Ninfield Pony Stud
The Start of a Dynasty
Wingrove Minkino, son of the legendary pony stallion Bwlch Valentino, arrived at the Ninfield Pony Stud in the late 1970's through pure chance and luck. Marlene Davey, owner of the Ninfield Pony Stud overheard a passing conversation with Janet Meyer (then owner of Minkino) saying he was for sale. By the following weekend Minkino had been purchased by Marlene and was on his way to his new Sussex home.
'Minky' had already produced ponies such as Chiddock Fankino, Blue Mink, Gaylord of Keston, Keston Rassetta, Keston Perdita, Varndell Hot Chocolate and top hacks Foxton Flight and Refund, to name a few. By the late 1980's Minkino had become the leading pony sire in the country.
Marlene took a fresh approach to breeding by using Minky across thoroughbred mares. One of the first mares acquired was My Whitehouse Ladybird. Already a prolific winner under saddle, this mare was put to Minkino; the result was Ninfield Thatcher. As a foal and a yearling Thatcher had 23 wins and 20 show championships from 23 outings. Thus proving that he was a true son of Minkino.
In the early 80's Marlene's breeding strategy began to pay dividends. Ninfield Great Expectations out of Jennifer Williams mare Wingrove Stormaway (Lloyds Bank Champion) began to sweep through the Riding Pony world, taking Championships throughout the UK and becoming regarded as one of the best youngsters in the country.
Marlene had now built up a base of six thoroughbred mares, all either bred for the racecourse or the showring.
Minkino's offspring dominated in the showring with Foxton Flight becoming Hack of the Year, and Gaylord of Keston was Pony of the Year, and by the late 1980's Minkino had had more riding ponies and horses qualified for Wembley than any other pony sire in the country.
Ninfield Great Expectations went out under saddle as new youngsters from the Ninfield Stud took their first steps into the showring in hand. Ninfield Millionaire, a yearling colt, took championships at the Royal, Surrey Show, South of England and Royal Bath and West, taking over where 'Expectations' had left off.
1991 was an outstanding year for the Ninfield ponies placing them firmly in the minds of breeders all over the world. At the National Pony Show Minkino dominated the awards by having National Youngstock Champion with Ninfield Minks Splendour and winning all three progeny groups. Great Expectations became champion at Windsor Horse Show and All British Supreme Champion before taking the 13.2hh Pony of the Year title at the Horse of the Year Show.
At Ponies UK history was in the making as Minkino's progeny took all the In-Hand Riding Pony awards. Ninfield Minks Enchantment won the 12.2hh Youngstock Championship and Yearling Championship and stood Reserve overall of the show. Moorhall Serenade won the 13.2hh Championship, Ninfield Minks Cottage won the 14.2hh Championship, and Ninfield Millionaire went Champion Male; something truly exceptional.
At home Minky was regarded as a true gentleman. Running out with his faithful broodmares in the summer months and giving pony rides to lucky girls who were unaware of the history he had created. He himself was the epitomy of a child's riding pony with his bombproof attitude and a cheekiness which led him to find Polo's and Snickers bars in unsuspecting peoples' pockets.
In 1992 Minkino, aged 26, became ill. By that autumn with failing health the decision to put him to sleep became unanimous. He was buried at the back of Marlene's farmhouse with a prime view of the South Downs.
Marlene knew that this day would arrive and had kept five sons from her top mares. Ninfield Thatcher, Ninfield Millionaire, Ninfield Minks Reflection, Ninfield Midnight Mink and Ninfield Minks Supreme (now exported to Australia). Today they all carry on the Minkino name.
Ninfield Great Expectations became a top broodmare. Not only has she produced top progeny such as Ninfield Eurika, Ninfield Pips Pride and Ninfield Wuthering Heights (all of them multi- champions) but she won championship after championship herself, culminating in becoming Supreme Champion of the Show at Ponies UK in 1996.
Ninfield Minks Supreme sired Tofta Symphony, who was Reserve Supreme of Show Champion Youngstock at Ponies UK, and who, in 2000 became Supreme National Champion.
Ninfield Millionaire is siring ponies and hacks of the highest quality such as Ninfield Millionaires Dream. All five stallions have won National awards, proving that they are worthy of following in the hoof prints of their father the great Wingrove Minkino.
Select from the list below.
Wingrove Minkino: The Start of a Dynasty
Ninfield Great Expectations
Ninfield Mink's Supreme