- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 5, 2014

MANLY, Iowa (AP) - A pony breeder from northern Iowa will be honored for his lifetime of raising, showing and selling Shetlands.

Dennis O’Keefe, 76, of Manly, will be inducted into the American Shetland Pony Club Hall of Fame, the Mason City Globe Gazette (https://bit.ly/1plvnVW ) reported. He has served as the organization’s president and was on its board of directors.

Shetlands are commonly used as children’s horses in northern Iowa. The small and hardy ponies come from the Shetland Islands of Scotland, where they were once used to drag coal carts through mines.

Director of Operations Zona Schneider of the American Shetland Pony Club said O’Keefe has repeatedly bred quality ponies that are good examples of the breed.

“Dennis has always bred a very consistently pretty pony that’s also very athletic,” Schneider said. “Over the years he’s just consistently done that.”



O’Keefe and his wife raise the ponies at their farm, Boot House Shetlands. The name is a nod to the western apparel store, The Boot House, they have run in Manly for 35 years.

“The Hall of Fame is kind of the finale for me,” O’Keefe said. “I’ve raised them. I’ve showed them. We’ve had national champions. I’ve exported them to Germany.”

But it doesn’t mean that the O’Keefes plan to quit raising ponies. They have about 40 on their farm.

O’Keefe said caring for the ponies is fun and it keeps him busy.

“They’ve all got different personalities,” he said. “You get to know them.”

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Information from: Globe Gazette, https://www.globegazette.com/

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