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Newsletter December 2008

An Rugha Is Fearr



A big thank you to John Tennant who has again done a great job in compiling the newsletter for us.

Time goes fast, it feels it was only a short while ago when we met in Clifden and now it is only a few weeks to Christmas! Hopefully you are all able to relax and enjoy the company of your families, friends and ponies. May you also have a moment to think about the ICCPS?

Now! I feel a bit like an old gramophone with a stuck needle. You may remember that I asked earlier for the societies to have a look at the ICCPS Rules for registration as these are in need of review. The Executive Board has a big task to go through the rules during winter and bring the revised version to the next AGM. Have a look at the rules please and let the Executive Board members know your thoughts and ideas – at least! I haven’t got any messages concerning the rules so far! Does this mean that there isn’t anything needing attention? I doubt that! DO IT NOW so the Executive Board has a chance to do its job on time. Only if we know what is needed can we propose the changes and bring the document to the AGM in August.

Another option is to spend endless and often fruitless hours at meetings going through the rules sentence by sentence – and then find the result is not what members wanted.

Soon it is time to begin to make plans for the trip to Ireland in March. Watch out for the schedule of the CPBS Spring festival, IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE AVAILABLE SOON!! I’m sure it is going to be a huge success again, despite the difficult financial situation around the world.

Whilst I am writing this there is a real blizzard outside. The ponies spent their day out as usual, but they were willing to come into stables a bit earlier in the evening than normal. The snow ploughs have been busy but the last kilometre to the stable was totally blocked – the wind had blown the snow to big dunes across the road. Right now it is not very tempting to go outside. But when the skies clear this will be a real winter wonderland! I like proper winter and snow and our seasonal changes. The ponies prefer the snow to the mud too!

On behalf of the Executive Board of the ICCPS I wish each and every member of the International groups of Connemara Pony lovers a peaceful and joyous Christmas and a prosperous year 2009 for you and your ponies.

Tuula Pyoria ICCPS Chair •••

Winter is now obviously firmly entrenched in the Northern hemisphere and ponies snug in their winter quarters, there appears to be little to report as to pony activities.

Down South, there are not many of us, (Australia and New Zealand) and very little is happening as the summer show season has barely begun with little or not material coming to hand as to show results etc. This is the reason that I asked for material to begin our Website promotion of the performance qualities of both Stallions and mares from each Society. I sincerely hope that you can get aboard with this request so that our concept of a web site register of a performance can get off the ground.


GERMANY (Perhaps a bit of Australia too!) This item was sent to me from Germany and so I absolve myself from any degree of favouritism!

A mail from Elke Bader has the headline “Australian Connemara pony wins performance contest 2008 in Germany” the note continues- “Glenormiston Annashee, a 3 year old Australian bred Connemara mare, now resident in Germany has stunned the German Equine Community with her brilliant performance in the 2 week performance contest for Pony mares in Baden-Wurttemburg. Scoring was done in accordance with the rules of the Official LPO competition regulations.

“Annashee” is bred in the purple. She is by Castle Baron, a full brother to Castle Comet, Castle Countess and Castle Urchin. She is from the mare Glenormiston Abbeylara (Domo Cavallo Praize – Washlands Rebecca). The competition is in dressage, loose jumping, rideability and Interieur. Annashee’s score in rideability was an incredible score of 9/10. Elke goes on to say that this performance confirms her conviction that there doesn’t necessarily exist a discrepancy between successful breeding show ponies and ponies doing sports as it is already proven by Annishee’s family – the Castle ponies.

“Annashee” is owned by Elke Bader from Black Forest Connemara Ponies, Germany and was bred by Sue Clarke, Glenormiston Connemara Ponies, Queensland, Australia

(One must also not forget that the Australian Stud “Glenormiston” has a deep background of performance orientated ponies and Domo Cavallo Praize is a legend in Australia).

It may not be fully known that there are two societies in Germany that support the Connemara pony Breed independent from the breeding societies. The German Connemara Pony Association (CPIG) as well as the German Connemara Pony Society (CPV) had some changes inside their structures and both have new home pages. It would be of value to all Connemara breeders and owners to check the web sites and www.connemara-pony-de for more detailed information.


