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In Memory
In Memory of Donna Norcross
January 26, 1941 - July 30, 2018

The finger can be pointed at a little three year old girl for the beginning of the oldest Shetland pony farm in the country.

The year was 1944 when her mother saw a "For Sale" ad, advertising a Shetland pony. Mother sent Father after that pony, Malta #22127, also affectionately known as Queenie. Then a stallion was bought, "King Howard", and the first foals were named Prince, Princess, Duke and Duchess, the start of Royal Pony Farm.

The "Royal" prefix has been registered with the ASPC since 1948.

A little girl's dream came true and that little girl was Donna Norcross. A life-long enthusiast, she was still talking ponies and Shetland history up to the last. Donna passed on July 30, 2018, appropriately the first day of Shetland Congress. Donna love Congress, showing, visiting and talking ponies with everyone. Her parents, Howard and Arris Richardson, were as smitten with Shetlands as Donna was.

They bred many in the 1940's, 50's and 60's, the hey-day of the Shetland ponies. This allowed Donna to be surrounded by many ponies, and we mean many, many ponies! Also, the opportunity to have her pick of which ones to halter, drive, ride and even teach tricks to. Donna left the Shetland ponies behind when she married Bob Norcross. Instead of ponies to fill her down time, she golfed, fished and snowmobiled.

When losing Bob after only 25 years of marriage, she came back home and worked alongisde her parents and Bob Leland in breeding some very notable Shetlands. Donna bred some great stallions, broodmares that would become the cornerstone of many breeding programs and some very nice show ponies. Some of her well known stallions are Royal Splish Splash, Royal Spun Gold, Royal Freckles, Royal Spun Charmer, and Royal Kryptonite. Donna was especially proud of Kryptonite, as he was her first pony to go to Europe.

A few of her broodmares that have made an impact in the Shetland world are Royal Cherry Surprise, Royal Heart A Fire, Royal Connect A Dot, Royal Gold Mica, Royal Shimmer, Royal Sweet Talker, and Royal Bold Flair. A few well known show ponies she bred are Royal Emperor Kuzco, Royal Mystro, Royal Aeuthentic Gold, Royal Rock Star, Royal Porcelain Doll, Royal Special Effects, Royal Irresistible, ad Royal Crusader. Do you have a pony with tiny ears and they have the innate ability to slip their halters? Blame the Royal pony bloodline. Donna was also a big proponent of pretty heads, always being sure the MCSBA show had the "Pretty Head" class. She was president for many years of the Midwest Classic Shetland Breeders Association. Her parents were original members. Donna is now up there, sitting in a chair, telling everyone the history of the Shetland pony and how everyone needs at least one! She has now joined her father in the Shetland People Hall of Fame.