Big turnout for little ponies at successful Shetland sale

Farm sale at Mursley. Pictured is Shetland Pony breeder Peter Bates, of Mursley, with Marie Hornsby (17), of Milton Keynes, with a Shetland Pony.

Farm sale at Mursley. Pictured is Shetland Pony breeder Peter Bates, of Mursley, with Marie Hornsby (17), of Milton Keynes, with a Shetland Pony.

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A huge crowd turned out to a miniature Shetland pony farm sale.

Twenty-five tiny ponies entered the sale ring in Mursley last week where potential buyers jumped at the chance to purchase one of the cute equines.

Auctioneer Scott Ruck from Thame Market said: “This was one of the smallest sales we’ve ever done but we had one of the biggest turn outs. It was very popular and we had a good day.”

The top price for the miniatures was achieved by Swanbourne Cindy, a chestnut mare, who sold for £280.

Other stock on sale included four riding horses, Saddleback pigs and poultry. Deadstock included trailers, gates, hurdles and feeders.

Owner Peter Bates is retiring to Cornwall and said: “I am very pleased by the turnout. I don’t feel sad about moving, the last three winters have been very hard.

“I’ve bought a bungalow with three acres and I will take a few ponies with me. I’m looking forward to walking on the beach.”

Marie Hornsby, 17, has helped Mr Bates for the past year, working with the riding horses in particular, to school and teach them to jump.

“I’ve had a wonderful time anda can’t thank Peter enough for allowing me to work with them,” said Marie. “It’s been a very emotional week getting them ready for the sale and I will miss them a lot.”

Mr Bates bought Shetland Farm as a nine acre field 10 years ago and developed it with buildings, yards , stables and paddocks.

His first two Shetlands were bought as a gift for his late wife, “and it snowballed from there,” he recalled. “We showed them all over the country. They are very popular, some people like to have them as companions.”