Molly's mom lessoned at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York from the time she was 12 and later rode with the Cornell Equestrian Team - always on horses. In 1953, Mollie Butler acquired several Welsh ponies from an estate and Mom went to Brookside Farm to teach Mollie's nine year old daughter, Linda Butler, and her friends. (Older brother Doug Butler, the famous farrier/author/lecturer from Wellington, CO, stuck to his Quarter Horse.)


Soon GlanNant Farm evolved (Welsh for "by the brook"), Mom and Mollie Butler started the first 4H Light Horse Project in the nation, Welsh ponies began exhibiting at the open shows and later got classes of their own. In 1957 Mom bought her first Welsh mare to breed riding ponies for children. Brookside Sparkle never produced but was around years later for Molly's sister and herself. The GlanNant connection came full circle 25 years later, in 1978, when little Molly spent the summer at GlanNant Farm - living, working, and showing. Today Molly campaigns several 100% GlanNant bred ponies, but with her own Helicon prefix - Helicon Buccaneer, Helicon Poetess, Helicon Fantasia and her foal, Helicon Country Club.


How did the Helicon prefix come to be? Molly's mom's name, Thalia, comes from one of the muses who, in ancient Greek mythology, frolicked on Mt. Helicon. Pegasus was given to the maidens by Athena and when he struck the mountainside with his hoof the Hippocrene Spring burst forth. There are Wedgwood designs showing the maidens, their robes tucked up into their waists, bathing Pegasus in the spring.


In 1959 Mom had visited in Wales and selected Coed Coch Prydyddes (Welsh for Red Wood Poetess) as Linda Butler's riding mare at GlanNant. "Puff" showed and had foal after foal, 14 in all. Her son, GlanNant Epic, came to Helicon in 1986 at age 21 - and life for the Rinedollar family was never the same! Many visiting mares arrived and there were usually four foals a year at the farm in Rockton, Illinois.


McGregor, twice AHSA Horse of the Year in large pony hunters, had established Epic's reputation as a sire in the East. His Illinois foals soon followed suit - Silver Steps (registered Half Welsh as Helicon Garden Party) has had FOUR AHSA HOTY titles. She and Helicon Take Notice have won smalls at the Pony Finals. Helicon Heat Wave, H Herald and H Bright 'n' Breezy are currently winning in Colorado while H Fun 'n' Games has retired due to a broken bone. Tickle Me Too (Pony Finals Reserve Champion Medium 1998), Alexander's Epigram, Tinker, Helicon Epic Event, H Fiesta, H Headliner, H Lady Jayne, and H Notice Me have been stellar too.


Portrait Painter, AHSA HOTY in Large Greens, is an Epic frozen semen foal from a collection at Cornell in 1988; this is believed to be the first Welsh pony semen to have been frozen worldwide. Epic frozen has also been shipped to the government of Taiwan! For several years Epic was the oldest active Welsh stallion in the U.S. and the U.K. with his last foal arriving in 2000, sired when Epic was 35 1/2. Epic lived to be 36, passing away quietly at home in Rockton, Illinois with his head in Mom's lap - and a posthumous foal, Helicon Epilogue, arrived 5 months later on the very same spot his sire had died. Epic was Top Ten in the USAEq Pony Hunter Sire Ratings in 2001 and 2002.


Helicon Epilogue

Helicon Corsair


GlanNant Skipper was purchased as junior sire to breed to the Epic daughters, but he was injured and sired only one foal. That is a special one to Mom and George as he is none other than Helicon Corsair, a Welsh-Thoroughbred cross who is big (14.2), black, and beautiful. His first foals from 1999 are arriving on the show scene in 2003 including the winning Corvette at Helicon Show Stables.


Molly and her students trained and showed Skipper as a gelding and, showing as Believe in Magic, he went on to win mediums and reserve grand at the 1999 Pony Hunter Finals having scored the second highest over fences out of 251 ponies!


Latest sire at Helicon is GlanNant Country Roads who brings in the famous *Cusop Sparklet hunter line. Country was foaled in 1978, the same summer that Molly was at GlanNant, so she has loved him for a long time! She started him under saddle as a 3 year old. Country himself has been a supreme champion in hand and twice a national highscore champion in Welsh Pony Hunters, as well as a driving champion! He has proven to be an excellent cross on the Epic daughters.


You can read more about the Helicon ponies at www.heliconsportponies.com

Check out ponies with the Helicon prefix at the Del Mar pedigree site, www.dmtc.com/pedigree/allbreed Type in the name at the top, click on Query and then on 5 generation pedigree on the left side. Go to Progeny and Photo as well. Fun!


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