The EPS is delighted to announce that the RBST Marsh Christian Award 2018 has been awarded to Donald and Mary McGillivray.
The nomination read as follows - Mary and Donald McGillivray have spent forty years helping ensure the survival of one of the most critically endangered equine breeds, the Eriskay pony. They began with two mares of original Western Isles stock and went on to breed a large number of ponies, many of whom were vital in other breeding programmes both on the mainland and on the islands. It is amazing to note that 25% of all living Eriskays were either bred by Mary and Donald, or are descended from ponies bred by them. They have bred and produced several Royal Highland Show Champions.
Mary, with Donald's support, is a linchpin in the Eriskay Pony Society and has served on the Council in numerous roles, presently being the breeding advisor, and she has amassed an encyclopaedic knowledge of ponies and bloodlines.
Active members of RBST Caledonian Support Group, Mary and Donald are always willing to turn out to shows and events taking ponies for display or providing a demonstration with a pony carrying authentic harness and creels. Donald is much sought after to provide the commentary at such events due to his knowledge of the breed and its history.
The Eriskay pony owes them a great deal.
The award was presented to them at the Royal Highland Show by Ruth Dalton of the RBST.