Holtball Herd 11 Exmoor ponies is owned by Nick and Dawn Westcott. Herd 11 was re-established in 2009 after Nick and Dawn Westcott married and their multi-champion moorbred Exmoor pony stallion Hawkwell Versuvius 'Bear' sired his first foal out of Holtball's foundation mare, Hawkwell Smarty Pants 'Maisie' - Holtball Kick 'em Jenny.
Herd 11 was originally established along with Herds 10 and 21 by Nick Westcott's great grandfather, A G Westcott, and his two brothers. The Westcott family had maintained moorland ponies since at least the 1870's. A G Westcott was a founding committee member of the Exmoor Pony Society in 1921. The Westcott family ran semi-feral moorland ponies, including Exmoors, across the vast open (and then unfenced) moorland area which stretched from Porlock Hill to Dunkery. By the 1950's, these pony herds were dispersed. Nick's cousin, Malcolm Westcott, later established Herd 4 and his ponies run out on the Dunkery Commons today. We were delighted to be bequeathed 'Herd 11' in 2009 to enable this long-standing tradition of running Exmoor pony herds to continue in the Westcott family with the original family herd number.
(However, the Exmoor Pony Society trustees terminated the memberships of Nick Westcott and Dawn Westcott in 2014 citing the reason that they had required too much of the trustees time to respond to 'complaints'. These complaints included expressing concerns about illegal (excessive) multiple hot branding of non-moorbred foals, obstructions and delays to registering moorbred foals and high slaughter levels. The trustees did not allow Nick and Dawn a right of reply or declare conflicts of interest before voting (all are fellow showing competitors and/or fellow breeders of Exmoor ponies). The EPS trustees refuse to discuss the matter until 2019 and in the meantime, Holtball Herd 11 cannot exhibit Exmoor ponies at the breed show. You can draw your own conclusions regarding the various motivations behind this behaviour.
Our founding stallion, Hawkwell Versuvius 'Bear', has sired some beautiful, quality Exmoor ponies and is able to put his impressive stamp of strong bone, excellent conformation and movement and stunning good looks on his progeny. He has excelled in the show ring, standing Overall Supreme In Hand Champion of the Exmoor Pony Society Breed Show in 2006 (also Supreme of Show) and 2010. He stood Overall Reserve Supreme Champion of the NPS/Kilmannan Stud M&M In Hand Silver Medal Championship Final in 2011, winning a gold medal rosette. Bear has many other championships to his name including standing Champion Exmoor at Royal Bath & West, Devon County and Royal Cornwall shows. In 2011 and 2012, Bear twice stood International Horse Agility World Champion, after competing in the year-long worldwide leagues. His compelling story is told in Wild Stallion Whispering .
His son, the lovely Cheritonridge Mont de Brouilly, sired three beautiful fillies before he was gelded in 2014. Two of them remain in Holtball Herd 11 - Holtball Princess Khaleesiand Holtball Princess Cristal.
In 2015, Bear sired a stunning filly, Holtball Black Bess, out of the Herd 23 mare, Anstey Princess, who is one of the very few remaining daughters of the legendary Herd 23 moorland stallion, The Highwayman. He tragically remained unregistered after early DNA testing failed to identify his parents, although he passed his stallion inspection with flying colours. In 2015, Bear ran with a small number of carefully selected herd of semi-feral Farleywater H67 mares at Farleywater Farm. In 2016 his first moorbred foals were born on Buscombe. Farleywater Tanana and Kenai. Colt foal Farleywater Sitka has joined us here at Holt Ball. In 2016 Bear also sired two lovely colt foals, Holtball Pierre Parfait, out of Hawkwell Penelope Pitstop (by Ebony) and Holtball Kilimanjaro out of Hawkwell Smarty Pants.
Holtball Kick 'em Jenny, Cheritonridge Mont de Brouilly, Holtball Baluran, Holtball Karisimbi and Holtball Prince Kailash also run in the herd.
From time to time, Holtball Herd 11 youngstock and ponies may be available for sale or loan to the right homes. Please contact us to discuss and email in the first instance to DawnWestcott@hotmail.com or telephone 00 44 (0)1643 862466.