UKAMHS Grand Supreme - 211 Judith Moore L- D Rebel Chasin Renegade

Tue, Jan 17 2012 07:00
Just sending out this photograph to Judith Moore of her stunning champion miniature horse L- D Rebel Chasin Renegade


Displaying all the characteristics and poise of a Champion the studio lights present no worries for this 'Rebel'


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Iranian Miniature Video

Tue, Oct 4 2011 07:54

Following on from my post on the Iranian / Caspian Miniature Horse I have discovered this video
Whilst I do not understand a word being spoken it is fascinating to see the same practices and playful nature of a horse in places never seen.

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Iranian Miniature Horse

Thu, Sep 22 2011 06:10
The more I enter the horse world the more that I discover a series of very different communities within it. Having been introduced to miniature horses , and particulary American Mainiature Horses, the small horse world has become something of a fascination. This article below is fascinating and comes from a world few of us know.

Iranian miniature horse
Published on 13 August 2011 in Tourism
By: Caren Firouz (author), Leyla Firouz (photographer)

On the northern slopes of theAlborzMountainsinIran, the Caspian Miniature horse native to the southern littoral of theCaspian Seais among the most endangered species in the world. It has a place on the Critically Endangered List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature with less than 900 purebreds worldwide. Most of the Caspians were bred outside ofIranby breeders who started out with fewer than 50 horses imported fromIran. As their population outside Iran increases; inside Iran it decreases because breeders of Caspians are unable to sell at a price to cover costs and exports are banned.

Caspians are called ponies due to their size of 10-12.2 hands (101 to 124 cm) which fits the size category of a pony, but they are actually a miniature horse with a nicely conformed body similar to that of the Oriental horse. Without a scale to compare the size one would think it is a full size horse. These pony size horses are known to be bright, alert, and adaptable due to their intelligent, but gentle temperament. Their agile movement is naturally inherited from their mountainous origins making them excellent jumpers and sport horses.

The Caspian horses were first discovered by Louise Firouz, an American woman married to an Iranian, who was looking for horses for her children to ride. The first Caspian to be exported from Iran went to Virginia in the United States, but their population began to increase when Firouz started a breeding program at the family farm Norouzabad southwest of Tehran. She gave two of her Caspians to Britain’s Prince Phillip while he was on a trip to Iran because it was thought to be dangerous for a breed so rare to live in one place fearing that a fast spreading disease could render the breed extinct. During the 1970s Firouz got government permission to export about 35 ponies toBritainwith which the International Caspian Society was founded. Since then special permission was granted once to export seven more Caspian horses.

The Caspian horse is considered a national treasure by the Iranian Government so in order to preserve the breed their export has been banned. They are not popular with Iranian equestrian enthusiasts so there is a limited market locally. Breeders are in a difficult position producing horses without an outlet for sale and generation of income to cover costs and have slowly gone bankrupt or given up hope. In order for the Caspian horses to be considered pure they must be produced by two pure breds and be registered with the International Caspian Stud book which is based in Britain, but no registration is done in Iran on behalf of the International Stub Book, so Caspians born in Iran have not been registered.

Louise Firouz collected close to 160 horses out of the mountains of northern Iran to provide the foundation stock of the four herds which she managed during her lifetime. The original Caspians found in the mid sixties, were considered so valuable that in 1975 they were nationalized and managed by the Royal Horse Society at the Royal Stables in Farahabad. During the 1979 Islamic Revolution these Caspian horses perished.

In 1989 Firouz collected a new set of foundation stock from horses that had been used in the frontlines of the war with Iraq. These horses were in terrible condition and terrified from their war experience. Thirty some ponies were identified as potential pure Caspians, roped by soldiers, separated from the rest of the herd at the military stable in Varamin and prepared for transport to Kordan where Firouz started her Persicus stud farm. After six years of selective breeding in Kordan, Firouz once again had a quality herd of about 50 horses. However in 1995 the inability to export them and prohibitive costs compelled her to sell the herd to the Ministry of Jihad in the hope that they would export a limited number of horses to increase the gene pool of this precious breed outsideIran. The herd is still maintained by the Ministry of Jihad outsideTehranin Khojir, but none have ever been exported.

