Wales is in mourning today after Siani Shetland - the adorable little pony who countless children all over the world have grown up loving as a result of her adventures in children's literature – has died at her home in the Teifi Valley. She was 26.

Throughout her life Siani visited over 100 schools throughout Wales, she appeared as a mascot on S4C, she visited countless events and agricultural shows and appeared on the covers of seven novels which all recounted the tales of Siani Shetland.  And in her spare time, Siani liked nothing better than going for a swim in Poppit.

“I’m utterly devastated,” said her owner and author of the Siani Shetland series, Anwen Francis.

“She wasn’t just a pony in the field but a family member. Wherever I went, Siani came too. She truly was my best friend.”

Anwen bought Siani, who was officially known as Blossom of Crafton, as a yearling and it soon became apparent that she was a stunning little show mare who impressed judges with her form and also her tremendous personality.

“She was terrific in hand and under saddle and she also looked after several little jockeys, including my own children Soffia and Henri,” continues Anwen. “They loved it whenever she won a red rosette.”

Tivyside Advertiser: Sian Shetland in the showring with Anwen's son, Henri CynwylSian Shetland in the showring with Anwen's son, Henri Cynwyl

Siani, who served as a bridesmaid at Anwen’s wedding, was also a tremendous mother to four stunning foals.

“She was kind, she was patient, but she also had this incredible zest for life," continues Anwen.

"I remember taking her to visit one particular school and 200 children all came running out, waving their hands and screaming ‘Siani! Siani!’

“But she stood square and allowed all the children to handle her. Remembering instances like that, I don’t think I realised just how special she was.”

Last Saturday, (July 9) Siani was full of her usual spark and good spirits. But on Sunday her health had rapidly deteriorated after she contracted colic.

“She fought hard but it got to the point where we knew there was no hope and she had to be put to sleep," said Anwen.

“Robert Price-Jones, the director of Tysul Vets was amazing throughout and we can’t thank him enough for all the support he’s given us.

“Siani fach, all I can say is thank you for giving me the inspiration to write my novels, for getting me interested in the Shetland breed and for being my trustworthy friend. Diolch."