
She has struggled of late and underwent surgery on one of her hooves to remove a nasty abscess, but we’re pleased to report that she has recovered well.
In 2020 she gave birth to her first foal. Fittingly with her big brother’s Royal connections in London, Santes’ first born was named Guinevere by none other than Celt’s Boss – Her Majesty the Queen! How? Because Guinevere and Her Majesty share the same birthday – 21st April!
‘Our Miracle Girl’
Name: Dyfed Morgana Le Fay
Height: est 18.1hh
Sire: Metheringham Upton Sidney
Dam: Dyfed Willa Rose
Our beautiful Morgana is the first 5th generation Dyfed shire born on the farm.
Born 2 weeks premature and arriving unexpectedly, she was the first born to our Dyfed Willa Rose. They both became very ill within days and only a plasma boost and excellent veterinary care saved young Morgana’s life.
Showing signs of recovery, she and Mami Willa Rose left the stable for the paddock for the first time at 6 days old. A day later, she was ready to meet our special visitors HRH the Prince of Wales and HRH Duchess of Cornwall when they arrived for their Royal visit!
Now maturing into a fabulous young 2 year old filly with a wonderful temperament, she is very much the future for our Dyfed bloodline.
‘Our Boy About Town’
Name: Dyfed Merlin
Height: 18hh (est adult height)
Sire: Acle Timelord
Dam: Middlemeadow Beauty
We had previously purchased his beautiful mother Middlemeadow Beauty from John Harrison near Merthyr in south Wales and she foaled with us in May 2018 to this young chap!
In July during a Royal Visit, HRH the Duchess of Cornwall officially named him ‘Dyfed Merlin’ having chosen the name from a shortlist offered to her.
He has grown into a fabulous, gentle and quiet young stallion and is a testament to his mother Beauty who passed away suddenly at Xmas 2018 when young Merlin was only 7 months old.
In 2020 he was been chosen by the Shire Horse Society as one of its ‘Premium Stallions’! He was one of only 12 Shire Horses in the 2 year old category to have been given the accolade and one of only 38 throughout all of the UK in all age categories.
In our long history of breeding, he is the first stallion carrying our Dyfed prefix to have been granted this distinction whilst still in residence on the homestead here in Eglwyswrw.
Anyone who has met Merlin knows that he is a special young man!