Two foreign Caspian enthusiasts with the help of Firouz built up herds of their own inside Iran in hopes of exporting second generation colts and fillies, but the export licenses were never granted and due to surmounting costs these herds were broken up and sold to stables around Iran. The German and Canadian enthusiasts thereafter lost all interest in the Caspian horse.

There are studies currently being carried out to determine the validity of claims that the Caspian is an ancestor of all modern hot-blooded breeds, including the Arabian, itself considered to be one of the oldest breeds. In order to ensure the survival of this dying breed it is essential that new blood reaches the existing breeding operations outside Iran through export thereby encouraging and giving a financial lifeline to Iranian breeders.
The print version of this article is available with the exclusive photos in the summer issue of Persia.

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It is amazing to think that politics can play such a decisive role in the future of the Iranian Miniature Horse. Unfortunately we live in a world where the progressive and preservative actions of our society are not shared by all. It seems that there are some breeding programmes operating and I have found this link which offers further information about a Wiltshire based stud.

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UKAMHS Grantham

Tue, Sep 20 2011 10:08
Photographing at the UKAMHS at Arena UK in Grantham at the weekend was an experience my knees will remember for a long time. Many thanks to Sarah-Jane Slater who organised the show for inviting me down. With the respected judge Mr Cédric Dubroecq in attendance the level of competition on show was fierce. The results from the show can be found on the website


Sarah-Jane can't resist a run around the ring


Cédric Dubroecq concentrated

This photograph is of the set up we had at Arena UK. The horses were able to come and get a photo or two whilst they were breaking from showing.
Here we have a photograph of Lynn McDowell of Pampered Pony's with the winner of the Weanling Class. Lynn has introduced her range of coats, rugs and snugs for miniature horses to the UK market and with there growing popularity will be taking Europe by storm soon.
Here is the overall Supreme Champion Jones Royally Krazy in Love, shown by Miss Lucy Lee.

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Dandy Farm Miniatures

Mon, Sep 19 2011 09:46
Meeting Spellbound at the Prestbury Riding Club Show at Dean Valley introduced me to a new world of horses. Being invited down to Dandy Farm the rural Cheshire village of Prestbury to photograph Sarah-Jane and her miniature horse herd was a privilege and experience ill always remember.
My work is based around photographing horses in a 'natural' way. Let us take the horse and let them play is my ethos. Photographing the Miniature horses of Dandy Farm was a little bit different and somewhat challenging. Sarah-Jane Slater is fast becoming a success at breeding and showing American Miniature Horses and her demands for perfection are clear to see with the knowledge and spirit she displays. The photographs I was being asked to take not only needed to display the tremendous physical attributes of a miniature horse but also the soft and gentle nature. Spellbound is a stallion yet his behaviour under the hot lights on a foreign background was exemplary.



I am starting to learn a little about miniature horses now. These are high level horses which carry a lot of prestige. Spellbound is a champion and his breeding is sought after due to the tremendous attributes and nature he shows.

The following is taken from

is a National Top Four in Single Pleasure Driving and a National Multiple Top Ten in Halter. He has a fabulous single pleasure movement which is passed on to his foals, Long Neck Small arabian Head together with a captivating presence. Spellbound is himself a producer of Champions and HOYS qualifiers.
Spellbound is overflowing with National winning blood. His pedigree reads like a Who's Who of the American Miniature Horse Industry.
Spellbounds Sire the world Famous L&D Scout
is a Reserve National Champion Get Of Sire. L&D Scout has produced 2 National Grand Champions, 2 Reserve National Grand Champions, numerous National Champions and countless National Top Tens. L&D Scouts bloodlines are extremely coveted by many top American Miniature studs and upon his sires death, Spellbound sold within the USA for $25.000
Taking Spellbound out of the studio and into the fields of Dandy Farm I was able to see him at play. The long grass and fences create a surreal environment to watch as I sit on the floor for the best perspective. The soft gentle demeanour of Spellbound in the studio changes with a squeal as he enjoys the freedom of the field with a mouthful of grass.



As well as Spellbound Sarah-Jane has other stunning American Miniature Horses. Here is Prissy posing in the studio and Wild Child displaying beautiful form in the fields.

If you want to find out more about the Dandy Farm Miniature Horses have a look on the website
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