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Midlands Connemara Show Results 2009

Midlands Connemara Pony Show Results

Yearling colt-1, Val Noone’s Beech King, by Monaghanstown Boy-Beech Girl; 2, Kieran McGrath’s Hazlerock Horizon, by Bunowen Bobby- Smokey Jimmy; 3, Laura McWeeney’s Stanley Lad, by Oisin-Ballybaun Blossom.

Yearling filly-1, Laura McWeeney’s Addrigoole Annabel, by Castleside Carrig- Addrigoole Heather; 2,Mairtin Nee’s Doonreghan Chris, by Cloon – Eile Cashel- Doonreghan Star; 3,Tom Clancy’s Ohill Silver Molly, by I Love You Melody- Beaghbeg Silver.

Two to three-year- old colt-1, Ciaran Curran’s Glencarrig Patrick, by Glencarrig Prince-Festy Lady; 2, Anne Conroy Conneely’s Errismore Rocky, by Currachmore Cashel-Gold Label; 3,James Naan’s Galloon Ceol, by Murphy’s Oscar-Newtown Golden Rose.

Two year old filly-1, Damien Gorham’s Doonhill Queen, by Currachmore Cashel- Connemara Lady; 2, Henry O’Toole’s Castle Jessie, by Janus-Village Girl; 3, F. & D. O’Reilly’s Glenmore Kelly’s Commotion, by True Commotion-Glenmore Kelly’s Owen.

Two year-old filly-Ballinasloe Qualifier-Eddie Duffy’s Beech Cailin, by Monaghanstown Boy-Beech Girl.

Three year old filly-1, Kevin Jacob’s Ardnore Silver Lady, by Glencarrig Lexus- Ardnore Seabird; 2,Mairtin Nee’s Doonreghan Rose, by Currachmore Cashel- Doonreghan Star; 3,Mick McMenamon’s Newgrange Beauty, by Wings of Justice- Tara.

Junior champion: Glencarrig Patrick; Reserve: Ardnor Silver Lady.

Open Stallions-1, Padraic & Nicola Heanue’s Village Fionn, by Boden Park Finnard- Village Grey; 2,Joanne Grogan’s Mountain Cascade, by Laerkens Cascade Dawn- Mountain Lady; 3, Seamus Keady’s Skousboe Morning Rock, by Hazy Dawn- Frederiksminde Mellow.

Midlands All Ireland Broodmare Championship-1, Sinead McGrath’s Lucky Hazel, by Mac Owen-Lucky Anna; 2,Roger & Laura Brady’s Vinnura Lola, by Drymills Bridgeboy-Clonboy Lady; 3,James Leahy’s Moorland Lady Jane, by Boden Park Finnard-Star Bright.

Four to six year old mare with /without foal at foot-1, Roger & Laura Brady’s Vinnura Lola, by Drymills Bridgeboy-Clonboy Lady; 2,Rosscon Cover Girl, by Laerkens Cascade Dawn-Rosscon Sun Mist; 3,P.J.Burke’s Glencarrig Maud, by Castlestrange Fionn-Coosheen Breeze.

Seven to ten year-old mare-1, Joan Dolan’s Kilpatrick Maple, by Monaghanstown Fred-Moorland Juliet; 2,Michael Holmes Robe Moonlight, by Thunderball-Gleann Rua Lady; 3,Martin Feeney’s Danesfield Heather, by Moy Hazy Cove-Danesfield Rose.

Eleven year-old and over Mare with/without foal-1, James Leahy’s Moorland Lady Jane, by Boden Park Finnard-Star Bright; 2,Grace Maxwell Murphy’s Lakeside Lady, by Abbeyleix Dolphin-Kits Bay; 3,Breda Horan’s Kilmeen Jane, by Cloonisle Cashel- Rhylin Saorise.

