Driving down to Exeter I passed where the Avon & Borders WPCA held a show many years ago AND Forlan Sugar was Champion, judge Rosemary Phillipson Stowe. I don’t think that many people knew that at one time I owned four mares by Madog, when I started showing inhand, it was difficult to get close in the line up with the Coed Coch ponies nearly always winning the top prizes so if you can’t beat them join them, so our quest for Madog mares began in the early 70s, we saw a beautiful mare called Littleworth Sunset at Fayre Oakes, she did not sell but 2 months later she was ours having bought her from the Bengad Stud, her dam was Cilrhedyn Nancy, she was the only Madog mare of the four that clicked with Revel Torc, she did not have a good beginning in her first few months at Forlan, we had a horrendous tornado sweep up through the box valley over our farm towards Grittleton and further, the noise was horrific and the ponies were screaming in terror, trees were uprooted, holes so deep that car could have been lost in them and we found Sunset in the woods, she seemed okay, a little lame but slowly we made our way to the stables and settled her for the night, to our horror next morning we found her with her near hind leg hanging, a vet arrived and said she had a serious break and it was best to put her to sleep, I said I wanted another opinion and the next vet said it was 50-50 but he would plaster her and she would have to have most of her weight taken of her legs with a sling, she was a good patient and about few weeks later he had to change her plaster he said that if she so much as flicked her leg as he removed the plaster (with a saw) nothing could be done, well this little mare stood absolutely still as one plaster was removed and another put in place.
Littleworth Sunset was surrounded by four people, the vet using the saw and another vet, Brian & myself, she stood on her three legs as the fourth was held in a firm grip, plaster off, plaster on and she did not move, what a star, during the weeks previous we wondered how her leg was broken just above the fetlock and came to the conclusion that it had been fractured in the woodlands and it was only when she laid down during the night in the stable and the getting up had the leg fully cracked .
Sunset continued to make progress the sling was lowered gradually so that more and more weight was put on her leg. 10 weeks later the plaster came off and she was using her leg. For several weeks she was led out each walk going a longer distance and then she was allowed to walk on her own in a very small paddock, but the day came when we had to let her have her freedom, in a paddock of two acres we released her and our hearts were in our mouths as she took off at a gallop towards the woods, had a little buck and then galloped back to us The vet said that in her later years she would have arthritis in that leg but she did not, she lived until she was 27 years, never sick or sorry, ruled the roost with the other mares a flick of her ears told them to behave, always browsing the hedgerows rather than grazing, I remember the day we walked out onto the hill and she looked at me it was almost to say my time has come, she was PTS on the farm and buried under an oak tree.