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written Jan 2000 for

the Northwoods Welsh Newsletter

Farnley Sparkler ridden by Molly Rinedollar 1978

Farnley Sparkler ridden by Molly Rinedollar 1978


Thalia's Little Students

get ready for the

Cornell Saddle Club

Horse Show, Ithaca NY


I, Thalia, have been involved with Welsh since 1953 when Mollie Butler of Ithaca, New York purchased her first Welsh Mountain Ponies, the imported mares *Craven Sprightlight (by Grove Sprightly) and *Criban Dunish (by Criban Bumble Bee) and Dunish's son by *Criban Craven Comet. The mares were foaled in 1933 and 1935 so were wonderful representatives of the old mountain type of pony. I taught Linda Butler (we are still dear friends and pony compatriots) and several of her peers and took them to open shows as there were no Welsh classes in New York State at that time. Karl Butler says the 4H Light Horse Project which Mollie and I started was the first in the nation. On trips to Farnley Farm with Mollie Butler I loved Farnley Sirius (by Coed Coch Glyndwr) and his son, Farnley Gremlin. These were among the first of the many wonderful experiences I've had in nearly a half century with the Welsh and their people! 


Our daughter Anne and

Brookside Sparkle - 1963

NEWPA (Northeast Welsh Pony Assn) was formed in 1956 and I was a charter member. One meeting was held on the Onondaga Indian Reservation near Syracuse, New York and I met Chief John Big Tree, then 95 years old, whose profile was on the buffalo nickel. I also wrote area news for Hetty Mackay-Smith's Welsh magazine - I think this was prophetic as I have since written for the Horseman's Review, Vicki Ochsner Crone's Welsh Ponytales, Equine Market, the WPCSA Yearbook, Welsh Roundabout, and the Welsh Review. This spring I am slated to do an article on pony hunter pedigrees for the Chronicle of the Horse Pony Issue and consider this a great honor. I like to "get the word out" why the versatile Welsh ponies and cobs belong in every equine owner's barn.


Daughters Molly (8) and

Anne (12), with Sparkle (18)

in 1975 through the entry

hall and into the living room.

In 1957 I purchased my first Welsh mare (with my income tax refund). Brookside (English for GlanNant) Sparkle was to be the foundation of a program to produce kind athletic riding ponies for children. Unfortunately she never had a live foal, but was a part of the family for 25 years and gave my daughters, Anne and Molly, their love of ponies. She wore pop beads and a harness Molly concocted of old belts and twine, pulled the wicker-sided trap for picnics in Hononegah Park, won pet pony classes for Anne, and nickered a welcome every time we pulled in the drive. Then she started Anne's children in ponies.


The pair of Mollies,

Butler & Rinedollar


Molly Rinedollar and

Spring Valley's Runner

Also in 1957 I "fell into" a trip to Europe with a Cornell friend and went to visit at Criban, Coed Coch, and E.G.E. Griffiths' pony studs. At Coed Coch I saw Coed Coch Madog and Siaradus, the venerable supreme champion As, Coed Coch Bari as a youngster, Coed Coch Proffywd, and my first Section Bs, Coed Coch Blaen Lleuad, his son Rhyd-y-Felin Selwyn, and the mare, Downland Lavender. This was the beginning of a love affair with the Bs that endures today! In 1959 Daisy Brodrick invited my mother and me to base at Coed Coch to tour Wales and it was then that I saw Coch Coch Prydyddes by Criban Victor. Mollie Butler has been corresponding with Miss Brodrick about her purchase, but they couldn't guarantee that the mare was in foal. I said, "She's lovely. Buy her for Linda anyway."


GlanNant Epic at

Helicon Oaks, age 34



Mollie did - and you may know the rest of the story. Prydyddes had 14 foals and the daughter she was carrying, GlanNant Sonnet had 16! We had the "Puff" grandson, Spring Valleys Runner, for 20 years (from 1977) and he did almost everything a Welsh pony can do - for Molly and eight others of us in the family, plus numerous friends. "Guy" was six times WOW versatility winner and also in Virginia, New York and Texas, a CDE winner in Texas, an AHSA pony hunter champion, a hunt team winner at Devon, a short stirrup "saint", a whiz at obstacles, jumped 3'9" once at a clinic (he was 12.1 1/2), rode or drove countless trails, ate hotdogs, salad, and hamburgers if sweets weren't available, took halters off his buddies, helped put Molly through Colorado State with his lease fees, and was the love of our lives. When Doug Hakes (son of Guy's previous owner) was on a ship in the Gulf during that war, he wrote, "Guy is a much better individual than most of the people I know." He was honest, hardworking, humorous, intelligent, kind, and athletic.


Then, in 1986, we acquired an own son of Prydyddes, GlanNant Epic by Farnley Reflection, a son of Farnley Lustre. Our lives have not been the same since! In his youth Epic had been a National Champion Section B stallion and open jumper plus cutting cattle on Dr. Clair's ranch in Pennsylvania. He was the sire of both purebreds and crossbreds who excelled in the hunter ring including McGregor (Lyn-Lee Calypso) who was twice AHSA Horse of the Year in large pony hunters. McGregor's full brother, Lyn-Lee Tiempo was a fine combined training competitor.


