Mountainair Oline
Caer Wydr Home
bottom of page


an influential Mare

Homestead Flirt

bred by Lou Franks, Little Homestead Farm, NY
owned by the Gilletts, RosMel Welsh Pony Farm

WPCSA National Champion Section B mare, 1979
Bristol's 2002 "lithgow Wishnik Memorial Award"
granddam of our Sable, who so resembles her

my first Welsh pony
Flirt, Lafayette
(The Homesteader x Plum Creeks Minx)
Lafayette, Louisiana, 1982

If you want to read the wordy part where I blather on about how I got Flirt and how she and her daughter ended up where they did, just click here. If not, dear reader, read no more. Now look at the ponies.

Caer Wydr Xanadu

(by *Marsh Silver Cities, a *Daffodil son )

1975 Section B (barely) stallion, bay
Bred by Vanessa Vaile (Caer Wydr)
Caer Wydr  & Dividing Ridge
Pilar's precious & Hunter's  First Pony
WPCSA Gold Cerificate Award

Xanadu, Lafayette
At Caer Wydr, Lafayette, Louisiana, 1988

Xanadu & Hunter
Xanadu & Hunter
Pet Pony Obstacle, GCWPA 2001

Picture above of Xan in his retirement role of perfect first pony. showing what ponies are really about - and how Xan earned his WPCSA Gold Citation.  Used in lessons and for pony parties, Xanadu did not have a "Welsh show career" until partnering with Mary Beth Tarver's grandson Hunter

Sire  of useful, athletic & versatile ponies, including Caer Wydr Niniane, Surprise, Blue Moon, Friday, Solitaire, Caer Wydr Sable, Caer Wydr Salome, Tylwyth Misti, Justan Elf, Friday, Divide's Luck of the Irish (Paddy), Divide's Little Rascal, and others.

     Lousiana Lagniappe LOM

There is not enough space here to do do justice to Lulu's influence  - and through her,  ultimately Flirt's.  Gail has a fine page on Lulu - and more fine pages on individual prodduuceee  -  plus pedigrees, pictures & progeny lists for all   Chances are - when you see a Gayfields B rolling off with all the glory, that pony is one of Lulu's  daughters or g-daughters.  Lulu is in the pedigree of more than twenty ponies featured at Gayfields.

All but one are by *Sleight of Hand, with Be-Bop-a-Lula being by *Pendock Masterpiece.  All carry the Gayfields prefix.  Vindaloo, The Kingfish, Skip To My Lou, and Prom Queen Wannabe contributed to Lulu's Dam Legion of Merit.  One son,  Big Easy (f. 1987, now gelded), is the sire of Rollingwoods' herdsire, Rollingwood's Easy as L, and pigures prominently in a number of hunter and sport pony pedigrees, notably for Cardiff, Summitview, and Rainbow Farms).  The other Lulu son, The Kingfish (gr, 13.1h), herdsire for Bush Farm in Arkansas, was SUPREME CHAMPION at the GOLD RATED 2002 RED RIVER WELSH SHOW.

Cliff & Lulu

Lousiana Lagniappe

(by *Brockwell Spider )
1980  Section B mare, grey, 13.3hh

Bred by Cliff Merchant & Vanessa Vaile
Owned, trained
& shown by Cliff Merchant
HOTY & WPCSA Year end awards
Leased to Gayfields, 8 of 11 foals retained

Caer Wydr Caradoc
(not registered, deceased at 1 week)

(by Lithgow Gay Grenadier )
1983  Section B colt, Bay

a very special colt, one that surely would have been a tremendous asset to Sec. B breeding had he lived. His untimely loss still inflicts sharp pangs whenever recalled. Caradoc had his dam's head, color, and elegance - his sire's eye, shoulder assembly, bone, and size.

Caradoc head
Caradoc, 3 days old

Homestead Flirt at RosMel Welsh Pony Farm

 Flirt has spent most of her breeding life with the Gillett's at RosMel. most of her offspring are registered under their prefix. RosMel has retained 3 daughters by different sires. 

A1996 WPCSA survey noted RosMel as having the largest herd of Sec. B Welsh in the United States. In 1997, RosMel's Omni (Tango son RosMel's Cotillion x Flirt), with Melanie Gillett, were National WPCSA Champion Western Pleasure Adult, Reserve Adult Welsh Hunter, and 3rd for Adult English Pleasure.  Omni was also HOTY in Welsh  Adult Pleasure, repeating the honor in 1998

Photos below are from the RosMel page.  Rosie Gillet has recently sent pictures and more information about Flirt's RosMel production that we will be adding soon. All Flirt's daughters do indeed have her look. 

flirtasous.jpg (11813 bytes)

RosMel's Flirtasous
(by Salvandi Jazzman )
1997 reg. half Welsh mare
championships in hand
Bred & owned by RosMel

RosMel's Hosanna
(by *Rosedale Fairy Prince)
1991 Section B mare, bay
Champion in-hand
Bred & owned by RosMel

pictures of Hosanna's 2004 colt by RosMel's Quadrrille & another of Hosanna

hosanna-rfpexflirt.jpg (13830 bytes)

