Caithness Stud was started by Annabelle's mother, Patsy Grigg. Patsy brought a dear little pony, Pixi, for Annabelle and her brother 1966. Unbeknown to Patsy, Pixie was in foal and within two weeks of her arrival she produced a gorgeous filly foal called Thistle Down. Thistle Down was consequently sold very quickly and so Patsy began her love for breeding horses. She bought two partbred Arabs, an Anglo-Arab, Cee Cee, and she imported a Purebred mare, Letoke, from Australia.
Patsy bred Caithness Chantilly (Al Azhar by Kurdistan x Cee Cee) and Caithness Summer Alchemy (Glendale Sirocco x Caithness Golden Scherzo (out of Letoke). Both formed part of the stud's foundation mare band. Patsy bred Caithness Waltzaway (exported to Australia), who was the dam of Oasis Desert Song, the first Arabian stallion to achieve "The Working Roll of Merit,". He was described as "the ultimate saddle horse." Waltzaway has a full brother, Caithness Sunchariot, who stood at Caithness stud. Patsy imported another colt, Fakkar, in the 1970s. These are all 100% Crabbet bloodlines which are very old bloodlines and much sought-after today.
On Annabelle's return from Europe with her BSAI in 1991, she and Patsy bought a six-month-old grey Swedish Warmblood colt named Maestro. His bold, impressive movement caught their attention, as did his lovely attitude with his dam.
Later they were offered Dorchester, a 16.1hh French thoroughbred stallion. It was then that the stud became a registered company, in 1995. It expanded with a selection of thoroughbred mares with the intention of breeding these mares and their Dorchester foals back to Maestro. Due to the high standard of mares this has produced wonderful results.
The ultimate goal has always been to produce top-quality sporthorses with wonderful temperaments and movement. "We feel that today, with Dorchester and Maestro as our founding sires, we are achieving our goals," says Annabelle.