Helicon May Day

Helicon May Day & Spring Valley's Runner

& Silver Tide

Hunt Team Winners

at Devon - 1989


We had produced one AHSA Zone Champion Small Pony Hunter and American National English Pleasure Champion in Helicon May Day (Liseter Red Bird X Joy of Yesteryear by *Cusop Sheriff). With the arrival of Epic, the dream of producing kind athletic mounts for children really swung into gear. We've raised several foals a year and bred many outside mares. I have handled Epic myself for most breedings. Although we've had success at the Welsh shows, many of our ponies have gone on to the hunter curcuit, so you won't find Epic or his get in the Legion of Merit categories. "Silver Steps" (Helicon Garden Party) has been three times AHSA HOTY while Helicon Take Notice, H. Epic Event, and Tickle Me Too have been in the AHSA national standings and many others have been show and regional winners: Helicon Headliner, H. Fantasia, H. Heatwave, H. Fun 'n' Games, H. Bright 'n' Breezy, H. Herald, H. Fiesta, Alexander's Epigram, Tinker, Patchwork "Epic Charm", and more.  Helicon Poetess, H. Jump for Joy ("Lady Jayne"), and H. Formal Notice have been top WPCSA regional and national competitors.  Patchwork Omen and Patchwork Gold Nugget stand at Doris Kelsey's in WI, Blackfire's Epic Jester in GA, and H. Epic Horizons in WY. Watch for Pam McGlynn's DanLynn Epic Design in the future. 


To our knowledge, we were the first to freeze Welsh semen anywhere in the world.  That was in 1988 at Cornell University. Portrait Painter, an AHSA HOTY in large green pony hunters, is one of four frozen semen foals. We are hoping to announce the arrival of a fifth next August from a Welsh LOM and AHSA HOTY mare, but do not wish to count any chickens before they hatch.


Epic was the oldest active Welsh stallion in the U.S. for most of the past decade, retiring from active duty at age 35. His last natural cover foals arrived in FL, MN, and WI in 1999 and IL in 2000. He lives with his two favorite mares and is a very happy pony. At 36 he is not carrying much flesh, but impatiently awaits his Nutrena Senior and is fairly spry thanks to J-Flex. He is still very affectionate and inquisitive and our grand old friend. 


Where do we go A.E. (after Epic)? We have leased GlanNant Country Roads Section A (by *Cusop Sparklet X GlanNant Primrose Lane by Severn Ember). He is by the same sire as four AHSA Horse of the Year winners in pony hunters and has been outstanding in both driving and in hunters (1997 and 1998 WPCSA yearend champion 12.2 and under). Interestingly, he and Epic share many common ancestors - Coed Coch Glyndwr and Seren, Criban Winston, Bowdler Blue Boy and Brightlight, Tan-y-Bwlch Berwyn, and Revel ponies among them. Country will be used on both our purebred B mares and our crossbreds by Epic, etc. Our 14.2 hand black Welsh/Thoroughbred, Helicon Corsair, will be used on small mares to produce large pony hunter prospects. Our broodmares carry the blood of other favorite Section B stallions, Farnley Sparkler (by F. Sirius) whom we owned, Liseter Red Bird, and *Cusop Sheriff - and all the mares carry at least one cross to *Coed Coch Prydyddes. 


Dad &

Fronarth Lady's Delight


Fronarth Lady's Delight

Grand Champion Cob

Michigan 1998


Fronarth Lady Anne

WPCSA 1998 National

Yearend Champion

Cob Fillies 2 & Under

George's passion is Welsh Cobs! In 1995 and 1997, while daughter Anne was working at United Airlines, we were able to go to Wales - and brought home the full sisters, *Fronarth Lady's Delight and Fr. Lady Anne (by Blaengwen Brenin X Fronarth Lady by Parc Welsh Flyer). Delight has been twice WPCSA National Champion, Pleasure Driving in 1997 and Carriage Driving in 1998. "Onnie" was National Champion Two and Under Filly in 1998. (Our former national awards were with Spring Valleys Runner in Halter, Hunter, and Pleasure Driving, with Rollingwoods Gin-N-Tonic in Half Welsh Halter, Hunter, and English Pleasure, and with *Okeden Clover in Cob Halter and Adult English Pleasure) 

P.S. Early in 2001 the cob mares were trained for pairs driving!


Helicon Steppin' Out

Trots to the Blue at

Celebration of the Horse

in Ocala Florida, 1999

1995 also marked the birth of Helicon Steppin' Out, *Okeden Clover's son by *Brynarian Briton, and he was Reserve National Champion Cob Colt as a foal. He has since been Grand Champion Gelding several times and also a 1999 champion in English Pleasure and Pleasure Driving in Florida. Most importantly, this "gentle giant" has been a safe drive for me. Coming from an older Section A, I had felt rather overwhelmed by the thought of driving this huge (15.2+) Cob youngster! Both the older cobs  have driven in a carriage pace and on many scenic trails in Florida. 


Since there is a passion for outdoor sports in this country, I believe that the Welsh will be used in ever-growing numbers for combined driving and combined training, carriage driving including multiples, dressage, reining,  foxhunting, and endurance. Adults will seek Cobs and larger Half-Welsh for these pursuits. Therefore, I would hope that our WPCSA Registry could be expanded to include partbreds of 25% Welsh pony or cob blood as the U.K. has done, rather than to lose these athletes to the various sport horse and pony registries that have sprung up. Lastly, I hope that your world will be enriched by the joy that Welsh friends, both furry and human, bring in such full measure - as ours have been.





George and Thalia Gentzel

Helicon Sport Ponies

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Helicon Show Stables / Helicon Sport Ponies

9736 E. Bayou Gulch Road

Parker, CO 80134

Cell phone: (720)320-7362

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