RosMel's Omni


RosMel's Omni

(by RosMel Cotillion)
1990 Chestnut Section B Gelding, 14.1/4 hh
HOTY & multiple performace & year end awards
Bred, owned and shown by RosMel

Rosmel's Tarantella

(by GlanNant Tango LOM )
1985 14.2 hh bay mare
Bred & owned by RosMel

RosMel's Silver Mercedes with 2004 filly by RosMel's Scarlet Emperor

RosMel's Silver Mercedes

(Rosmel's Black Magic)
Champion in hand
Bred & owned by RosMel

(shown with 2004 filly  by
Rosmel's Sacrlet Emperor)

(more pictures at RosMel's page)

Flirt's granddaughter
Caer Wydr
(bay roan, 13.2)

Caer Wydr Sable

Sable's paternal granddam, Homestead Flirt, was my first Welsh pony, at least in the sense of ownership, just as her son Xanadu was the first Welsh I bred. Although Caer Wydr Bonnie was the first to carry my prefix, she was actually bred by Reggie Cocke and the last Avalon pony.

When I bought Flirt as a weanling - on a hunch (+ pictures & pedigree), following an impulse at the Shreveport 1974 WPSA annual meeting, I had already been working with the Avalon herd for 4 years.  My days started & ended with ponies.  Flirt's breeding as a 2 yo to *Marsh Silver Cities,
a pony stealth op, was a year earlier than planned, at least by me. Tunc et nuncquam. Marsh died the next spring shortly before Xan was foaled.

Flirt's pedigree reads like a "who's who" of domestic B breeding.  Double Farnley Lustre, Lithgow Wisnik, *Cusop Sherif, Plum Creek's Minx (full sister to the then well known Plum Creeks' Midnight). Already immersed in the reading of Welsh pedigrees, I was especially impressed by how much Section A she had in her pedigree and no "bottom line." Here was a mare whose lines could weave many directions. Interestingly, her pedigree is relatively light on GLyndwr. She also has much less Berwyn/Victor than one might expect in a 13.2hh pony bred in that period - and that entirely through granddam Wishnik. For the most part, she is from Bs "bred up from As.  For those who think the only font of Bs lies the Atlantic, I recommend a closer look at Flirt's extended pedigree.

Little did I know at the time just how influential this impulse purchase would come to be in US section B breeding. My role here is small, but I like to think, pivotal. I take pride in Flirt's accomplishments but cannot take credit for much beyond introducing her to the region. Whatever her influence, she remains special to me for being my first pony and for providing us with Xanadu. This part of her story begins with Cliff Merchant, who was to use her as a larger mount for 4-H. Cliff's father, MIke, was keen to promote Welsh in Louisiana 4-H. Also, Cliff was going to need his own larger pony to replace Manchac T-boy for Welsh shows before Cliff's feet started dragging the ground.

Big B prices being what they were, and with large, quality Bs much scarcer then, raising his own was the only way for Cliff to afford the quality pony he deserved. The fabulous Lulu is truly a backyard pony, born, raised, and trained in the Merchant's Baton Rouge back yard. As co-owner & co-breeder, I had approval of the stallion but already knew Mike's direction. He was keen to breed to *Brockwell Spider, the then new herdsire at Gayfields. Cliff worked off the stud fee starting ponies under saddle for Gafields. In exchange for Flirt (none of this being a money arrangement), the Merchants would show Flirt in-hand at Welsh shows where Cliff was showing T-Boy.  Flirt went WPSA National High Score Section B mare - with only limited showing - but, not to put too fine a point on it, turned out a somewhat less than satisfactory riding pony.  Fortunately (and then some), she more than made up by producing Louisiana Lagniappe. In Louisiana French, "lagniappe" means "something extra."

The rest, as they say, is history. Cliff & Lulu made a great team, winning Championships, WPSA Year end awards, and HOTYs.  A number of years later, Cliff no longer a junior rider and off to college, Gail (then Morris) leased Lulu and acquired Lulu's filly by *Pendock Masterpiece.  Rather than re-invent the wheel, I'll send you the reader to Gayfield's comprehensive page on Lulu & her family.

After Flirt returned home, I used her some in lessons as she was fine with loose rein walk trot work in a small ring
, and Pilar rode her. I had high hopes for what she and Grenadier would produce. Caradoc was indeed all I had hoped for but died less than a week after foaling. When I lost my pasture lease at the worst time possible (as is usually the case), herd reduction became pressing (as it will). Since Flirt was the most sellable pony in my band, I reluctantly came to the conclusion that I had no choice but to part with her and offered her to Barbara Gillett - yet another case of "the rest is history." 

I have to admit that I don't know as much about what Flirt has done as RosMel's (although more than when I started this project). What I do have is listed below. RosMel has retained at least four Flirt daughters, e
ach retained by a different stallion.

If there is a moral (or more) to this long-winded tale, they might be these: never think that you can't make a contribution to the breed just because you do not have a large herd or a lot of resources; hunches can pay off; no can truly predict outcomes; chaos theory applies to pony breeding; small breeders can breed ponies that influence the breed. Lou Franks did. So did Cliff and I.

If I think of more, I will add them.  In the meantime, take another look at Flirt's legacy.

Return to top of page

pages by Vanessa©2004