The History of Highland Ponies in Australia
The first currently known, recorded Highland to come to Australia was the stallion Hyskeer from the stud of the late J.H. Munro Mackenzie of Calgary. He was purchased in November 1912 by Mr D.E. Grant of Moonyoonooka and arrived in Western Australian, from Scotland, in March 1913. Hyskeer was a full brother to Skerryvore and a Hyskeer colt, from Scotland, sold at a large sum to go to America. Unfortunately there has been no record of any progeny in Australia although there are bound to be descendants around.
It wasn't until 1961 that further importations took place with the stallion Glenearn Brigadier (Pictured below) and the mare Penny Parthing arrived in Victoria for the Barrymoor Stud. This combination produced the well known and influential stallion Barrymoor Grand Final.
In the late 1970s, three mares were imported for the Taranganba Stud in Queensland, Debbiedene (Pictured below), Druid of Croila, Gypsy Melody of Turin Hill and the stallion, Trooper Macpherson of Croila. Debbiedene was imported in foal to Glenaylmer, which resulted in the filly foal Taranganba Dinah, Debbiedene later went on to produce another 2 fillies. Druid of Croila produced 5 foals, 4 fillies and 1 colt which was gelded. Gipsy Melody was the most prolific breeder and is seen in most of the Highland pedigrees of todays ponies. She produced 8 colts, 3 of which have been kept as stallions and 4 females which have all gone on to breed.
In more recent times, the stallion Maverickdene (Kieran of Dalbrack x Jenniferdene) was imported to Australia by Myra & Jim Currie of Currie Park Stud in Pinjarra Western Australia in 2001.
Most recently, Scott McGregor imported 10 Highland ponies to Australia in 2006. Amongst these ponies included the stallion Fyfedene (Falcon Frost of Sauchriex Salinadene) and young colt Fourmerk Royal Scott.
And then the very recent importations of Gillean Of Liosmor by Sue Jarman of Rosemarkie Stud, NSW in 2018. Gillean Of Liosmor not only brings over some new blood to the Australian Highland Pony population but also the silver dilution colour gene not yet seen before in the Highland Ponies of Australia. And Finnglenny of Hillcrest from New Zealand, imported by Pamtab Park Highland Ponies, VIC in 2019.
Currently in Australia there is (as of May 2020) 103 living purebred mares, with 81 of them within breeding age (breeding age being classified as 3 - 20). 24 living purebred stallions of which 2 are now retired plus 4 purebred colts, with the potential of being grown out as possible stallions and 95 alive purebred full geldings that can all trace their entire family trees, wholly back to Scottish imported Highland Ponies.
There is also 8 mares, 1 colt and 12 geldings that are descendants of Ballinton Islay Sky a HPS UK appendix section B mare, that can also trace their enitre family tree back to Scottish imported Highland Ponies. 5 of these mares and 2 of the geldings have achieved purebred status through the Australian Highland Breed Up Program (making it the same as if they were still progressing through the HPS UK studbook appendix program)
Census data collect and provided to the HPA by Amy Young of Beinn Kaldy Highland Ponies.
The highland Pony is a rare breed and is listed as VULNERABLE by Rare Breeds Survival Trust. (This means there is only between 500-900 registered breeding females) www.rbst.org.uk
The highland Pony is a rare breed and is listed as ENDANGERED by Rare Breeds Trust of Australia. (This means there is only 150 or less purebred mares of breeding age within Australia and 15 or less annual registrations) http://rarebreedstrust.com.au
There are not a great number of Highland Ponies within Australia compared with some of the other pony breeds but those involved with the Highland Pony are dedicated to their continued promotion.
The breeders and owners of highland ponies in Australia are committed to growing the breed in Australia in accordance with the Breed Standards