Tribute to Davie Robertson

Davie was born in Lerwick on 17th August 1934.

He was a well known figure in Shetland in his many roles. He travelled around all the Isles in his job with the Milk Marketing Board and then he was manager of the recruitment business, Manpower, in Lerwick. For a lot of us, though, he will best be remembered for his love, interest and enthusiasm for both dogs and ponies.

It was during his time in the Army Veterinary Core in North Africa that his interest in both started. During this period he trained and handled dogs as well as horses which were to be used for the Coronation.

Davie married Marlene Leask in 1961 and they lived in Scalloway before moving to Gott Farm in 1973. Davie’s mother-in-law Peggy founded the Gott Shetland Pony Stud in 1967 and through her his interest developed and he started up the Trondra Stud in 1969 with two ponies bought from Tangwick Stud in Eshaness. Davie named the Stud Trondra because of the beautiful view across to that isle that they had from their first home in Scalloway.

Davie was passionate about promoting the Shetland pony, especially within Shetland, and did so in numerous ways. He was a Shetland Pony Stud Book Society council member for 7 years between 1989 and 1999 and was then elected as Vice President, President and Past President of the Society. Posts which he held from 2000 – 2005 and roles which he carried out conscientiously and with great dedication.

He was also an active committee member of the Pony Breeders of Shetland Association for many years. He was a great supporter of the Viking Show which began at Gott Farm in 1991 before moving into Lerwick. He has also been a huge supporter of the Shetland Pony Evaluation Scheme having been instrumental in its development and running with the evaluations being carried out annually at Gott Farm also.

Davie was also very well known to tour guides and tourists as he welcomed groups to the farm to see and hear about the ponies – this was all done on a voluntary basis with any monies collected going to charity.

The Gott Dog Kennels were set up during the 1980s after Davie left Manpower. Many people will have had their dogs well looked after by Davie during the last 30 years. He was also a founder member of the Dog Club where he helped with training at the classes and also judged at Dog Shows. We believe he was also the last person in Shetland to work a Sheltie with sheep.
Davie was a very forward-thinking, hard working, honest and positive man who looked for the best in everybody. He was also a very humorous man who loved his many involvements with others and who brought a smile to faces on many an occasion. He would try his best to help anyone if he could and will continue to be held in the highest regard by all who knew him. His resilience, strength and positive attitude through it all should be a lesson to everyone. He will be sadly missed.