Stevenson Family 
Show Stables

Subtitle

Tribute to a True Lady- Jill Margaret Grant (11th July '41-11th July '10)

Christinne, Robert, Brooke and Jill at Sydney Royal 2010.

 

By Brooke Stevenson

(As seen in Horse Scene magazine.)

On the evening of Sunday 11th July, 2010 heaven gained one of the world’s most beautiful angels, Jill Margaret Grant. No doubt one of the most influential and inspirational horsewomen in Australia, Jill is known as a very rare True Lady.

Jill’s involvement with horses originated from a long line of horsemen and horsewomen; horses were well and truly set in her blood. Born in Gloucester, Jill was carried on horseback by her father, Hilton Haydon, at the age of six weeks as the family made the long return journey, to their property “Monkeycott” at the foothills of the Great Dividing Range. Jill learnt to ride at a very early age (due to the fact that the family property could only be navigated by horseback) and was cantering by herself at the age of three. It was not long before the “show bug” caught on, and Jill began her long and successful show career at six years old. So many were her wins, that it would take a whole book to write them all!

Jill and her family had many successful show horses and competed each year at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. From the ages of twelve to sixteen, Jill won Champion Junior Girl Rider under seventeen years, an amazing feat. Perhaps her most successful show record is her partnership with Bambalina, her Welsh cross Thoroughbred mare. Together they achieved Champion Galloway Hack at Sydney Royal in 1962, 1963, 1965 and Reserve Champion in 1964. In addition, Jill and Bambalina won twenty-three blue ribbons over the course of six years, a record that remains undefeated. This successful galloway was to become the foundation mare for Jill’s future pony stud, and descendants can be found in the show team to this day. A trophy in Bambalina’s memory is presented by Jill each year at Sydney Royal for Champion Led Galloway.

Bamborough Pony Stud was established in 1969, the emphasis on being able to produce Royal Show quality ponies with movement and cool, placid temperaments. In 1986, Jill married Robert Grant and they combined their great knowledge of pony breeding to further expand the vision for the stud. In particular, Bamborough breeds Welsh Mountain Ponies, Welsh Ponies, Part Welsh Ponies, Australian Ponies (pure and part bred), Riding Ponies and Australian Saddle Ponies. (And more recently, successful Hunter Ponies.)

The Australian section of the stud began with the mare Lochinch Comobella, by the great saddle pony sire Croppa Dandy. She proved an invaluable broodmare with a legacy of descendents winning at Royal level today. In 1993, Jill and Robert’s interest in Welsh ponies intensified during a visit to the UK. While at the Royal Show, a colt foal was noticed on the winning mare Boston Bodecia, and Boston Bittermint (imp) (by Vardell Right Royal) was duly purchased. Jill and Robert proved they both have a good eye for a horse, as Bittermint has established himself many times with his progeny, being the sire of extremely successful ridden galloways and ponies (including Bamborough Mannequin).

With their love of the Welsh pony firmly established, Jill and Robert imported Eyarth Tigra (Carwed Charmer X Eyarth Arabella) on their trip to Eyarth Stud in Wales. He arrived in Australia in 2001, and has more than proven himself by siring some of the country’s most typey and successful stallions; B. Paramount, B. Academy, B. Ambassador, B. Oscar and B. Othello.

Some of the most successful Bamborough ponies include B. Mannequin, B. September Song, B. Lady Luck, B. Sierra, B. Country Charm, B. Special Girl, B. Paramount, B. Royal Request, B. Lady Joslyn, B. Bosun, B. Peep’n’Seek, B. Candace, B. Razzle Dazzle and B. Ripples. This is only a taste; there are many more!

Jill’s passion for breeding, showing ponies and her abundant successes in the show ring are a testament to her vast knowledge and amazing eye for a quality pony or horse. Jill was involved in every facet of the pony world. Even as late as January this year Jill was seen running her beloved ponies out in the blistering heat at the 2010 Victorian All Welsh Show. Her show success resulted in Bamborough Pony Stud being awarded the Most Successful Exhibitor, an award they have won numerous times.