Thirteen two hands and under mare-1, Briget Snow’s Whitegate Joy, by Windy Day-Sheen Lass; 2,Nuala Prendergast’s Woodland Pebbles, by Rosenaharley Rowley- Maumore Abbey; 3,Eugene Doyle’s Misty Lady, by Little Rascal-Lady Charlotte.

Filly foal-1, Sean Cooney’s Loughmore Molly, by Kingstown Boy-Corrib Misty; 2,Pat & Mary Rabbitt’s by Linsfort Barney-Monaghanstown Sheeba; 3,Barry & Fiona Leek’s Sraghmore May Blossom, by Grange Kings Surf-Kennylodge Pride.

Colt foal-1, James Leahy’s by Moonlight Silver Shadow-Moorland Lady Jane; 2,Paddy McCormack’s by Monaghanstown Boy-Beech Girl; 3,Dermot Farrell’s by Monaghanstown Prince-Ervelough Ciara.

Champion foal: Loughmore Molly

Best Dun pony-1, Lady Maria Levinge’s Grange Aine Sparrow, by Monaghanstown Fionn-Grange Agnes Sparrow; 2,Eugene Doyle’s Finlea Lass, by Maam Hill- Sellernane Queen; 3,Rachel Farrell’s Clonkeen Bock, by Celtic Bobby Sparrow-Elton Cove.

Best Bay or Black pony-1, Patrick Conneely’s Moyvoon Breeze, by Streamstown Larry-Moyvoon Lady; 2,Alice Norton’s Robe Knight, by Robe Earl-Rose Donn Aluinn; 3,Mike Glynn’s Misty Star, by Coral Star-Waterfall Mist.

Best Handled pony-1, Maria Doonican’s My Cashel Eile, by Currachmore Cashel- Doe Primrose; 2, P.J.Burke’s Glencarrig Maud, by Castlestrange Fionn-Coosheen Breeze; 3, Kieran Guinness Dunlewey Snipe, by Ashfield Plover-Dunlewey Sinead.

Supreme Champion: Moorland Lady Jane Reserve: Village Fionn.

Ridden Classes.
Champion ridden pony: sponsored by Jim Derwin Bloodstock –1,Blackwood Fernando;(Alicia Devlin Byrne) Reserve: Cock Robin (Michelle Mallon)

Sarah Miller Future Performance Pony sponsored by the Miller family -1, Lucy Tottenham’s Cloragh April Jewel, byAshfield Hunters Jewel-Milford Ladybird (Joanna Tottenham) 2,Peadar Murphy’s Springfield Shadow, by Innellan Kestral- Meavis (Jack Bolger) 3,Amy Whittle’s Ashfield Jack Sparrow, by Wings of Victory- Dooneen May Lady (Hannah Whittle)

Four year and over Performance class-1, Lady Hemphill’s Tulira Katie Daly, by New Beginnings Tulira Mary Claire;(Elaine Creaven) 2,
Claire Devlin’s Blackwood Fernando, by Ferdia-Dancing Queen; Alicia Devlin Byrne) 3,Louise Andrew’s Carnalecka Earl, by Earl of Newbridge-Moygara Ashfield. (Jonathan Andrew)

Working Hunter four years and over (U.16) -1, Claire Devlin’s Blackwood Fernando (Alicia Devlin Byrne) 2, Louise Andrew’s Carnlecka Earl Jonathan Andrew) 3, Lady Hemphill’s Tulira Katie Daly (Elaine Creaven)

Working Hunter four years and over (O.16) 1-Pamela Lydon’s Acton Rolo, byHazy Lee-Field of Dreams (Orlath Lydon) 2,Olive Lynch’s Charleville Playboy, by Ashfield Festy-Garryhinch Queen (Kate Ryan) 3,Laura Corrigan’s Horse Haven Merrylegs, by Thunder Bay-Carravilla Star (Laura Corrigan)

Ruth Rogers P.R.O.

