The Shilstone Rocks stud originated at Throwleigh where our home was and the prefix taken from Shilstone Tor (named Rocks by us as children).
In 1958 we purchased two Dartmoor mares from the White family a farmer in Postbridge who was selling up. One of these was a 7 year old big bay mare registered as Zippee for the sum of £35. She was an inspected mare directly off Dartmoor. Zippee had the characteristic wrinkled muzzle of many of the old type Dartmoors. She bred 12 foals for us, one of which, Shilstone Rocks Windswept foaled in1964 by the famous Jude (bred by Sylvia Calmady –Hamlyn) was a consistent winner all her life and only unplaced three times throughout her career. Our first stallion also inspected and passed into the main stud book was Called Silver Dollar bred by Mann bros of Dunstone Farm Widecombe, at the cost of £25 he was renowned for his long mane which brushed the ground, and also that he could jump in & out of any field!
In 1963 Chittleford Farm Widecombe-in-the-Moor, was purchased, a hill farm of some 150 acres with moorland rights where the herd grew successfully and time to time ponies with different blood lines being added. Four of the original 25 family’s are still well represented in the stud to-day.
During the first years at Chittleford we did little showing as we were too occupied running the farm and a riding centre, not to mention bringing up four young daughters!
However when we did manage to get out to a few shows the ponies always kept the Shilstone Rocks flag flying. At our very first show the first registered filly we had bred “Zephyr of Shilstone Rocks” won the yearling class at the DPS Breed show held at Prince Hall. We were quite amazed!
Over the years we have consistently bred top class Champion Dartmoor ponies. They have won sire, mare and stallion of the year, interbreed ridden and in hand championships. They have qualified for Olympia and HOYS and been highly placed in both these prestigious events. On one occasion six Shilstone Rocks ponies were present at HOYS! In fact, our ponies are winning all over the world, in-hand and under saddle.
We have always aimed to breed a rugged native pony of type, but at the same time with quality and substance. Temperament being one of the main considerations