As previously mentioned in the blog posts, I am suffering from the Shetland Pony Effect to the extent that my first holiday since 2010 was to the Shetland Isles, my pony Diva’s ancestral home.
The catalyst for this decision was that the Shetland Pony Stud-Book Society was holding its annual breed show on the island for the first time in ten years. Whilst attending the show was obviously a big draw, my sister and I planned to explore the island too.
We decided not to take our ponies as we faced an eight-hour road journey to Aberdeen and then a twelve-hour ferry crossing to Shetland. NorthLink Ferries, who were sponsoring the breed show, generously gave out a discount code for the trip so we opted for a cabin with a window to ensure we had a comfortable crossing.
Thankfully the crossing was fairly calm and we arrived in Lerwick, Shetland’s capital, at 7am before making the final part of the journey to the town of Scalloway approximately five miles away. We’d chosen a self-catering chalet for the greater independence and space it provided, and we chose well. Perched on the hill above the town, the view was amazing. On the way there we had our first sighting of Shetland ponies on Shetland!
We visited several studs whilst there, Merkisayre, Robin’s Brae—who had a standard dun/buckskin and white colt I would have happily kidnapped back to the mainland if I had had the chance—Grutness & Laaward, and Bigton. All gave a lovely welcome and showed us some wonderful ponies in truly beautiful settings.
We also got to see puffins at Sumburgh Head at the very southern end of the main island. What wonderful little birds they are and I could have spent hours watching them flying, waddling about and going into their burrows.
My next blog will cover the breed show itself, which was held on the hottest Shetland day in ten years.