Sweden: Performance News July 2009

Swedish news, July 2009

We’re half-way through the year and the competing Connemaras in Sweden have been busy promoting their breed. Several major national competitions have been held in- cluding the Swedish dressage championships for ponies, some riders have already been abroad competing their ponies and the best riders are now preparing for the European championships in dressage, show jumping and eventing.


The dressage ranking after the first half of the year has seven Connemaras and four part breds among the top 100 dressage ponies. The highest placed connemara is Backens Lotus (by Rolls Royce out of Princess Jasmin) who has had a good year so far with many wins and placings at competitions up to national level. At the Swedish dressage championships he made it to the final where he was seventh though not placed. Several other Connemaras, such as Hagens Qumulus (by V ̈arnbergs Orion out of Hagens Fondora), K ̈ohls Fidolina (by Shirley’s Thunderbell out of Hagens Ellina), Golden Garlic (by Juno Rory out of Ambrosia) and Lotus II (by Rolls Royce out of Lorette V) also did credit to the breed by qualifying to the Swedish championships. It is interesting to note that the stallion Rolls Royce (by Rory Ruadh out of Brantshammar Julie) had two sons qualifying for the Swedish championships and his full brother Juno Rory also had a son qualifying making the competition a small family get-together.

Another pony to compete in the Swedish dressage championships was the partbred Verdi. Verdi, who is a licenced riding pony stallion, has the Connemara stallion Lofty Roderic as his maternal grandsire. This pony has been one of the most successful dressage ponies so far this year. At the Swedish championships he won his category by a large margin. He has also been to the Netherlands where he took a creditable 8th place and he is now part of the Swedish dressage team to the European championships. He will also compete at the pony classes at Falsterbo International Horse show next week. At Falsterbo Verdi will be competing against another Connemara pony, Hagens Rosmara (by V ̈arnbergs Orion out of Hagens Andora) another pony with a successful career this year, who won a wildcard for the Falsterbo show.

Figure 1: Hagens Rosmara (by V ̈arnbergs Orion out of Hagens Andora) ridden by Anna Andersson. Photo: Jenny Hagenblad

Figure 1: Hagens Rosmara (by V ̈arnbergs Orion out of Hagens Andora) ridden by Anna Andersson. Photo: Jenny Hagenblad

Figure 2: Lillefot (by Frederiksminde Hazy Chance) ridden by Moa Kulle. Photo: Jenny Hagenblad

Figure 2: Lillefot (by Frederiksminde Hazy Chance) ridden by Moa Kulle. Photo: Jenny Hagenblad


Two Connemaras are on the rankings for eventing ponies, and both are approved stallions. Grange Flynn Sparrow (by Ashfield Festy out of Grange Agnes Sparrow) and Nice-n’- Curly (by Nice-n’-Easy out of Corinne II) have both continued to event successfully this year. Another pony to continue on a successful eventing career is the partbred Lillefot (by Frederiksminde Hazy Chance) who presently holds number three on the ranking. Lillefot was third in the eventing cup ”Bamse Cup” and he is one of three ponies to represent Sweden at the European eventing championships this year.

Show Jumping

Eight Connemaras can be found among the present top 100 show jumping ponies, with an additional five partbreds. The highest ranking of them all is Sceilig Siofra (by Deise Sam Maguire out of Gentle Jessie) at number six. This little mare has been a reliable show jumper for many years now and competed at the Nordic/Baltic championships several times. This year she was part of the Swedish team winning a silver among the smaller ponies (130 – 140 cm).

Figure 3: Some Man For One Man (by Ashfield Bobby Sparrow out of Misty Maiden) ridden by Alma Bj ̈orklund Photo: Jenny Hagenblad

Figure 3: Some Man For One Man (by Ashfield Bobby Sparrow out of Misty Maiden) ridden by Alma Bj ̈orklund Photo: Jenny Hagenblad

Another silver winning Connemara at the Nordic/Baltic championships was Some Man For One Man (by Ashfield Bobby Sparrow out of Misty Maiden), presently ranking 47 on the top 100. He not only won a team silver among the larger ponies (140 – 148 cm) but could also go home with an individual silver medal. Some Man For One Man is also reserve to the Swedish team going to the European show jumping championships later this summer.

