Harry Sleigh Wells Shetland Pony Stud Scotland

H. P. Sleigh at St. John’s

The home of the Wells’ Shetland Pony stud is St. John’s Wells, a farm on a hill above the River Ythan, near the historic village of Fyvie in Aberdeenshire. St. John’s, along with our other farms, is a mixed farm with commercial sheep and cattle, wheat and barley – and the ponies. The farms are owned by the Sleigh family and run by John Sleigh. The Wells’ Shetland ponies are brought out and shown by Harry and Stewart Sleigh.

Wells Shetland Pony Scottish Show

Wells Reliance 2019 Highland Show

The Wells’ stud is based on the original Shetland pony, bred to be strong enough to work all day on the crofts in Shetland. Shetlands are classed as heavy horses and should have a conformation similar to that of the Clydesdale and the Highland. The Wells’ ponies are bred to be strong, with a deep, wide chest, a broad back, good bones, strong in the shoulders and hindquarters, head held high, with ears pricked, eyes bright, and bushy mane and tail, and with a good movement. The Wells’ ponies are predominantly black.

Wells Shetland Pony Scottish Show

Wells McCoy 2016 Highland Show

We believe in selecting the best characteristics of each line and have, over the generations, used judicious line-breeding to enhance these. Our main breeding lines have been V (from Wells Vasha), P (from Harviestoun Promise and her daughter Wells Puzzle), and E (from Wells Elaine). On here you can see some of our current mares. Our focus is on developing a consistent type which is true to Wells’ breeding, whilst also reflecting what the buyer of today is looking for, perhaps more refined in bone and body, but keeping to the traditional conformation; with an emphasis on movement to fit the performance market; and bearing in mind that some people want ponies for driving or as the first pony for their children to ride. The quality of a good Shetland will show through even when it is wet and scruffy – more than one pony in the history of the Wells’ stud has been spotted and bought when its best points were camouflaged!