Wells Dancing Brave, a three-year-old Shetland Pony stallion bred by the Sleigh family of Wells Shetland Pony Stud, is making the headlines for not only winning Standard Champion at the Royal Highland Showcase, but for also attracting the attention of a buyer who was watching the livestream judging from his home in St Andrews.

Neil Brown of Kinness Stud made up his mind to purchase Wells Dancing Brave when he saw the pony in the ring at the Showground on Wednesday, as part of the Royal Highland Showcase in partnership with Royal Bank of Scotland.

And while Neil will not reveal how much he paid for the Shetland, he did say it was the most he has ever paid for a pony, but that he’s well worth it.

From Wells Shetland Pony Stud in Fyvie, Aberdeenshire, Wells Dancing Brave is part of a long line of Royal Highland Show winners, and he first came to Neil’s attention when he won the Shetland Foal Class at the Royal Highland Show in 2018.

However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, Neil was unable to organise a stud visit, so had to wait until the showcase to see how the pony was progressing.

'His quality just shone through'

Neil explained:

"When I saw Wells Dancing Brave standing in the ring while watching the live judging from the Royal Highland Showcase, I made up my mind to purchase him – his quality just shone through.

"I know from Harry Sleigh there were two other buyers interested, but I have purchased from the Wells stud many times over the years, so I guess that went in my favour.

“I look forward to welcoming Wells Dancing Brave to our stud and sadly, my late father Chic who founded the stud in 1987 won’t be here to meet him, however I know he would have approved of my purchase as he had a great eye for stock which he passed onto me."

Harry Sleigh, whose son Stewart showed Wells Dancing Brave in the ring, is delighted to come away with another Highland Show rosette to add to his collection, and find a buyer for Wells Dancing Brave.

Harry said: "The Royal Highland Show is the shop window for the best livestock and this year, while different in format, still managed to achieve this.

I am a life-long supporter of the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland [RHASS] and the Royal Highland Show and this story just serves to reinforce the importance of the show and this year’s showcase to individuals, businesses and the whole agricultural sector.

"I would like to commend RHASS for making this event happen against such a challenging environment,” he concluded.