This show jumping team will have a healthy presence of Connemara blood with one pure- bred and one partbred Connemara. Lexus Justice (by Westside Fred out of Dunamoney Lass) has had a very successful season so far. He has already travelled as far as Germany to compete and won a class at the international competitions at Freudenberg. Another pony to already have competed internationally is the partbred Golden Star (by Poetic Justice). At Wierden in the Netherlands he was part of the Swedish team coming second in the nations cup. Lexus Justice and Golden Star are placed 17th and 16th so far in the top 100, and will both be on the Swedish team at the European championships. They have also qualified to compete at Falsterbo International Horse Show in July.

In Sweden a very popular show jumping cup is Ridsport Pony Cup. Qualifiers are held throughout the country, and the ponies gaining most point go on to the finals in Stockholm in August. The winner of each qualifier gets a much coveted red rug. Among ponies 130 – 140 cm the present leader is the Connemara Elektors Twist (by Lofty Roderic out of Glenayre Mystique). Twist’s rider Nicilee ̊Angman has been busy in the qualifier and is also on 13th place with her other Connemara Caperann Shamone (by Kylemore Rocky out of Turlough Beauty), tied with yet another Connemara, Phalcon (by O ̈xenholm Marble Jr out of Gr ̈ans Lady Stella). The larger ponies (140 – 148 cm) also has Connemaras well placed. On a tied 9th place is Poetic Joyce (by Poetic Justice out of Lolita). His rider Stephie Watson also rides the partbred Poetic Brummelisa (by Poetic Justice) who on 14th place is tied with Ix de l’Aulne (by Dexter Leam Pondi out of Castille de l’Aulne). With two more qualifiers the race is still on for the red rugs and the finals in Stockholm.

Figure 4: A future double three-year-old test awardee - Gr ̈ans Cesar (by Gr ̈ans Roeson out of Komtessa) in 2007 at 13 month of age. Photo: Gerd Eriksson

Figure 4: A future double three-year-old test awardee – Gr ̈ans Cesar (by Gr ̈ans Roeson out of Komtessa) in 2007 at 13 month of age. Photo: Gerd Eriksson

Young ponies

At three-year-old tests ponies are assessed to get an early indication of where their talents lay, but also to help identify stallions that sire talented performance ponies. The ponies are shown in hand and loose jumping and are scored for breed type, conformation, movements and jumping technique. Ponies that score well are given awards for gaits and/or jumping. The tests are held either during spring or during the early autumn, so some of the three- year-olds for this year have already been tested.

Several of the Connemaras that have participated so far have done so with great success. In fact during the spring, more Connemaras have left the tests with an award than without. Three ponies have achieved double awards, the half siblings Holmtebo Crested Ten (out of Hagens Ultra) and Holmtebo Sinead (out of Hagens Star), both by Hagens D’Arcy and Gr ̈ans Cesar (by Gr ̈ans Roeson out of Komtessa). Hagens D’Arcy has had a good season for his first group of three-year-olds with awards to all three tested progeny, as his daughter Holmtebo Bridie gained a jumping award. Another stallion who’s progeny have done well this year is Coosheen Finbarr with awards to two out of three tested offspring: a gaits award to Lofty Rowena (out of Lofty Romilly) and a jumping award to Lofty Finnegan (out of Beezies Bounty).

