By AMY OLIVER
Pink palace! As well as the pony figures, Miss Butler also has My Little Pony stuffed toys, curtains, bedspread, lampshade and THAT Dream Castle
For women of a certain age, the names Applejack, Blossom and Cotton Candy will cause a pang of nostalgia.
They certainly had an effect on Sarah Butler, who has all three of the plastic horses in her vast My Little Pony collection worth a cool £20,000.
Miss Butler, 29, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, proudly displays more than 1,000 ponies in her spare bedroom or 'The Pony Room' as she refers to it.
Shelves and shelves of the brightly-coloured horses, so loved by little girls in the 1980s, jostle for space with My Little Pony stuffed toys, curtains, bedspread, a lamp shade and THAT Dream Castle.
The room is even decorated with wallpaper that features grass growing up from the skirting boards.
Pile o' ponies: Sarah Butler has racked up a collection of more than 1,000 My Little Pony toys worth a staggering £20,000
Unfortunately for Miss Butler's friends and family, The Pony Room doubles as a guest room because she and her partner Joe, don't have another spare bedroom.
But accounts assistant Miss Butler insists they don't mind and that some even like it.
'My best friend is a guy and he’s stayed in there, the girliest room in existence, quite happily, and even examined some of the ponies when he was up early to see where they were from,' she said.
Collector: Miss Butler poses in her 'pony room' with first horses CC and Toots. She has been collecting the popular 1980s toys for 24 years
'People don’t ask if they can stay over, they ask if they can sleep in my Pony Room. I sleep there on the odd occasion when Joe snores too loud too. And it’s a great place for an afternoon nap.'
As a child Miss Butler loved My Little Pony and had nearly 100 of the brightly coloured toys.
But when she became a teenager she thought she had outgrown them and donated the ponies to her local charity shop. Years later, when the time came for her to leave college, in 2003, Sarah desperately looked for something to keep her young and stumbled across someone selling ponies online.
Miss Butler said: 'I got Cotton Candy and Tootsie. They went everywhere with me for a few days. They went in my handbag and then they stayed in my car.
Ever feel like you're being watched? Miss Butler's friends and family have to sleep in the Pony Room when they stay, but she insists they like it and some even request it
'I then began to wonder what others were on there and I was like oh I remember that one and that one. And then I thought I have to get that one and that and I went absolutely crazy, I bought individual ones and then I bought a lot of 50 and then another of 100.
'I did get some duplicates but I’d trade those.'
Now, nine years later, Miss Butler says she has spent £10,000 on her girly collection and has recently had them insured.
Her most expensive purchase, called Reverse Gusty, nicknamed ‘Rusty’, cost her £980, as it is only one of three known in the world to have red hair with a green stripe - as opposed to the normal Gusty which has green hair with a red stripe.
Another is a model based on rock legend Alice Cooper, which the Schools Out singer has even signed.
Pony mad: The 29-year-old's father is constantly summoned to build more shelves for the Pony Room as Miss Butler's collection expands
Even Miss Butler's partner, Joe, 27, buys her ponies for their anniversaries, although he wasn’t always so understanding of her obsession.
'We were friends before we got together and he thought I was mental but now he knows how much they mean to me,' Miss Butler said.
'He’d be like I can’t believe you spent £30 on that and then he realised what they meant to me. He collects War Hammer, so he does understand.
'He buys me a pony for nearly everything, every Christmas and birthday. He bought me Rapunzel for our first anniversary. I’ve had ponies from my parents and even this Christmas a friend bought me one, which he’d painted to look like a member of Kiss, Gene Simmons.
Rocking horses: Miss Butler poses with her Kiss inspired My Little Pony, left, and right, her customised horse made to look like Alice Cooper, which has even been signed by the rocker
'Alice Cooper signed my Alice Cooper custom pony and sang the My Little Pony theme tune and I couldn’t believe he just sang that. And he said he had daughters that liked the show.
'It’s great fun to be able to collect something and the ponies are so cute who couldn’t love them?
'Some people like football, some people collect stamps or coins. I collect My Little Pony and it makes me happy. It’s always great to get a new pony and take it to put it in its place in the Pony Room.'
Miss Butler says she finds her Pony Room comforting because it reminds her of her childhood.
The start of a great collection: Miss Butler loved playing with her My Little Pony toys when she was growing up in the 1980s but gave it all away to a charity shop when she left home
'My Pony Room is my little piece of the world. All mine! I can just be me there, a proud geeky collector of small colourful ponies.
'My Dad gets involved with the Pony Room periodically when I need his help installing yet more shelves,' she added.
'Mum just likes to come and look at them because they’re pretty. Everyone in my life is really supportive of my collecting. I think it helps being an “out and proud” collector who isn’t afraid to say “I collect My Little Pony”.
Nostalgia: But as she was about to leave university, Miss Butler got a pang for her ponies and started up the collection again
'If you say it with that much confidence and talk about it like its normal, because for me it is normal, then who can really argue with that?
'Even the people I work with don’t mind me bleating on about them and when I had some delivered to work once, I had a crowd of women around me pointing out which one they liked best.
'In short, it’s fun. Why be all serious when you can have My Little Pony instead?'
Miss Butler's partner Joe said: 'It took a bit of getting used to but I like it now, especially with how happy it makes her'
Skydancer army: The original My Little Pony toy line ran from 1982 to 1995 and included a 'Skydancer' range that featured ponies with wings
The collection continues: Miss Butler's partner, Joe, admitted the collection took 'a bit of getting used to' but has now made peace with it