CANADA This report from Canada is an extension of a brief report in the last newsletter, thanks to Bridget Wingate.

“Connemaras did well in the Extravaganza show in British Columbia” Connemara ponies competed against the much larger Irish Draughts in the final class, the Gamblers Choice Jumping event. This was a star event at the show with the jumps at 4 feet. Each jump had a point value with riders having to jump as many as could be against the clock, including the Jeopardy fence that consisted of two vertical rails with a point score of 200 points.

The ponies had an advantage as they could turn faster and two Connemaras made full use of this fact. Hillside Sassafrass and Bien Mallin’s Rory cleared all fences with Rory taking first place and Sassafrass second, leaving the Irish Draught contingent well behind.

“Rory” (Landgate’s Holy Smoke – Bar S Heather) is a 10 year old, 13.2hh Registered and Inspected Stallion. He has won countless Jumping Championships to 3ft 3 inches. He has performed well in Eventing and won his first training Division this fall in British Columbia. Rory was also trained to Harness especially to help the Team Connemara in the Battle of the Breeds.

He has anchored the “Canadian Team Connemara” group in all five divisions of Driving, Dressage, Barrel Racing, Jumping and Trail. In 2007 he won Canada’s first Cross Country driving trek race with his owner and driver Melanie White.

He happily combines a performance career with stud duties and is passing his exceptional temperament and work ethics onto his progeny. Truly a wonderful Pony showing the true Connemara Traits.


Another very successful Stallion in British Columbia is Elphin Cronan (Maplehurst Michael MacDaire – SP Mils Braeban). Whilst Cronan himself has not had a competitive career, his pure bred and part bred offspring are making their marks In the Eventing scene. Irish, a Th/Connemara cross began his eventing career at prelim. Level and has won twice and been placed twice, before moving to Intermediate level, where he was again placed second at the first event.

Two young purebreds KS Priceless and Coolmore. Priceless have been placed first and second at all his training level events and Coolmore with his 13 yr old rider won pony Club jumping and Hunting Champion at the same show and was placed second at his first Horse trials.

“Simply Irresistible”, a three quarter Connemara mare, has been placed consistently in junior levels and has gone on to be placed in a 24 mile endurance ride.


DENMARK TheDanishSocietyconducteditsinspectionandshowprogramsinAugust with Tom MacLochlainn from Ireland officiating. The best pony at Inspection was Bech’s Magic Breeze (Innellan Kestrel) belonging to Thomas Thomsen. Best in Show was Innellan Kestrel (Spinway Comet) owned by Reci Bech. Full results from the show can be found on

From the Danish Ponies that have competed internationally – the top award winner in Denmark is the BEC Gelding Enghojs Quincy Blue (Baunely’s Dipper). Quincy competes at International level and he was placed 4th in the CSIP in Norway in February 2008. Other successful showjumpers are the Irish bred mare Moneyveen Girl (Smokey Duncan) and French Licensed Stallion Ice and Fire D’albran (Dexter Leam Pondi). The 19 year old gelding Bogegaardens Calibra (Earl of Doon) participated in the European Championships in Eventing for Denmark. Calibra won the Danish Championship in cross-country jumping in 2001 and 2006.


GREAT BRITAIN The British Connemara pony Society performance award scheme results are to hand. All top ten award winners in the Pure bred have scores varying from 11380 to 2880 points. Wonderful results. One interesting fact arising from the score sheets (8 pages in all) is the fantastic performance of the stallion “Hayselden Bacchus”. Two of his progeny feature in the first ten on the score sheet and his progeny feature 10 times in the 48 placing listed. If one ventures further into the awards, Bacchus, through his progeny, Hayselden Xenia, Orion, Artemis, and Xanthe received varying trophies. Still further, Hayselden Stud, the home of Bacchus, owned by the Hon.


A. Harries and Mrs. P.S Harrison was awarded the SCARLETTS trophy as breeders of most ponies gaining points.

What a fantastic contribution to the Connemara pony world by the Stud and the Stallion Hayselden Bacchus. The proprietors of Hayselden Stud must be over the moon!

