*Sleight of Hand
*Sleight of Hand was an exceptional sire, endowed with personality, a happy work ethic and the strong “Welsh Look” as described in the breed standard. His purebred sons and daughters have established a formidable 101,763 “points” by excelling in WPCSA shows. He passed his unique attributes to his get, and their get who are mostly still recognizable as such. He sired over 200 purebred foals and 3 Half-Welsh during his 30 years in the breeding shed and 16 in the show ring. It has been a joy to see breeders discover their own ways of using Sleight’s influence as an important part of their success. We believe he helped to inspire breeders raise the bar for Sec. B as that section rose to prominence, each in their own way.
The Order of the Dragon has been the highest honor attainable from the WPCSA Lifetime awards program during the 30+ years that it has been available. Sleight has almost 3 times the points of any other stallion in any Section with six Orders of the Dragon. On the other end of the overall reward awards, Sleight earned the first Sire Legion of Merit, the first Sire Award of Excellence, the first Sire Order of the Dragon and has had three American National Supremes in 1988-1991-1997. Two of his daughters have also been unique by being Supreme twice at the American National show. No other pony/cob has managed two let alone Sleight’s three so far.
Sleight was the most prepotent stock-getter we’ve had. His wonderful flat, strong bone, active correct movement, and classic Welsh head with tiny ears and classic big Welsh eyes were an overall joy. The judges of his era forgave his wayward mane which would never stay on the correct side of his neck.
Sleight himself spent his spring and early summers with his harem and unfortunately that was also show season. In his younger days we were lucky enough to find “catch” riders and drivers to show him occasionally. His first (and only) go in a large class of driven ponies (25) was in the old barn at Tulsa. He had never been driven at night or indoors and we didn’t know what would happen. As soon as he passed a child-cowboy sitting on the fence we realized the kid had scooped up big globs of dirt and trash and thrown them in his eyes as he passed by. Luckily one of his daughters was just beside him on the inside. He took one small step toward her and finished that and 2 more classes, collecting firsts and a Championship before retiring from that sport forever.
But more than his achievements he was a super pony, would give his food to his mares and eat what was left, stand happily in the most chaotic places and stood many months for Joanna to help him when all four of his feet were burned by a downed power line. As a yearling he often kicked a football out of the empty rather low confines of a small arena….then he’d jump OUT of the arena, chase the ball and use both hind feet to try and put the ball back in again. Another notch in his usefulness was that he sired the first two surviving A.I./E.T. foals in the Welsh Pony world. We look forward to cracking open the A.I. canisters again someday so that Sleight of Hand may be an influence once again.
P.S. Our only regret with Sleight was that his breeder, Kathy Reese, never used him as a stallion. She considered his grey coat contagious disease.