Richie and Freda Longstaff are the longest serving council members of the Dales Pony Society, Richie having been involved with dales ponies all his life. His late father, John Robert Longstaff, founded the “Lummas” ponies in the late 1930s and they were the mechanism on his outlying Yorkshire dales farm for many years. He was one of the dedicated breeders who kept the breed going through the second world war when they became nearly extinct.
Richie and Freda started breeding “Lowhouses” ponies when they began farming on their own at Newbiggin-in-Teesdale in 1983. Their ponies are all black, section A, and they like the old fashioned type. Ponies are bred from two foundation mares i.e. Lummas Ebony(Lummas Prince/Lummas Pride II) and Raygill Gemma (Heathers Son/Raygill Julie) who was purchased from Robert Wall in 1981.
Lowhouses Ponies have been sold all over the country as well as America and Germany, and have excelled in the show ring inhand, at dressage, both at HOYS and Olympia, and also at driving, showing just how versatile the ‘Lowhouses’ breed is.
Last year Richie & Freda semi-retired from their main farm and now have a smallholding at Mickleton in Teesdale where they keep their ponies and a small flock of sheep, and are always willing to show interested parties their stock. In September, 2013, the Dales Young Committee paid a visit.