A wander through the full report brings to light many well known Stallions and Ponies, all of whom are showing the world just what the Connemara pony can do. Please ask Sarah Hodgkins if you would like a copy of the report.


FINLAND The Connemara pony gelding, “Park Benjamin”, has won the indoor showjumping championship for ponies held on 26 November. He was ridden by 14 year old Vera Elopuro. Benjamin was bred in Ireland in 1997 by Sandra Parkinsons and was imported into Finland in March 2006. He is by Ashfield Festy out of Spanish Dance (Meryn Pookhaun) Benjamin is owned in Finland by Emilie de la Chapelle. Benjamin has numerous wins and placings in national level from 110 – 125cms and he was part of the national pony Team competing in the European Championships last summer. “Park Benjamin” can be found from the CPBS Database – he was registered in Ireland with number G.2711.


GENERAL The time and effort in making contacts with Equine Magazines around the world has paid off with some excellent reports being printed in both the English “Native Pony” and the “Irish Horse and Pony”. The latter is exceptionally good and mails me before each printing date for information. We have had articles on the formation of the ICCPS and the Australian Society and its association with the Charles Sturt University. The December issue (received 3/12/08) has fully printed an article from Denmark (Lene will remember this article as it went missing both in my computer and from the Publication computer but it found its way eventually). A full report from Austria re the two stallions that won in the first Eventing/Military events and an excellent article from France.

As a result of a request for the next issue material, I have sent copy of what was still available but the cupboard is now absolutely bare. It is vital to the continuation of this promotional program that you, the Societies, continue to send material so that we retain this very important, free promotion of the Connemara pony. The other fact is that there are frequent references to the Connemara pony in Ireland in this publication. With our input the pony worldwide is being reported and recognised.

I have received a note from Ruth Rodgers, An Capaillin on two matters. First – A new Connemara pony Breeders group has been formed in Ireland. It is called the MIDLAND CONNEMARA PONY BREEDERS GROUP. The Chair is Eddie Fleming, Vice Chair, John Moran, Secretary Mary Rabbit, Treasurer John Durkin and P>R>O> is Ruth Rodgers.

I have asked Ruth to advise as to whom I can make contact with in relation to news items. It is nice to see yet another Connemara group formed to promote our wonderful pony. On your behalf, I wish the new group the best of luck in its work to promote our lovely pony.

Second point from Ruth is that An Capaillin has gone to press. The publication will contain 136 pages of beautiful material highlighting our great pony and there is a bit of something from everywhere! As members of the ICCPS we MUST always ensure that this wonderful publication remains a top item in the promotion of the Pony and that every effort is made to ensure that the annual publication is strongly maintained. The important factor with the publication is that it, despite some belief to the opposite, An Capaillin is a world class, worldwide read advertisement for the Connemara pony. It is not a publication now merely for the Irish internal network but it represents of the best Irish advertisements for both Ireland and its every growing most recognised exports – the Connemara pony. May those that have influence in Ireland recognise this fact and act accordingly. (This is my thoughts anyhow)

Time has come and with some considerable disappointment I find that a very few Societies have answered my call for material. To those who have sent articles – a very big thank you. The magazines that I have mentioned are all asking for articles on top performing stallions, Mares and the progeny of these top performers. It is this material that will build our Web site performance Board. PLEASE! Take time and put a few words together. I have nothing for future Magazines, and, if you want the role of Co-ordinator to continue and the promotion of our pony to be foremost, then I can do it only with your help.

SO! Please help and send articles!

From down under I send you greetings and wishes for a joyful Christmas with family and friends and may the year 2009 be one of happiness and success for you and your ponies. Attached hereto are also a number of cuddly pats for all ponies wherever they may be!

Happy Christmas! Lots of love and regards John TENNANT

Newsletter October 2008

An Rugha Is Fearr



ICCPS August meeting was well attended although we missed official delegates from Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and Switzerland.

We had a good start at the meeting – after discussion we were able to adopt the form cover the veterinary stallion assessment in all ICCPS Countries from the beginning of 2009. This form will follow a stallion if he changes country later. Thank you to Madeleine Beckman and Philip McManus for preparing this form.

