Mrs Gladys Dale - Scole Stud Obituary
Mrs Gladys Dale of Seacliff and Scoughall Farm, East Lothian who passed away on 23rd May aged 91 years was President of the Welsh Pony and Cob Society in 1990. Her Scottish President’s AGM Party and that of Mr Terry Court at Newport in 2010 go down in WPCS history as some of the most memorable entertainment events ever experienced.
Always one for speeding, Gladys rode motorcycles at the age of 17 as part of the war effort and later in the war drove lorries in Belgium and France. She married Tommy Dale in 1949 and they had six children. Tommy’s family had farmed the fertile land at Scoughall since the 1800’s and he wrote Tommy Dale’s Diary every week for The Scottish Farmer during the 1970’s. Seacliff overlooked the Firth of Forth and had two private beaches which proved very popular for Pony Club camps and photographs of ponies and their riders swimming in the sea have appeared in WPCS Calendars.
One of Tommy’s friends in Wales was Mrs Betty Davies (Llanina Stud) and it was through her and Miss Pauline Taylor (Llanarth Stud) that Welsh cobs were introduced to Scougall in 1968, firstly the palomino mare Golden Jewel (f.1959: Llanarth Braint x Eiddwen Chess) who had won several prizes under saddle for her breeder Miss Joan Startup of Etchingham, Sussex. Five generations on, there are still descendants of Golden Jewel at Scole.
The first stallion at Scole was Llanarth Touch-and-Go which Gladys thought was too small and he was replaced by the bigger, extravagant-moving Llanarth Rhun. Rhun proved to have a superb temperament and was very versatile. At the 1986 Royal Highland Show, Rhun was champion in hand (qualifying for the Lloyds Bank Horse Of The Year Show In-Hand championship alongside Ebbw Victor, Derwen Groten Goch, Revel Japhet and the winner Chirk Windflower) also champion under saddle and champion in harness. Scole Model (f.1974: Verwood Tewdwr x Llanarth Morwena) was one of the first Welsh cobs to be exported to Denmark and was noted for his jumping prowess. Of the 97 section D’s registered in Denmark up to 2005, no fewer than 60 were sired by Scole Model, the best known of which was the many-times champion Merlyn Welsh Diamond.
Gladys started driving with Caegwerlas Jago (f.1965: Coedllys Caradog x Egryn Neuadd IV) in 1974 and she would compete against her daughter Carol driving Granby Gent (f. 1966: Llanarth Brummel x Pantseiri Welsh Lady) at FEI driving trials. It was rumoured that Gladys drove at such break-neck speeds that some umpires refused to accompany her! Up to the age of 89 years, Gladys was driving Scole Jemima around the farm.
Driving supremo George Bowman drove Scole Zircon and Scole Jade (both sons of Golden Jewel) to win the pairs class at the Royal International Show. Then, in 1984, he drove a team of four Scole Welsh cobs (which he called “Cumberland cobs”) to win the world championships in 1984 for which they were awarded the Brodrick memorial award, the highest honour of the WPCS.
Gladys was a very popular visitor to Wales, she had record entries when she judged the cobs at the 1994 Royal Welsh Show. She was a member of WPCS Council for 24 years and rarely missed a meeting travelling the long journeys, again at great speeds. It was rumoured that the traffic cops got to know her personally by name.
The Welsh Pony and Cob Society owes a great debt of gratitude to the late Mrs Gladys Dale. The funeral service will be held on 3rd June at Whitekirk, the village next to Scole.
Dr Wynne Davies