/Jenny Hagenblad

USA: Mountain Lad Line


In 1980 it was thought that the Mountain Lad stallion line, one of three major Connemara stallion lines, was in grave danger. The situation was thought to be so dire that some extraordinary measures to save the line were taken. In the US, May Medley in Georgia started to breed her son of Mon Tully Man (Tully Lad X Tooreen Pet [by Tooreen Laddie]), who she had been keeping with a gelding in her backyard for many years. Montully Son, the stallion, is a great grandson of Mountain Lad through his grandsire Tully Lad. May had been told by Caroline Nesbitt that he was the last of the Mountain Lad line. Montully Son was out of a daughter of Marconi, Marconi’s Stormy Rebel. May also bought a daughter of Jiminy Cricket, another son of Tully Lad, so she could line breed from the Mountain Lad line. This pony, Aillte Mhuire, had had one daughter by Custusha’s Cashel Rock, Courtney’s April Frolic, before coming to Georgia where she produced many offspring. Courtney’s April Frolic is the dam of the winner of the ACPS Clifden Trophy for the Purebred Connemara in the USEF Pony Hunter divisions who receives the most points in USEF sponsored competition, Balmullo’s Azalea who is shown as Ooh La La.

Aillte Muhire’s progeny by Montully Son were also highly successful. Tullymor’s April Fool was a beautiful and productive mare whose son, Balmullo’s Beacon (Tullymor’s April Fool X Aladdin), owned by Vanessa Morgan, was a successful eventer and prolific sire for Foothill’s Farm in Tennessee. May also bred Montully Son to many other what she called “old-fashioned” Connemaras, those that she could find with no Little Heaven blood in their pedigree. This program was in many ways extraordinarily successful with Tullymor ponies, including many stallions, now in every corner of the US, where they successfully compete in driving, eventing and dressage.

While all this was happening in the US, in England, a special consortium was formed to save the aged stallion Thunderbolt from the knackers. Thunderbolt was by Thunder, another son of Tully Lad and out of Irene Grey, who was a granddaughter of the Irish Draft, May Boy. This program has also produced ponies that are found far and wide. In Europe Chiltern Thunderburst (Thunderbolt x Chiltern Cameo) and his son, Rory Rasputin (Chiltern Thunderburst x Van de Aronbosch Donna) are very popular sires in Denmark and The Netherlands, respectively. In England there is Spinway Comet (Thunderbolt x Spinway Cailin) who is a many-times winner in hand. In the US, there is a son and a grandson of Thunderbolt in California. The son, Lasrachai, is out of Lovely Marcella (by Rebel Wind). The grandson is Sydserff Avalon (Cocum Camelot [by Thunderbolt] X Ballydonagh Misterina [by Kirtling Brigadoon]). There is another grandson in Indiana, Landsdown Willow’s Harbor Boy (*Chiltern Colm X Sillbridge Miranda [by Thunderbolt]). *Callowfeenish Thunder, Sam Davis’ famous gelding, Tor, was a Thunderbolt son imported to the US as a stallion and sired at least one pony in Virginia, Aluinn Torrence, before being gelded.

us_mountain_lad_lineIn 1983 in Ireland Tully Grey (Tully Lad X Cait Nu Dhuibhir) was bred to Abbeyleix Bluebird (Coosheen Finn X Blue Moon), starting a third major branch of the Mountain Lad line, the “Hazy” pony line, perhaps the most prolific of all the branches. The result of this cross, Dale Haze, has sons and grandsons throughout Europe and the US through the stallions Hazy Dawn, Moy Hazy Cove and later, Hazy Match. Fernville Matchmaker (Hazy Match X Ross Castle Moya [by Abbeyleix Owen]) was imported to the US two years ago and has gotten his first mare in foal.

Now the Mountain Lad genes are spread throughout the world and it is hard to find a Connemara pedigree without Mountain Lad in it somewhere. The importation of Frederiksminde Hazy Cavalier (Hazy Dawn X Frederiksminde Christina) to Australia assures that the line will continue to increase! Sue Clark of the Glenormiston stud in Australia says that Cavalier has filled out a lot since he arrived. Sue also said, “Unfortunately his dam Frederiksminde Christina died recently at the age of 25 so he is the last of this (Christina) line. His sire Hazy Dawn is also in his 20’s but will hopefully continue to breed for a few more years.