Prefix registration was an item that caused hot debate in the spring meeting. It is clear that certain prefix/suffix should only be used by a person who “owns” it. If duplicates exist in different countries the country code will separate them and from now on the registrar should check before accepting a prefix that it is not in use already. The CPBS has a rule that prefix cannot be used even as part of a name by another breeder. If this rule works for the CPBS, it is fine. But by accepting some common and much used words as a prefix the CPBS cannot prevent breeders in other countries using words like Misty, Scarlet or Sparrow as part of a name. So, the CPBS Council might need to look at this again. Now, I’ll ask all ICCPS societies to prepare a list of prefixes in use in your country and send this list to Susan McConnell, secretary, and also to Niamh at the CPBS office… We should be able to prevent duplication in the future. Perhaps the list of prefixes in use by Connemara pony breeders might be able to be listed on the ICCPS website? Susan MUST get this information for this to occur!

Alex O’Connor has done a great job and the pedigree database is up and running. The link can be found on the CPBS website. Alex is waiting for the information from the ICCPS Societies! You might remember that the CPBS is funding the cost of putting up the database and yearly maintenance costs will be shared by the societies. That cost will not be high, so please think about the benefits of a world wide database! I do know that it is not possible to get the necessary information in compatible form in some areas. At least in Finland there are some difficulties but the matter is now in the hands of Finland’s Hippos computer wizards.

ICCPS rules on the website are not up to date. The executive board will review the rules during the coming winter period. The intention is that the rules should be as simple as possible and the executive board will bring its proposal to the next AGM. To be able to re-draft the rules we need your help. Please, email your thoughts to Susan – the sooner the better so that work can begin.

We had other items in the agenda as well, but the above items are the ones that need action from the societies. So, a list of prefixes to Susan and Niamh, database information to Alex and suggestions regarding the rules to me or Susan, ASAP PLEASE!

I didn’t quite manage to end the meeting by midday as promised beforehand. On the other hand we heard interesting news about sweet itch and the results of the latest research from the Swedish researcher Marie Sundqvist, and saw a beautiful presentation of Susanne Lehman’s photographs from the Pony European Championships!

Next year the AGM will be in August – but my guess is that many will visit Connemara for the stallion parade in the spring festival.

Regards to all Tuula Pyöriä ICCPS Chair

Notes from the Societies:

AUSTRALIA: The first team of inspectors from the CPBSA has been and returned to Clifden as part of a continuing program to ensure that the CPBSA has the same inspection procedures as the mother country and other groups. Information is that they all thoroughly enjoyed their trip. The instruction and experience they received, the added knowledge of Connemara and the environment from which the pony emanated together will provide them with a much broader picture which they will carry into their role as Australian inspectors. We must ensure that this rotation of inspectors is continued.

A number of pure bred Connemara ponies and part bred ponies have been flying the Connemara flag down under. Exmoor Truffles from pure bred Connemara mare Exmoor Sugar Gum and thoroughbred sire Cosine was placed 2nd twice and 3rd in her last four events that included a large field of interstate horses. Truffles is now leader on the South Australian Barostoc leader board for eventing in South Australia and placed 32nd in the national field.


Two part bred geldings in Western Australia from the mating of Skipcello, a New Zealand thoroughbred line and a pure bred Connemara mare Kemill Hill Amie are truly showing the versatility of the Connemara part bred. Kemill Hill Co-Pilot (15.2hh) is competing at medium dressage, hacking and hunter classes and has twice been the Connemara part bred of the year. The younger brother, Kemill Hill Storm (16.1hh) has the first place on the WA Pony Club leader board for eventing in 2007.

The pure bred mare Rupari Baronia (Rupari Ronan – Ballantrae Lupin) has been involved in pony club and one day eventing for 18 months with wins at state pony club championship in 2006 and grade 3 horse trials and numerous other high placings. Glenormiston Finnegan (Abbeyleix Finbar – Glenormiston Celebration) has been competing at dressage, and horse trials with numerous top placings at all disciplines.

