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History of Kelly Acres

    For as long as he could remember J. Boyd Wilson wanted a pony. However, growing up on a large farm in 1919 Saskatchewan, ponies were considered impractical and so he went without. Fortunately, he always had access to top quality Clydesdales as well as good riding horses. As he grew older, Boyd was involved with the local 4-H clubs and was disappointed by the quality of ponies and horses the members were riding. He was also good friends with several pony chuckwagon drivers (precursors to modern combined drivers!) who were always on the lookout for fast, quality teams.
    In 1966, Jock Blacklock (Maybelle Farms) held a dispersal of his imported Welsh herd. Always up for a good auction and still looking for good ponies, Boyd went to the sale with a chuckwagon friend, Jim Britton. Jock had imported some excellent Section A Welsh over the years, including Bowdler Butler, Cui Mona, Dyrin Grace, and Dyrin Coco. At the end of the sale, Boyd and Jim were partners with a small herd of ponies! Since Jim was primarily interested in the geldings for his chuckwagons, Boyd got most of the mares. Bowdler Butler was the herdsire and he was also trained to ride and drive. Butler was often driven with one of his mares and was also a very polite riding pony for children. The offspring of Bowdler Butler were used mostly as performance ponies, excelling in both riding and driving. They had very trainable temperaments and loved to please.
    At this time, Boyd hadn't yet married, but he did have several horse-crazy nieces, nephews, and neighbors. He named his herd of ponies Kelly Acres after his oldest niece. Jim's herd was known as Britton’s Acres. Kelly Acres ponies were bred for performance and beauty, and Boyd ended up with a very special (and large) herd.

Boyd Wilson & Bowdler Butler

    In 1972, Boyd married Nita Selsey. She was a 4-H member and leader over the years as well as Saskatchewan's Provincial Appaloosa Queen. They soon had two daughters, Alana and Kara, who grew up riding and driving the Welsh. Throughout the 1970's and 80's Nita and the girls showed extensively all over western Canada, competing in open as well as breed shows. Due to the unbelievable success they had with their ponies, there are now rules that prohibit ponies showing against horses at many shows. This is in place to "protect" the horse breeders from being beaten by ponies! Some of the ponies shown were Britton Acre's Bonnie, Norella Mona, Doe Run's Severenth Son, Kelly Acres Domino, Kelly Acres Twinkle and Kelly Acres Amy. They were busy training, breeding, and selling ponies to clients as well. They also ran a 4-H club (later a Pony Club), taught lessons, and took guests out on trail rides on their picturesque farm.
In 1981 Bowdler Butler passed on to greener pastures and a new herdsire was sought. A temporary herdsire, Doe Run's Severenth Son (from Bowdler bloodlines) was bought. He had a fabulous temperament but was not as athletic as what was required. In 1982, with much trust and some trepidation, Bowdler Billie Boy was imported from the UK, sight unseen. He was the perfect choice to cross on Bowdler Butler's offspring.
    Around the same time, Alana was beginning to outgrow the Section A's - she pulled a jump down with her feet at a major show - and it was time to look for something bigger. In 1984, while on a wagon trek in British Columbia, the family stopped for lunch at the Brynarian farm, owned by Mr. Tom Davies. It was here that they saw their first Welsh Cobs. Tom had recently imported Llanarth Maldwyn AP Braint (sired by Llanarth Braint), Llanarth Malen (sired by Tyhen Comet), Llanarth Lady Valerie and Llanarth Dilys. They also saw their first Welsh Cob/Thoroughbred cross, and Alana decided right there that was what she wanted. However, the horse she wanted wasn't for sale, so they bought a Section D mare, Brynarian Nia, and a Section D stallion, Brynarian Eiddwen Comet, and decided to breed their own partbreds as well as purebreds. Alana competed locally on Nia in Hunter/Jumper and Dressage before turning her to the broodmare band. In 1987, she started MI Sport Ponies and Horses.
    Brynarian Eiddwen Comet's career was just starting, both as a herdsire and a performance horse. Nita was just getting interested in Combined Driving and Comet was her pick for a prospect. They progressed to the highlight of their driving career, top placing Canadian Advanced Single Driving horse (reserve overall) at the Can Am Driving Trials (Ontario, Canada) in 1991. Since 1991, Comet had been shown in Dressage, Hunter, Jumper, Show Hack, Road Hack, Western Pleasure, Western Riding, Reining, Trail, Pleasure Driving, Combined Driving, Cones, Obstacle Driving, and Driven Dressage. He had been a demonstration horse at Spruce Meadows in Hunter, Hack, Pleasure and Combined Driving; and at the Western Canadian Dressage Championships as a sidesaddle mount. He has been High Point/Most Versatile Welsh for four years running at the WPCSS All Breed Pony Show. He or his get placed first, second, or third in EVERY class entered at the WPCSS All Breed Pony Show in 1998. His offspring are winning in all disciplines throughout North America. He was truly an ambassador to the Welsh breed.
    In 1989 Alana moved to Vancouver to train with Henk and Lori Glijn, both international dressage coaches/trainers. She rode and trained many top sport and warmblood horses and found that, while talented, there were very few that were also as smart and sound as the Welsh she grew up with. In 1991 she moved back to Saskatchewan and, has been specializing in breeding top quality performance ponies and horses (both purebred and partbred) using the Welsh as a base. In 2017, Crystal Beach Adventures became a reality. Steve, Alana and Garret are creating a beautiful space for riding lessons, Equine Assisted Learning and Personal Development, as well as various healing modalities.
    In 2000, Kara founded her herd under the name "Domino Acres". She is specializing in coloured partbreds for the beginner rider.
Since 1966, the ponies and horses produced by the three combined breeding programs - Kelly Acres, MI, and Domino - have sold all over North America as well as Japan. They are competing in all disciplines and are making their new owners very happy. We currently have approximately 20 broodmares, 4 stallions standing at stud, and approximately 60-80 ponies and horses total. By raising Section A, C, D and partbreds, the three farms are hoping to be able to produce a pony or horse of every size for all disciplines. By keeping the integrity of the Welsh breed and using it as a base for the partbred program, it is proven that the Welsh really is the best ride/drive animal in the world.

We are very proud and grateful that we have had the opportunity to continue this legacy.