Connemara Success at European Championships 2009


The European Showjumping Championships at Moorsele, Belgium were conducted recently. Approx. 20 Connemara ponies from several countries competed making the Connemara the most conspicuous breed at the Championships. The CPBS sponsored the Connemara ponies Ballyowen Maybelle Molly and Sillogue Darkie. in this prestigious championship.

BALLYOWEN MAYBELLE MOLLY is by Monaghanstown Fred from the mare Ballyowen Bonny Bell. She was bred by John and Jenny Richardson, owned by Anthony McCormack and ridden by Kellie Allen. Molly was upgraded this year and won the 6-7 year old European Championship at Fontainebleu and has qualified for the 148A class at Dublin.

SILLOGUE DARKIE is by Ard Talisman from the mare Coillchru Esmerelda. Bred and owned by Eamonn Briscoe and ridden by Michael Duffy, Darkie has represented Ireland individually and in teams events in Belgium, Italy, France, England, Holland and Germany. Last year he won the premium pony league with rider Jessica Burke and this year is leading the league once again with rider Michael Duffy..He has qualified for the 148 Class at the RDS, the Star finder at Banteer.

Boston Burgler, another Connemara from Ireland also competed. Burgler is a member of the Irish Eventing team and had 189 SJAI points when he started eventing.

Ballyowen Maybelle Molly and Sillogue Darkie were jumping for Ireland in the team trials. The show jumpers were leading on a zero score at the halfway stage following clears from Kellie Allen (Ballyowen Maybelle Molly) and Michael Duffy (Sillogue Darkie). The team-mates all faulted second time out to leave the final Irish tally at 12 faults, which allowed the Danish team to claim gold when they completed with eight on the board while Germany took bronze when finishing with 16.

A few days later Ballyowen Maybelle Molly ended up seizing the gold medal in the individual trials Not only did a Connemara Pony attained such glory for her breed, but after Molly’s jump-off against Denmark’s Christiane Tetzlaff, second place went to Murphy’s Flight (sold out of Ireland to Denmark some two years ago) – another Connemara! Sillogue Darkie finished xxx in the individual competition.

We look forward to hearing more results by Connemara ponies in the European Championships.Connemara Success at European Championships

British Stud Book Opened for All Visitors!

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Connemara News and Thoughts in Ireland’s Equestrian


Those of you who are lucky enough to be able to purchase the magazine “Ireland’s Equestrian” will probably have already read the article on “Kippure Stud – The Business of Connemaras”

Many of you will probably have visited “Kippure”, spoken to Michael Igeo and realised the depth of Connemara knowledge that he possesses and will readily appreciate the message that is contained in his article on page 69 – 71 of the March April issue of Ireland’s Equestrian.

Michael outlines the primary use of the Connemara Pony in the early days and the market forces that saw change in the use of the Pony – consumerism, specialisation, dependence and market propaganda prevailed with the system of brood mares no longer expected to be worked and tested thoroughly. Faults and weaknesses that other wise would be found at the source of the working were now getting through. He speaks of a broad universal knowledge that is now found in place of what was a narrow detailed personal knowledge of individual ponies and the breed in general that lasted from childhood until death. Succession meant inherited knowledge and the passing on of this knowledge.

Understanding the relationship of “form and function” holds the key to success. Get it wrong and the result is devastating he states. Selective breeding is an art, which is second nature to someone who is gifted with the knowledge. Understanding the bloodlines and back breeding requires patience and analysis. He refers to the knowledge of Susan De Vesci, Jimmy Jones and Graham Tulloch that represented a Life’s work, a philosophy committed to memory.

In the heading – “Links in the chain” -Michael refers to the activities of the later part of the 20th century and the problems of inbreeding, over height, lack of bone etc. Michael states that as we delve further into the Connemara Pony, the more impressive is the impact that some of our predecessors have made. These vital links must be maintained, as without them, the demise is hastened.

