Carl Ridgeway – Aros Stud
The Society sadly reports the loss of member Mr Carl Ridgway of the Aros Stud of Welsh Mountain Ponies.
Carl passed away at the age of 88 on Saturday 7th January 2023, peacefully at Wrexham Maelor Hospital after an ongoing illness.
Born in the Midlands, Carl qualified as a Chartered Accountant and at the young age of only 29 under the mentorship of Sir Julian Hodge he became Company Secretary for Julian Hodge & Company Accountants, based in Cardiff. He later established his own Accountancy business which today includes several family members and he developed am outstanding expertise in the area of Taxation for which he was internationally revered. In his younger days Carl was a passionate Rally Driver.
Whilst at the Hodge Group Carl he met his wife, Linda. The couple married and soon had three children – Mark, Elizabeth and Christian. They decided to find a pony for the children to ride and with little knowledge at first approached the Trotting Centre, St Asaph, only to be redirected more appropriately to the nearby Coed Coch Stud. Upon their first visit to Coed Coch, John Jones showed them some of the youngsters that had already been selected by the Colonel for showing, amongst them was the bay colt foal Coed Coch Llafar which Linda immediately fell in love with and persuaded the Colonel to sell it to them. Together with Llafar they also purchased from the same barn the grey filly foal Coed Coch Lwli and this was the start of the Aros Stud at Plas Aros, Necwys, Mold, with Linda joining the Society in 1976 followed by Carl in 1986.
Having realised what excellent bloodlines they had managed to secure, Carl was keen to breed and soon purchased one or two other foundation stock. They were never extensive exhibitors but Aros blood is in many well established Mountain Pony Studs. More notably, Llafar’s two-year-old son, Aros Zico won the Royal Welsh, and Aros Llafach was also a major winner.
Carl was a founder member of the Clwyd Welsh Pony & Cob Association and served as its chairman for two separate terms during which time he gave excellent leadership and guidance especially in financial matters. He advised the WPCS on Gift Aid to the considerable benefit of the Society at the time.
The Society extends its sympathy and condolences to Linda, Mark, Elizabeth and Christian and their families.
The Funeral will be held on Friday 3rd February 2023 at 1.00 pm at the Flintshire Memorial Park and Crematorium, Oakenholt Lane, Northop, Flintshire. CH7 6DF.