Manhattan Photos: Julie Wilson

Article as published in the 2016 Welsh Pony & Cob Society Journal:

They do say that the best things can come into your life when you’re least expecting them. I think both Wendy Trimble and Shane Bysouth would most definitely agree this was the case with the Section B colt, Weston Manhattan.

Three years into their fledgling Tooravale Stud, Shane and Wendy, like many Australian breeders made their way to one of the Imperial-Weston-Kirreway Stud sales in the hope of finding a colt that would help set a pattern for their future breeding plans. As is often the case at these events a good deal of chatting went on that day, one such meeting being with Dilys Edwards of the Weston Stud who happened to mention, “Mary Ann had a lovely colt foal, why not call in on your way home and see him?” So, the following morning they did just that.

Wendy recalls, “as soon as we spotted him, there was no hesitation, we had to have him. It was like looking at a fine porcelain statue he was just beautiful.” The colt was sired by Weston Cottonwood, himself a son of the 1972 Royal Welsh Champion Weston Choice. His dam, Weston Mary Ann was of course the Royal Welsh Champion in 1975. If ever a colt was destined for greatness, it was this one. On weaning he travelled south to their Tooradin home; Mrs Edwards later travelled back home to Wales and then quickly enough a young Manhattan had established himself at Tooravale.

Although only ever lightly shown Manhattan was usually successful on account of his sheer class and Welsh Pony character. As a three year old in 1995 he was champion colt and part of the best progeny group at the Victorian All Welsh Show under Meirion Davies. That same season at the Silver Jubilee Welsh Show he was selected as National Youngstock Pony of the Year under David Pritchard. That latter award won both Shane and Wendy a trip to Perth! However, in time, Manhattan was to repay them in many greater ways.

In his twenty four years residing at Tooravale, Manhattan sired just over 80 progeny. Offers to lease him or collect semen for export were always turned down. He won the Sire Ratings competition twice and his offspring won major Royal and All Welsh Shows in every corner of Australia. At the time of his passing in November 2015, eleven of his daughters remain at the stud as well as the promising young sire, Tooravale Castaway. Other influential sons include T.Jamaica who was very successful in the show ring and also as a sire at Kylandee Stud before his untimely death in 2014. Another son Trentlyn Platinum bred by Greg Higgins has had a huge influence at Peter Taubman’s Amaranda Stud. Females such as Ivory, Cameo, Chanel, Celeste, Crisiant and Chiffon have proved themselves in the show ring and the breeding paddock, but above all else have succeeded in cementing the type that is recognisable today as “a Tooravale pony”.

It was an emotional fitting tribute to his influence as a sire that his daughters were named Best Progeny Pair at the 2015 Victorian All Welsh. His granddaughter Choisya was Best Youngstock Section B at 2015 New South Wales All Welsh therefore carrying on the tradition. Tooravale Hollywood became a top dressage pony; Valentino a top Pony Club mount and Charmer, a successful lead rein/first ridden show pony. His offspring were exported to New Zealand and most recently his son Tooravale Houston became the first Welsh Pony colt to be exported from Australia to Wales for the Heniarth Stud. Frozen semen from Houston remains in Australia to continue that connection as does a full sister to Houston, Miss Manhattan, born shortly after her sire passed away.

In Wendy’s unassuming manner she states, “Manhattan was certainly not overused though made quite an impact with the few that we bred.” And thereby hangs a tale of commitment in a breeders eye, coupled with loyalty to a certain animal that resulted in rewards for them both. Manhattan will be a tough act to follow. He still has two foals yet to be born, though his influence and good standing in the world of the Welsh Pony will be forever recognised.

Some of his progeny
Tooravale Honolulu 2014 Filly
Tooravale Cristiant
Tooravale Highlander
Tooravale Charmer
Tooravale Ivory
Tooravale Castaway
Tooravale Miss Manhattan
Weston Park Clwydwen
Tooravale Concerto
Tooravale Cambridge
Tooravale Casablanca
Tooravale Casablanca
Tooravale Houston Exp UK Photo: Ingrid Delaitre
Tooravale Cameo Photo: Julie Wilson
Tooravale Cristiant Photo: Julie Wilson
Tooravale Chiffon Photo: Carmel Pethick
Tooravale Celeste Photo: Julie Wilson
Tooravale Concerto Supreme Welsh Inhand Lilydale Show 2016
Tooravale Chanel