“Need for reform –Blueprints for competition” Michael believes that our endeavours are to build on the efforts of our past stalwart breeders and be authentic in this restoration. The “In-Hand” world is only a small glimpse into the story of the Connemara Pony. Ponies must be bred that will meet customers expectations. There is a need to instil confidence in the industry of breeding Connemara ponies that in fact possess those unique qualities of the Connemara pony that can and do perform As well as and in fact better than most.

An interesting and thought provoking article for those who have concerns for the future of the Connemara pony.

Sweden: Connemara News April 2009

The pony performance ranking for 2008 makes interested reading for the friend of the Connemara pony. Here the results over the past year of ponies of all breeds are summarised and the ponies are ranked relative to each other. For the performance interested breeder the ranking lists make interesting reading.


Beginning with dressage the overall winner of 2008 was a Connemara pony, Lotus II (by Rolls Royce out of Lorette V). Rolls Royce is one of the Swedish stallions with an Elite premium and he has long had a reputation of siring good performance ponies. Lotus’ dam Lorette V is imported to Sweden from France and has also been competing successfully, although in show jumping. Lotus himself has been one of the top dressage ponies in Sweden competing successfully for more than a decade. He has twice participated in the European Championships, both times qualifying to the individual final.

Figure 1: Backens Lotus (by Rolls Royce out of Princess Jasmin) ridden by Isabella Tovek

Figure 1: Backens Lotus (by Rolls Royce out of Princess Jasmin) ridden by Isabella Tovek

No less than nine Connemaras appear among the top 100 of the dressage ponies. The stallion V ̈arnbergs Orion has sired the second highest ranking Connemara, Hagens Qumulus (out of Hagens Fondora), another old European Cham- pionship participant. Qumulus half sister Ha- gens Rosmara (out of Hagens Andora) also made top 100. This mare won the Swedish Champi- onships for Connemara ponies a few years back and has also done well at the in-hand classes of the national show proving that conformation and performance go hand in hand. Also Rolls Royce have two of his offspring on the top 100 dressage list. Backens Lotus (out of Princess Jasmin) is another winner of the Swedish Cham- pionships for Connemara ponies and his rider was awarded the Folksam stipend from the Swe- dish Connemara society for 2008 for advertising the Connemara so well with her successful com- peting.


Figure 2: Grange Flynn Sparrow (by Ashfield Festy out of Grange Agnes Sparrow) ridden by Karolina Gahne

Figure 2: Grange Flynn Sparrow (by Ashfield Festy out of Grange Agnes Sparrow) ridden by Karolina Gahne

Eventing has a history of being a strong Connemara discipline in Sweden. Lately, however, there has been a lack of Connemaras among the absolute top performers. In 2008 seven Connemaras made top 100 with the highest ranking being Sunday Bell (by Countach Campbell x Sun Light), incidentally yet another winner at the Swedish Championships for Connemara ponies. Finney Master, another of the Elite premium stallions in Sweden, during his lifetime, made a name for himself as a sire of performance ponies and among the top 100 eventers two of his offspring were found: Brol ̈otens Azzaro (out of Dame Grainne) and Amielle (out of Brantshammar Beckymoss). The international crowd may be interested to hear that two imported ponies were also among the top 100: the Danish S ̈ostholm Kidman (by Pilgaards Killroy out of S ̈ostholm Kimberley) and the Irish Grange Flynn Sparrow (by Ashfield Festy out of Grange Agnes Sparrow).

If the purebred Connemaras are somewhat absent among the top eventers this is made up for in no small amount by two highly successful partbreds. Lillefot (by Frederiksminde Hazy Chance) was the number one eventer in 2008. Among his successes last year are a gold at the Swedish Championships and at the Nordic – Baltic Championships. Runner up to Lillefot in the ranking is another partbred Connemara: Casper (by Cannon) who was the best Swede at last years European eventing Championships.

