I just heard the most wonderful story about the late Fell Pony stallion Lunesdale Henry. Bred by Bert and Carole Morland of the Lunesdale Fell Pony Stud, Henry’s transition from aggressive stallion to perfect gentleman is detailed in Carole’s book A Walk on the Wild Side. I’ve been told that Henry had the nickname ‘Mankiller’ before Bert’s persistence resulted in Henry submitting to human leadership.
The story I heard today was about Henry’s attendance at a Stallion and Colt Show with his last owner Joe Langcake. They had a remarkable relationship that was demonstrated when Joe took Henry out of the trailer. Without a halter or lead rope, Henry walked out and stood beside Joe quietly. The Stallion and Colt Show is not a venue where I would personally choose to test my relationship with my stallion. There is a substantial amount of male pony energy in the air, not to mention lots of audible stallion talk and a fair amount of commotion as handlers work to manage their charges at varying rates of speed. While it didn’t happen at the show I attended, I know that stallions occasionally get loose, adding to the excitement. Joe returned Henry to the trailer after a few minutes standing together, again without halter and lead rope, where he awaited the Veterans Class. Henry took home the trophy from this class on multiple occasions.
When Bert Morland walked up to Joe and Henry at the show, he is said to have remarked, ‘Combined age of pony and owner: one hundred and four.’ I had the pleasure of spending time with these two senior citizens several years ago. They had a level of mutual respect that was awesome to behold. (The photograph is a little grainy due to a camera problem.) I am pleased to have one of Henry’s granddaughters in my herd: Lunesdale Silver Belle.