AUSTRIA: Andrea Hochfellner reports that at a regional pony show in Styria in May the filly foal Green-Heart Myra won the youth championship and the all over championship from approx 50 ponies that attended. At an eventing/military competition also in May, 1st, 2nd and 3rd placings went to Connemaras. In order – Rebel Lord, Collens Lord and A.C. Silver Stream filled the placings.

The Austrian Pony Championship in eventing/military in August saw two Connemara stallions succeed. A.C. Silver Stream won the Austrian pony championship in the youth rider class and the stallion Rebel Lord won the adult class. A very happy report from Andrea.

BRITAIN: The European pony eventing team of five members from Britain that journeyed to Avenches, Switzerland, had three Connemara ponies as mounts. One is a part bred – Ice Cool Bailey, and pure breds Glenayre Bay Surf and Killacorran Blue. Probably a few more teams with Connemaras if only we knew! Information is that the British team of Night Girl 002/Althea Bleekman, Ice Cool Bailey/ Gina Ruck, Catherston Nutsafe/Ella McEwen, and Killacorran Blue/Eliza Stoddart won the silver medal.

26 Colts were presented for inspection in Britain in 2008. 10 colts passed visual and veterinarian inspection and were entered in class 1 of the BCPS stud book. A judges day will be held in Warwickshire agricultural college on Saturday 18 October.

CANADA: A team of Connemaras again went into battle in Canada in the “Battle of the breeds” at Spruce Meadows, Alberta, in September. The Canadian Connemara team has performed extremely well in past years. Events covered are show jumping, obstacle driving, barrel racing, trail and compulsory driving skills. In the show jumping there was an error of

height in the jeopardy jumping, making the fence stand at four feet. This did not bother the 13.2hh Rory (smallest pony in the competition) who flew it with ease. He and a thoroughbred were the only two the successfully negotiate this fence. Rory finished 2nd. In the obstacle driving “Peso” decided to jump the water obstacle and this gave her driver a real thrill. Barrels were down in the barrel racing and the team finished the competition in 5th place. A brilliant team of mules were placed 1st.

FINLAND: Three new stallions are available to Finnish breeders for 2008/2009 season. Two are Finnish bred. Rockfield Wizard (Innellan Kestrel – Rockfield Scaramé), a 4 year old, will go back for final inspection in two years. Eternal Flake (Symphatil Hazy Becks – Apris Carolina), a 5-year old, will go back for ispection again next year. Eternal Flake’s grand sire is Frederiksminde Hazy Marvel and was bred north in Kolari in Lapland. The third stallion available is 16-year old Ashfield Cathal Crobdhearg. Bred by the late Jimmy Jones, he is by Ormond Oliver from the Carna Bobby mare Ashfield Lor Sparrow, and is leased by president Tuula.

Latest news from Finland is that the breed show was a great success. Libby Petch attended to judge. The weather was good, ponies behaved, therefore people were happy and the weekend was blessed with the attendance of a representative from the Irish Embassy. The show was well reported on the horse board’s website and on the German society’s website also. Truly excellent program organisation from the PR officer Satu Pitkänen.

(JT: I have just completed reading a novel centered in the far north of Finland. Lapland is heavily written about. I now feel that I almost have been in Lapland!)

UNITED STATES: An excellent article from the USA features the Dun Roche mare line. Dun Roche, a daughter of Noble Star carried the Connemara pony stud book number 773. She is recorded as having one foal, a filly foaled in 1943. She is by the stallion Creganna Winter and was called Winter Roche. This mare had 11 foals, one of which was named Finney Master and was exported to France and then Sweden. This stallion was a great sire and was awarded elite breeding stallion status in Sweden. The daughters of Winter Roche were themselves good brood mares and as a result the line has spread world wide. The file has in all 8 pages of detail, photos and extended blood lines. Unfortunately it is too long for this newsletter but those interested should contact the ACPS Secretary Marnel Eyles and I am sure a copy will be on its way to you ASAP. Well worth the read, don’t miss getting a copy!

