There are two versions of Steels story. Both have equal credibility so we will tell both and you can choose which one you like.
Steel was born at Gwalia in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons. He was then called Jim. He was foaled in 1975. he spent his first year on the slopes with his mother. As winter approached the mare bought him down lower to find forage. Jim was a character and always in trouble. His owner was called often to extricate Jim from someone's garden or allotment. His owner tired of the continual problems and one night in the Pub told of his troubles with the stroppy Jim and said "he would sell him out of it" A fellow drinker expresses an interest and agreed to go the next evening to see the colt.
Ivion and his son Geraint went to see Jim. Geraint had dreams of Pony Club and wanted a nimble fast pony. They studied Jim and were not at all sure. Ivion persuaded the owner to loan Jim for the summer holidays and if he worked out they would buy him. That summer Geraint and Jim were seen everywhere together. They rode up into the hills over dales and cross streams. The boy and colt bonded well and soon Jim would go most anywhere the boy asked him to. At the end of the summer it was make your mind up time. The boy loved the pony but Ivion was not sure the pony was right for Pony Club. He met the owner in the pub and his hesitation after such a long trial period angered the owner. The owner voiced his anger in the pub and another drinker overheard the conversation and excused himself in. He offered to buy the pony there and then. The owner sold Jim for cash and agreed to deliver him the next day.
He set off with Jim early and arrived at the colliery in Seven Sisters lunchtime. As he entered the gates and walked the pony down the black track to the pit head he was appalled at what he had done.
He asked for the pit owner and when he came to see him he tried to give back the cash. Jim's new owner would not go back on the deal. As he walked away from the noise and filth of the colliery yard he wept as it dawned on him what a life he had sentenced the young lively colt to.
25 years later a friend of his was at the Horse of the Year show in Wembley London. He saw the grey pit pony Steel in the programmed and later in the week saw Steel being led in the Grand Parade. He thought he recognized the pony and came over to talk to me (Roy). He asked about Steels history and I told him what little I knew. The next evening he was waiting for me as we assembled for the Grand Parade. He had phoned his friend and described the pony. By now he was convinced that Steel was Jim. After the show a telephoned Jim's original owner and he asked for some details of characteristics of Steel. He was also convinced that Steel was Jim.