RIP Dr. James McLean, breeder of the Benlea ponies
As posted by 5chestnuts over in the Sport Horse Breeding group:
The Welsh pony world just lost a renown breeder - Dr. James McLean ("Benlea" prefix) of Glen Allen, VA. He bred "Pony Dot Com" (Benlea Playboy) who was the 2002 AHSA Horse Of the Year Small Pony Hunter, as well as many top Welsh A & B show ponies throughout the decades. Benlea, in partnership with Farnley and Findelyn, helped select and import outstanding talented large Section B Welsh bloodstock from the UK for the development and promotion of the larger Section B show ponies here.
His daughter said he died peacefully at home, looking out over his pastures and his ponies in the snow from his bedroom window.
His stallions will be going to Farnley Farm. The broodmare band has been mostly disbursed with only 3 remaining.
I was saddened to hear of his passing, he was a wonderful person with an exceptional eye for a pony. My family has had many Benlea ponies, including Pony Dot Com, and they are just wonderful. Our brood mares, from Jim's own herd, are absolutely lovely and produce themselves over and over again. RIP.