Forlan Stud

Breeding for Temperament & Type for all of the family to enjoy

My first few days in Australia

20th November and through customs quickly. I have found it very interesting watching Border Patrol Australia in the UK: visitors try to hoodwink customs, but no problem for me. Great to meet Darryl again; having seen him last when he stayed at Forlan in 2014. We travelled out to Kingsmere and I met Graeme and Shirley, Darryl’s parents. I unloaded my cases Darryl prepared a packed lunch and we drove to his farm at Yea. Darryl had a vet coming to check his cattle for their micro-chips. After lunch we gathered the cattle into the holding pen and after the vets visit I admired the gardens around the yard. We made our way up to the neighbours place who have the most beautiful rose garden and on the way I was introduced to a blue tongued lizard. After my blue tongued lizard encounter there is a little bit of a blur; did we pick cherries that day?

Yarra Valley 2 Yarra valley 1 Yarra Valley Yarra Valley 8
Yarra Valley 5 Yarra Farm Yarra Valley 3

Next day, feeling good, we walked across the road to meet a neighbour enjoying a cup of tea and a chat. They too had stunning gardens with a wonderful view. Later l remember sitting chatting to Shirley at Kingsmere and feeling as though I had fallen off the garden seat; my mind was playing funny tricks. I believe this was my first taste of jet lag. I had to have a lie down and slept for over 2 hours. I was woken for supper which was a good thing as if I had slept through I may not have adjusted to the time difference.

Over the next three days I had a short day time rest (unheard of for me) but finally i adjusted to Australia time.

The gardens at Kingsmere are stunning, not any soil to be seen as every area is covered with plants; especially succulents. The roses were a sight to behold! The garden had little twists and turns, with secret areas and pretty garden seats. I was impressed; so much imagination to create such charm.

I met Charlie the cockatoo who greeted everyone several times a day with “hello cocky” and was so good at imitating the cat that I kept opened the door expecting the cat to walk in. Charlie, also rang a bell when he wanted a peanut. He loved me giving him dandelion flowers as a special treat.

Kingsmere 7 Kingsmere 4 Cocky

I met the two welsh ponies a welsh cob and a thoroughbred. The lovely black (A) Glynyarra Trinket (section A) now 25yrs and Manhattan Glen Diamantina a champion welsh cob (19 yrs); both owned and have been shown by Darryl.

24th – We were to visit Tatura Park (about two hour’s journey) where the Victoria All Welsh Show was to be held, Darryl was making final arrangements as Chairman and Ringmaster. To my surprise, and even Darryl’s, we came upon a Koala in the wild. It looked as though it was hitching a lift on the highway. Now this was a very busy road so we pulled up and another car stopped in front of us anxious to because to prevent this endearing little chap being run over. He looked a little intoxicated but I guess he wasn’t… We ushered him to the side of the road. He climbed the bank and struck a pose for us in the tree. ( The eucalypt leaf is very low in viable nutrients and koalas have a slightly lower body temperature and consequently a lower metabolic rate than most other mammals. They reduce the amount of energy expended per day by sleeping 18-20 hours. Their waking hours are used to feed, move and seek out mates during the breeding season. They do not get drunk on eucalypt leaves.)

2016 Koala 2016 Koala 2 2016 Koala 1

We visited a stud of WMP and Cobs produced for dressage and with great success. Did I mention that I was longing for sun! Having had so many warnings not to get burnt, where was the sun? Seemed to be huddled in my jumpers most mornings for it to warm up very quickly, found out later that Melbourne and close surroundings are known to have four seasons in one day.

25th A lovely drive making our way to Echuca and the Murray River.

The Murray river was very low and murky, and the paddle steamer was over 200 years old. I tried to imagine how the ladies with their long skirts managed. Upper class passengers had more comforts than others. (Paddle steamers and paddle boats have been on the Murray River and in the Murray-Darling Basin since 1853 when William Randell launched the first steamer the P.S. Mary Ann near Mannum, South Australia. Today you can choose to see the Murray in various locations with some great boat cruises.

Australia has the largest collection of active paddle steamers and boats in the world, so this is a great way to experience the Murray River and its bygone era. An excellent article online about Paddleboats & Paddle steamers on the Murray River.

The trip was for over an hour, a great experience and a good use of my imagination. Alongside the river was the town with one street given over to how it would have been in 1800 hundreds.

