‘There’s a New Grey in Town’
Name: Metheringham Upton Atlas
Sire: Metheringham Upton Ferguson
Dam: Metheringham Upton Dora
The newest arrival to our Dyfed Shire family, this young man was born on the 25th March 2020 and came from Nottinghamshire in England aged 8 months.
A striking young grey foal, the colour is clearly in his genes because Atlas has a rather special connection to our farm. Through his Mam Dora, he is descended down from Dyfed Grey Prince, his great-grand sire, who was one of the first generation of the Dyfed bloodline to be born on our farm in the early 1980s and who we sold as a young stallion to the Metheringham Stud almost 40 years ago!
Born days into the first nationwide lockdown, he was named ‘Atlas’ as he was born with the world on his shoulders! It is perhaps apt then that this young man has gone ‘full circle’ and now lives at the birthplace of his forefather!
Atlas has settled in really well in his new home and has a lovely, sweet nature. He’s become big pals with ‘Jonesy’ – they’re a right couple of ‘likely lads’!
‘Our Cheeky Chappy!’
Name: Westfield Indiana Jones
Sire: Trem Y Wyddfa Huw’s Curiosity
Dam: Oakridge Hope
A recent arrival to our Dyfed Shires family, ‘Jonesy’ has arrived in a blaze of energy and self-confidence!
He arrived in Eglwyswrw from Yorkshire in the early summer of 2020 in the middle of the original national lockdown as a foal at foot with his mother Oakridge Hope. His father Tremywydda Huw’s Curiosity was the 2018 Shire Horse Champion Senior Stallion so Jonesy has big genes in him! So it shouldn’t have come as a surprise when he arrived on the farm as, large and strong young foal, full of character and promise!
He quickly made himself a popular attraction when we opened for the summer – greeting each visitor as a new friend to give him some fuss! He was clearly besotted with young Guinevere who he followed around all summer long!
He was weaned off his Mam Hope before Xmas and has now become big pals with farm new boy Atlas who arrived in November – our new ‘likely lads’!
‘Our Yorkshire Rose’
Name: Oakridge Hope
Sire: Lancashire Supreme
Dam: Oakridge Charity
A recent arrival to our Dyfed Shires family, Hope arrived in Eglwyswrw in the early summer of 2020 in the middle of the original national lockdown.
She arrived from Yorkshire with her young foal at foot – ‘Jonesy’ having been born in Yorkshire in mid-April.
At the time of her arrival, she was not in the best condition – she was lean and clearly, at the good age of 16, having to feed her new born was taking it out of her more than usual.
She has settled in well on our farm and out on the grass has filled out once again. Since we weaned Jonesy off her before Xmas, she has continued to blossom.
She’s self confident and knows her own mind, likes company but also has an independent streak!
‘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 2018, 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!