Jill also got immense joy out of watching other people enjoy the Bamborough ponies, either through showing for her, purchasing a Bamborough pony or simply by admiring from afar. She was always quick to congratulate others on their success and was happy to share her knowledge. Her broad smile, good humour and generosity ensured that she had a huge impact on everyone around her. Jill loved a great joke and was forever telling and receiving some great ones with friends; even her fridge was packed to the brim with hilarious magnets. Jill was also known as caterer extraordinaire! Every show she would have abundant food supplies, and in the evenings the Bamborough truck was the place to party!

Jill was also a fantastic organiser; everything had a “post-it note” and her calendar was always full of things to do. She was actively involved with the APSB, Welsh, Australian Saddle Pony and Riding Pony societies, and sponsorship for many shows. Jill was always on the go, filling up her week with trips to Brisbane or Sydney for meetings, a few shows, lunch with friends and spending time with her grand children. Even if we all strived to fit half as much into our lives as Jill did, our lives would definitely be richer.

One major aspect that needs to be mentioned is the partnership of Jill and Robert. They did absolutely everything together; from travelling overseas annually on their trips to places such as the UK, US, Europe, Africa and across Australia (just to mention a few!), to travelling into town for lunch. Most of all, they loved showing their ponies together. Their love for each other could be seen every time they were together; most people would call this a “match made in heaven”.

So great is Jill’s influence that even people within the horse community who never met Jill, speak highly of her and have somehow been touched by her. Of course, those of us who are so lucky to have been so close to her feel truly blessed to have been involved in this amazing woman’s life. Jill will be forever remembered as extremely loving of her family, closest friends, dogs and of course, the ponies. She was also very close to her three children, Angus, Scott and Kylie.

One of the most truly amazing aspects about Jill was her huge generosity towards others, something that is very rare these days. Those close to her know just how generous she was; she never forgot a birthday, was forever buying gifts and always offered a hand to friends who were in need. A True Lady, she often put others before herself.

Through her treatment this year, Jill remained positive, determined and bubbly. She was the same Jilly we knew and loved. Many people were glad to see her present the Bambalina Trophy for Champion Led Galloway and also the trophy for Champion Ridden Australian Saddle Pony at this year’s Sydney Royal.

On July 16th 2010, the horse community in Australia (and parts of the UK) united in wearing a Pink Flower in remembrance of our beautiful lady. Jill loved to dress up in stunning, colourful clothes, quite often in the colour pink.

Forever in our hearts and never forgotten, we know you’re always there looking over us, riding Bambalina in the sky.

Horsewoman, mother, wife, best friend, angel. We miss you Jilly. Xxx

 

 

 

Pink Flower Day- Friday16th July, 2010

On the evening of Sunday 11th July 12, 2010 heaven gained one of the  

world’s most beautiful angels, Jill Margaret Grant. No doubt one of the most influential and inspirational horsewomen in Australia, Jill is known as a very rare True Lady. She had an eye for a horse and bred, with her husband Robert, some of the best Australian, Pure and Part Welsh, Australian Saddle Ponies and most recently Hunter Ponies under one of the best known pony studs in the country, Bamborough. The strongest and most positive woman I have ever known will be forever remembered as very generous and extremely loving of her family, closest friends, dogs and of course the ponies. It is an honor to have been involved in her amazing life.

In remembrance of our beautiful lady, I am asking all horse folk to please wear a Pink Flower on Friday 16th July. Jill loved to dress up in

stunning, colourful clothes, quite often in the colour pink. (It doesn’t matter what kind of flower, just as long as it is pink.) Thank you, this would be much appreciated.

We will miss you Jilly xoxo

 

Photo taken at 2010 Sydney Royal, when Jill was about to present the trophy for Champion Ridden ASP

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