John had always had one or two forest run ponies and his family had kept and bred Forest ponies for generations but the Hollybrooke
Stud of New Forest ponies was started seriously in 1993. It all began with the arrival of eight foals which included our stallion Burley Branston and seven Forest bred filly foals who were chosen with care not only on their conformation but also on their dams ability to live well on the open Forest. All the ponies that have been brought into the stud have been carefully
selected according to strict criteria with particular emphasis on temperament. No new female bloodlines have been introduced since 2003.
The stud is situated on the borders of the
New Forest and breeds top quality show and performance New Forest ponies. It boasts excellent facilities
including large indoor stables, well managed
grassland, post and railed paddocks with field shelters and a 25m by 60m menage. The ponies share the farm with a herd
of beef cattle.
We have ten stud brood mares and five forest run broodmares who spend their entire life on the forest.
Some of the stud broodmares spend their summers on the Forest when they do not have a foal at foot. We only breed selectively so not all the mares are bred from every year. We keep some young stock to show or until they are old enough to ride but many are sold as foals.
The Stud has always stood its own stallion. At the moment it stands the home bred New Forest stallion Hollybrooke Tinker who has had many wins in the show ring both in hand and under saddle and is producing hugely successful offspring (see stallion page) All the stallions that have stood at Hollybrooke are multiple championship winners. They have had ridden careers in which they competed and
performed in a variety of disciplines
to a high standard. The stud's foundation stallion Burley Branston was one of the breed's most versatile and successful performance ponies. He left a legacy of wonderful ponies. Hollybrooke Tinker covers both our own and visiting mares. He runs happily with mares but the majority of visiting mares are covered in hand.
All the ponies except the stallions live as part of a herd where they are allowed to grow and develop naturally. They learn their social skills and have others of their own age to play with, which is an important part of their over all development. The foals are taught to lead, tie up and have their feet trimmed when they are weaned. They spend part of their first winter stabled and after that they live in the fields in mixed aged groups. They are loaded in both a trailer and a lorry when moving from one grazing field to another and soon become confident travelers.
Many of our home bred ponies have had enviable performance and show ring successes. These include the Breed Show supreme championship three times (with two different ponies), the overall M&M championship at the NPS Summer Championships, the Breed Show stallion championship three times (with three different ponies), the Breed Show mare championship four times and HOYS to name just a few. We aim to produce
ponies that combine correct conformation and movement with a kind, calm and willing temperament that will give other people as much fun and pleasure as they have given us.