This was the largest complete stud migration into Australia since 1964.
On the 27th October 2007 "Watermark Gypsy Cobs" and "Llancloudy Fell Pony Stud" relocated both studs from Hill Farm, Herefordshire, England to the Northern Tablelands in NSW, Australia.
(John Parker Lorries arriving at Heathrow Airport with the precious cargo, one by one the ponies are walked into there stalls. Three per pallet unless with a foal at foot, mares and foals allocated one stall and a half)
IRT was contacted and plans to move this mammoth load was set in motion. After many meetings at Hill Farm with IRT and Nigel Misslebrook the veterinary from Chaseview Veterinary Practice - who would organize all the quarantine testing. The date was finally confirmed for the 25th October '07. IRT organized all transportation from Hill Farm to touch down at the quarantine station in
(All the ponies aboard the pallets waiting for boarding)
Using four of John Parkers lorries to get them to
(Finally boarding taking place)
The transporters had arrived the night before, it was just a matter of bringing the horses and ponies in for breakfast, a veterinary health inspection, final disinfections and the correct named and tagged head collars fitted. The total loading time took just under five hours and by 1pm on the 25th October, the convoy made there way out of Hill Farm for the very last time.
(I'm in the last pallet to be loaded - not a pleasant place to be at that time)
The owner, Gina Feakins accompanied all her horses which included a full shipment of Fell Ponies http://llancloudystud.com and German Warm bloods as well as her Traditional Gypsy Cobs on this epic journey.
(On board and in flight - the ponies being checked for hay and water)
(The cargo bay opening and disinfection taking place)
(The flight crew inside the cockpit)
Throughout the flight, the horses and ponies would be checked every hour by one or more staff. Hay would be topped up, water buckets offered. IRT had commented that this was the easiest flight of horses they have transported. Not a single animal showed distress or discomfort throughout the journey. In fact, you would never have known they were aboard the flight at all, save the grey Fell Pony Stallion 'Llancloudy Dorian' who it seemed had worked out the noise of the engines and realised that either landing or take off was imminent and would call to the the crew.
(IRT staff at one of the stop overs, think this was Singapore)
On Saturday 27th October '07,
(Nearing the end of our epic journey and a welcomed sight)
The first sight of there new Country –
We would like to thank IRT and all the staff involved for making this transition so smooth.
The horses and ponies have settled into Australia exceptionally well and our breeding program has continued with great success.