BITS AND PIECES: In reading various Horse and Pony magazines etc. several interesting remarks in reader’s letters have appeared. One writer was most concerned: “The trend for some of our native ponies to become “horses” continues… classes are designed to show the best traits of a particular type… but when it comes to native ponies, we have a particular responsibility to safeguard the characteristics that they have achieved by natural selection and that allowed their survival. The breed standard clearly states that the Connemara should not exceed 148 cm. We cannot expect all prospective purchases to be discerning enough to buy over height ponies… But the judges have a responsibility not to place these animals in classes restricted to M&M ponies. I have always considered an animal that measures over 14.2hh or 148cms to be a horse!” – Interesting observation and one for all to remember!

From “Horse and Hound”: Connemara Ponies were able to compete in working hunter classes at Dublin show in 2008. Is someone finally recognising that the Connemara pony is a definite performance pony? The ICCPS certainly does and hence the development from the 2008 meeting in Clifden, April 2008, of moving to strongly foster the role of the performance Connemara. Given true conformation, movement and balance etc. it can equal and in fact perform better than many of the equines that it competes against. Just read the heading at the top of the page!

New Connemara pony publications: Tearna Goldston, an Australian Connemara breeder and enthusiast has been researching the Connemara breed in Australia for a number of years with the intention of putting her work to paper. Tearna last year realized that the project had become so incredibly large that her book has broadened to three books. The first focusing on the Cannon Ball line and the stallion mares in Australia, the second focuses on Connemara Boy and the Mountain Lad line families and the third book on the Carna Dun and Clonkeehan Auratum lines. It is expected that the publications will go to print early in 2009.

From “Native Pony”: A Fell pony breeder, in discussing M&M judges (and not just these I may add) made this comment: “A big worry is that M&M judges seem to think that you need a different type of pony to do ridden classes….. they should be judged against the breed standard in whatever sphere they are competing.” Further in the article, in talking of “type” he stated “it is impossible to replicate the environment that made these ponies what they are today, but all we can do is to run our ponies as near that ideal as possible.” Does this ring a bell somewhere within our own ponies and type!

On another page talking about the Exmoor pony – M&M judges were not familiar with them, and one comment made was that the Exmoor was at the bottom of the line because “it didn’t move like a Welsh” – this further enhances our need to ensure our judges have the right credentials! A very special thanks to “Native Pony” for their support to all the native Pony breeds both within and outside of the British Isles.

The 2008 spring festival in England saw a Connemara pony winning the Connemara/New Forest novice championship, and the overall workers’ champion was a Connemara pony.

And finally – if you can get a copy of “Native Pony” June/July edition, turn to page 16 and read “Natives can do Dressage”. It is a delightful article and once again tells the story “anything you can do, I can do better”. The 16 year old Connemara mare – Corellian Asset (Spinway Comet – Hungry Hall Beret) has progressed from unaffiliated dressage through to her current level of “advanced medium”. Now that is an achievement! Asset’s owner/rider Samantha Gee tells the story of Asset’s training and need for a different approach to her training and how she adopted normal training to meet the physical and mental attributes of this wonderful pony. The usual Connemara nature was always there asking “why?” Then replying “OK, if that is what you want, explain it and we will get on with it!” It is the old story – the Connemara will do and can do almost anything – but you must explain to them why!

Well that brings us to the end of what is really the first issue of the new publication to promote the Connemara pony. Several societies have indicated that a long newsletter and certainly one with photographs tends to clog some computers and so I find that I have to précis some reports and leave out photos. But do not despair and do not stop sending the reports and photos, because I am using these articles to send to the now increasing equine magazines that are asking for material. “The Native Pony”, “Horse and Hound”, “Irish Horse and Pony” and the “Irish Field” are some to whom I have sent articles that you have forwarded to me.

Thank you to those who have provided material. It has been beautiful to sit and read and transcribe to this publication.

As Tuula said in her last report to you, I can only continue to promote IF I have your support, your input with material, and really good stories on performance – whatever the field – so that I can get the national and international equine magazines to print the word on our ponies. YOU PROVIDE – I WILL PUSH – THE MAGAZINES WILL PUBLISH!

Down Under!

Newsletter May 2008

An Rugha Is Fearr


You would all now have received a copy of the ICCPS Minutes from the Clifden meeting 27th March 2008. In the minutes you will have read that the meeting asked if I would accept the role of oo-ordinator for the promotion of the Connemara pony world wide. I resigned as chair as I was no longer able to stand the travel to and from Ireland, BUT, I can sit here at the computer, ask questions, badger people to send material, write to magazines and ask for their help etc. so I have accepted the role as asked.

