It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Myles Stoney earlier this year.
I had come to know him – and of course Susan – through the Vendéen sheep breed some 25 years ago, when I had been persuaded to travel to Portadown Automart to buy a pedigree Vendéen ram.
In those days, the N.I. Vendéen Club held sales there under the umbrella of the British Vendéen Sheep Society, and having been introduced to Ms Amelia Stephenson, I was persuaded to join the British Society. That would have been in 1988, and I came home with a very nice ram to go with the small flock that I had.
That was not enough for Myles however, as I was persuaded to return in 1989 when I purchased another pedigree ram for over 1,000 guineas – a record at that time – and this ram became the foundation of a very successful Vendéen pedigree flock.
It was in 1990 that Myles felt that it would be appropriate to form a separate pedigree breed society in the South of Ireland, and consequently, the Irish Vendéen Sheep Society came into existence, and I was persuaded to take over as Treasurer, with Edgar Morgenroth as Secretary.
Myles Stoney was, of course, well known in agricultural circles, and it was he who had brought the first Vendéen breeding ewe to Ireland in, I believe, 1986, and he had been promoting the breed where-ever he could. His distinctive trailer in blue and white with ‘VENDÉEN’ on the side was recognisable everywhere. His enthusiasm for the Vendéen breed is legendary, and his ‘Bobsgrove’ pedigree flock led to the foundation of many excellent breeding flocks throughout Ireland.
Myles was the first Chairman of the Irish Vendéen Sheep Society, and was in due time elected President. He was honoured by the Society with the National Hall of Fame Award in 2009, an honour which he most certainly deserved. Unfortunately, Myles’s health had not been the best in recent years, but even so, it was still something of a shock to hear of his passing. His memory is something which I for one will always respect for his services to the Vendéen Breed of sheep in this country.
My sincere condolences to Susan and his family on their sad loss.