Murrey River 5 Murrey River 4 Murrey River 2
Murrey River 6 Murrey River 9 Murrey River 3
Murrey River 1 Murrey River 8

Returned home and enjoyed a DVD about Yarra Glen Hunt; their celebration of 100 years in 1980. It featured well known families from the UK who had formed this popular hunt.

26th and a day free from travelling other than driving into Lily dale and visiting Op Shops ( Charity Shops to us in the UK). Fascinating in the UK we find racks of woman’s clothes labelled “outsize” but the Op Shops were more subtle with racks labelled “Voluptuous clothes for woman”. Visited the equivalent to a B&Q looking at succulent plants as I was formulating a plan for my garden at home….strange how i kept thinking it was summer at home.

27th My visit to see friends John & Denise Tate�s Alianna Stud who have visited me at Forlan. Lovely ponies that went back to well-known imported stallions. I saw Eppynt Shot. The last time I saw him was when, as President of Glanusk, I made him Supreme Champion. This same year Denise & John purchased him. Enjoyed lunch and so much to catch up on and such enjoyable company.

AliannaMr Darsey

Alianna Mr Darcy. Sire Eppynt Shot Imp

Alianna Stud

Alianna Gee Wiz. 23 yrs. Sire Waxwing Herod

Alianna Stud 2

Eppynt Shot. Imp

Alianna Stud 3

Alianna Ragamuffin Sire Eppynt Shot Imp

Alianna Stud 6

Alianna Grace. Sire Fronbach Tywysog Imp Roan Mare Alianna Jewel. further back in the pedigree of Alianna Grace was Persie Concord Imp.

Alianna Stud 5

Foal Alianna — Sire Alianna Mr Darcy by Eppynt Shot Imp

Alianna Stud 4

Foal Alianna — Sire Alianna Mr Darcy by Eppynt Shot Imp

My flight to Australia

The day had arrived for my flight, leaving home 19th November at 2.30am to arrive at Heathrow at 3.45am. My itinerary included a BA flight to Dusseldorf, then with Cathay Pacific to Melbourne; stopping over in Hong Kong. I was having some doubts about the magnitude of this journey especially as so many people had remarked: what travelling on your own? asked for special assistance (no not a wheelchair) but rather an escort. Very soon in Dusseldorf after leaving Heathrow at 7.15 am. You might say why Dusseldorf but the trip was made £1800 cheaper overall by including a flight to Germany each way. There were just 3 1/2 hours between flights. I was greeted with a glass of champagne as I boarded my Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong at 12.35 pm. I thought “I could get used to this!”.

I arrived in Hong Kong at 6.55am having received the best of service and very well catered for as I am gluten intolerant. I settled down for another wait; time to savour all that was on offer in the business lounge whilst waiting for my special assistance. Departure for Melbourne was at 10.20 am but this is where the only travel blip came in, the flight left without me….. now lots of possible reasons but could not really work out what had gone amiss. My daughter asked if I was worried ( I said it was part of the experience).

Cathay Pacific went into over drive and found a flight for me to leave that evening at 7.30 pm on Quantus; lots of contact with my daughter and Darryl and rearranged that he would be at Melbourne to greet me the following morning at 6.30am. Consequently I had an extended stay of over 12 hours in the business lounge in Hong Kong so now was the time to taste all that was on offer; including free noodles! I took my lead from watching the Chinese business men but could not get the hang of slurping the noodles down whilst holding the bowl close to my mouth and certainly not with chop sticks. On to Quantas, another glass of champagne, excellent service, slippers, pyjamas and overnight toiletries provided and I did manage to sleep for about six hours, finally touchdown in Melbourne on 20th November.

Australia 2015 152

Australia 2015 140


On the 2nd February I was told I had been nominated to judge at The Victoria All Welsh; wow what a trip that would be! Having been nominated for President Elect of WPCS would I be taking on too much? When the official invitation was made I agreed of course! I pondered on extending my stay to a month. My children said I would be mad not to take this opportunity; their words: “go for it Mum”. An extended stay involved some logistical challenges so I asked my trusted friends, who live on the farm, if they would be able to look after the dogs and ponies and they were happy to. So then at the WPCS AGM I had the honour of being elected President Elect. 2015 was shaping up to be a busy and thoroughly exciting year!

How would I travel; economy or business class? I decided business class after selling malingering shares to finance this wonderful opportunity of a once in a lifetime trip. I was grateful for the help of a friend’s son with the booking process. So then it was done…I booked myself to travel on 19th November, returning 19th December; a whole glorious month and Darryl King was the most charming and generous host.

President Elect

President Elect