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Howard Richardson was awarded the American Shetland Pony Club Gold Brush Award in 1990, an Area VI Shetland Pony & Miniature Horse Breeders’ Association Presidential Award in 1991 and the American Shetland Pony Club Silver Brush Award in 1992.
The original Richardson Family homestead was located along US Highway 20 four miles East of Webster City, Iowa. Because of the location, many visitors driving by would stop in to see the pony herd. Everyone was welcome at any time and it was interesting to meet people from all over the U.S.
Howard’s dad, Theo, who also lived on the family farm had frowned on having ponies since “they would break down fences” and “be obnoxious or mean”. It was not long before he was almost the first one out to show off the ponies and brag about them. Just shows that Shetlands can always win the “Love Division”! Howard’s greatest thrill was when the new crop of foals arrived in the Spring and he found out if he had made the right decisions on crosses and what to do different for the next crop of foals. He truly loved the breeding program the best, even though he enjoyed seeing his produce win awards in the show ring and also the “love” awards of the family pet.
One of Howard’s annual rituals was to teach the first foal of the year to do tricks like stand on a bucket. Pictured above left is Howard with one of those trick foals and pictured above right is Donna with one.
Howard and Arris raised three children: Donna Norcross, Roland, IA, who is still involved in raising, showing and selling with the main herd; Shirley Moore, Amarillo, TX, along with her husband Robert raise some of the “Royal” ponies for showing and selling; and Brian Richardson, Story City IA, who helps with the care of the main herd.
All of the children were playing with the ponies as soon as they could sit on them and showed ponies in 4-H and open classes during their teens. The entire family, in-laws, grandkids, and now great-grandkids still continue to raise, show and sell the ponies since Howard’s death in 1999. The family hopes to carry on a tradition of quaility ponies with good dispositions that everyone can enjoy.