Show Jumping

Figure 3: Westside Padraig (by Westside Fred out of Aran Suzy)

Figure 3: Westside Padraig (by Westside Fred out of Aran Suzy)

Show jumping is by far the most popular discipline in Sweden with fierce competition, and Irish ponies have a reputation of jumping well. Sadly many Irish ponies, sometimes a picture of Connemara breed type, still come to Sweden with an unknown pedigree. Fortunately many Connemaras also bring their true identity to Sweden and market the Connemara as a high class performer.

The most successful show jumper in 2008 was the Connemara Westside Padraig (by Westside Fred out of Aran Suzy). Among his many wins were two bronzes in the Swedish show jumping championships indoors and outdoors respectively. Another of Westside Fred’s gets Lexus Justice (out of Dunamoney Lass) ranked number 15 in 2008, and the third highest ranking Connemara was a grandchild of Westside Fred: Williams Town Wonder (by Monaghanstown Fred out of Charlotte’s Pride). Show jumping genes anyone?

Another pony known for his performance genes is Poetic Justice (by Ballydonagh Cas- sanova out of Gloves Misty). His purebred daughter Poetic Annie (out of Myrens Anitra) is one of the seven Connemaras on the show jumping top 100. Another of his get, the partbred Golden Star was the third most successful show jumper in 2008 beaten only by the purebred Westside Padraig and an Irish import with unknown breeding. In the indoor show jumping championships of 2008 Golden Star took a silver medal.

The competition season so far

The competition season of 2009 has started for show jumping and dressage and a handful of indoor competitions on a national level has been held. It is still too early to single out which ponies will be the ”big” ones this year, but it is pleasing to see that several Connemaras are already in the ribbons. In show jumping the Swedish bred Desdemona (by Brol ̈otens Joop out of Ti-Ti-Oo) and Poetic Gilbert (by Poetic Justice out of Poetic Annie) has won and been placed respectively, while Irish bred ponies like Clew Bay Thunder (by Thunderball out of Racecourse View), Hearnsbrook Mairtin (by Connemara Playboy out of Atlantic Rose), Finisglen Flora (by Coosheen Finnegan out of Finisglen Star) and Harnells Tricky Dicky (by Rynn Richard out of Fermoyle Heather) all have been placed. The Danish Connemara Skousboe Morning Gift (by Skousboe Morning Rock out of Frederiksminde Mary Lou) have already visited Sweden and travelled back home with a rosette.

In dressage the old veteran Hagens Qumulus (by V ̈arnbergs Orion out of Hagens Fondora), at 19 years of age, has started off very well with two rosettes in his first competition. Backens Lotus is also showing promise with a 6th place at his first national competition of the year. The mare K ̈ohls Fidolina (by Shirley’s Thunderbell out of Hagens Ellina) had a promising start to competing at a national level when she took a third place and qualified to the Swedish Championships at her very first start at this level.

Stallion Inspections

Figure 4: Poetic Kelly (by Poetic Justice out of Lofty Dusty Rambler)

Figure 4: Poetic Kelly (by Poetic Justice out of Lofty Dusty Rambler)

Poetic Justice has been in the news quite a bit lately. Already well known, also among non-Connemara people and riders with not interest in breeding, for his ability to sire outstanding jumpers first made the headlines by travelling down to France for the 2009 covering season. At the stallion inspections in late March he was the man of the day in all ways. Firstly Poetic Justice was awarded his Elite premium, in particular for the jumping ability of his offspring, and is now among the select group of Swedish Elite stallions.

But the success of Poetic Justice did not end here. Later during the day his son Poetic Kelly was approved. Kelly is out of Lofty Dusty Rambler (by Kimble) and certainly lived up to what his pedigree promised with his impressive loose jumping. Other news from the inspections was that L ̊angarn ̈o Cedric completed his performance test and is now fully approved and Calvin Klein was awarded an A premium for the good conformation of his offspring.

Photo: Figure 1 -3: Jenny Hagenblad, figure 4 Annsi Jacobsson

/Jenny Hagenblad