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Studbook Office: The Last House, Keysoe Row West, Keysoe, Bedfordshire MK44 2JJ

Tel: 07703 566066    Email: 

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A Tribute to Tibby - Raising an Orphan Foal


A report by SPSS member, Jane Hoskin

Loosing our lovely mare “De Primadonna” (Donna) with a two month old filly foal at foot in June 2010 was absolutely devastating.  Donna had superb dressage breeding being by the Hanoverian World Breeding Champion and consistent sire of successful dressage horses, Dimaggio, and out of Lee Pearson's World Para Team and Individual Gold medal winning Hanoverian mare Donnerkind (by Donnerhall).


Donna was a wonderful mother to her first foal “De Primadiva” (Bolly) who was luckily very forward for her age and already eating small quantities of hard food and hay. Bolly is by Bernwode Brokat, a well known Sports Pony sire and we hope that she will make a dressage/ sports pony. Finding a surrogate mother was not really an option and by the end of first day "Forlan Tribute" (Tibby) had moved into the next door stable and taken over the role as Nanny.

Donna and Bolly (age 5 weeks)

Tibby and Bolly happy in the field in July 2010

Thirty-one year old Tibby was a very successful leading rein pony but had been happily retired for several years.  After Donna's death. Tibby stood for hours and watched Bolly giving her reassurance and soon she was eating her feed and hay with relish.  We did try bottle feeding but she would have none of it but we managed to mix milk with her feed into a sloppy meal, gradually introducing Baileys milk pellets, and split into 8 feeds a day. 


To start with, we gave Bolly 2 or 3 short outings in the field while keeping Tibby on the lead, but it was quite obvious he was not going to hurt her as he ignored her high jinks and just got on with eating grass, so after a week they were out together quite happily. The only thing Tibby couldn't manage was feeding her!

We had entered Bolly for the BEF Futurity at The Grange, but as she had just lost her mum, they kindly moved the entry to Tall Trees at the end of August. I had very mixed feelings as to whether she should go, but Tibby was allowed to accompany her so we thought it would be good for her education. Bolly was growing well and looked very fit unlike some orphans who do not get much exercise and become humanised.  Bolly travelled well and had a thoroughly good time and we were delighted that she was was awarded a first premium and scored 9 for her temperament and attitude. Tibby also enjoyed it  - when he had a bath the day before he was wondering what was up!


Tibby has done a great job - Bolly knows she is a pony! As she got bigger and livelier he  has occasionally had to reprimand her as her mother would have done. When Tibby was extremely fascinated with Bolly just after she was born, I said “Tibby thinks he is her Dad”.  Little did I know then how things would turn out!


Jane Hoskin

Bolly and Tibby show off at the 2010 Futurity

Photo by kind permission of


The Sports Pony Studbook Society

Studbook Office:   The Last House, Keysoe Row West, Keysoe, Bedfordshire MK44 2JJ

Tel: 07703 566066    Email: 

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