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 bought as a five year old from a dealers farm near Carmathen. The colliery owner bought two ponies Steel and Sam who was about the same age. Steel went to Nant-Y-Cafn and Sam went to Pine Trees.
Steel had never been underground when he went to Nant-y-Cafn he was trained by the owner to work underground hauling coal drams from the coal face to the surface. Another pony Turbo who was a bit younger also worked there. Steel was rented out in 1991 to Forest No3. Colliers who worked there tell of Steel pinching sandwiches and on one occasion running off down the yard with a miners flask in his mouth raising it into the air and allowing the tea to run into his mouth. They also said Steel could count and would refuse to move if one two many drams of coal was hitched to him.
He is seen here pulling four full drams of coal. A dram weighs about 1/2 ton empty and carries two tons of coal. Four times two and a half is 10 tons a remarkable load for a 13hh Welsh Cob to pull. When we were at the Horse of the Year Show we were next to the Shire Horses from Youngs Brewery. They could hardly believe the photograph shown here.
Steel retired to the Pencoedcae Centre in 1998 from a Colliery close to Nant-y-Cafn called Carn Cornell. If you would like to read about Carn Cornell, click here
Steel passed away in May 2010 having had a good retirement in a loving home. He is sorely missed.