Sorry about that! This then is the first of what I hope will be many newsletters, all heaped with material that will indicate just how wonderfully versatile our pony is! As stated above it is “SIMPLY THE BEST”!

This letter is an asking paper NOT really a newsletter – yet!!! What I will desperately need now is vast and regular items of interest regarding the Connemara pony from your neck of the woods.

Can your society please provide for me, as soon as possible, the name, e-mail address, postal address etc. of the person who acts as your publicity officer (or similar role)? I would like to have prepared for me, on a quarterly basis, a report on your society, performance activities, results of major shows in your country, items on specific stallions and mares that you feel have played an important role in the development of the Connemara in your area, notes of how you see younger stallions and mares in your society will affect your country’s development, and even articles on personnel who have and who are playing a developmental role for the pony at home. In particularly, those ponies – stallions and mares – that have and are indicating a definite performance propensity need to be recognised and reported upon! With the address as asked for I will be able to make regular contact with your representative!

I would also like someone in your areas to pen specific articles of approx 1000 – 1500 words with perhaps one photo, again of specific ponies, developments at home etc. The reason is that I already have one international pony magazine indicating that they will accept good articles for printing in their publications.

The other very important point is that I will act for Ruth Rogers in the development of articles for “An Capaillín”. This will save Ruth from continually having to badger groups for material for her publication. I have been badgering people within the Connemara world for many years now so it will be nothing new and your group will have to expect continuous e-mails if your “An Capaillín” -articles are not received by due dates! Advanced warning with come at regular intervals. I would expect that a number of articles that are penned for national magazines would also fit the bill for “An Capaillín”.

A final request is can you supply the names and addresses of magazines in your country that publishes horse and pony publications so that contact can be made with them to try to have a continual Connemara feature in them!

This then is, for your society, the sorry story, as you will have again to put up with paper work from the nuisance down under, but all sent in the good spirit of promoting our wonderful pony!

I would like to have the first real newsletter with heaps of articles from around the societies available for mailing by the end of July. So please pressure someone to get cracking!

I would like to have contacts with all publicity/promotions officers from each group by the end of May, please! Contact can them be made, articles firmed and regular contacts established. I need names, addresses soon!!!

All big asks, but I know that you all love your ponies, want to see them accepted world wide as the wonderful pony that they are so I am sure that we can all work for the ponies and find the time to put thoughts together and from this give members world wide a broader knowledge of what is happening on the giant screen.

Oh yes! Could all pieces of news be in “Word” so that, with my poor computer skills, I can transfer them to a newsletter or send them off to a magazine!

Good to be able to make contact with you all again! John Tennant, ICCPS

Belgium: Connemara News 2008

D’JILL, a Belgian pony, won the BRITISH CONNEMARA PERFORMANCE AWARDS 2008. D’jill was bred in Belgium by Ariane Joly. She is by ARD CONNEELY, the former Clifden champion, standing in Belgium. Her mother is Udine, a black mare by the French sire Poker du Blin.
Irish Boy of Hazelfield

Irish Boy of Hazelfield

In 2005 D’jill was imported to the U.K. by the dealer Ran Arbel and then sold to The Strapp family. Elinor Strapp qualified her not only for the Blue Chip show jumping championships, but also for the ponyclub intermediaire dressage championships. She also won an affiliated intro event. At the BCPS awards the mare earned 11.360 points, nearly 4.000 points more than second- placed former winner Elaphine Murphy.

At the stallion inspection in September 2008 no new stallions were licensed. The 4-year old stallion Irish Boy of Hazelfield IMG_3092.JPG (Apollon Pondi x Cailin of Hazelfield by Frederiksminde Hazy Match), who was approved in 2007, became champion stallion and supreme champion of the national show in 2008. Champion mare was Carla van de Groenweg (Conor Mac Nessa x Glencarrigh Delphinum by Coosheen Finn). Boy’s full sister Gentle Ciarin of Hazelfield became reserve champion mare and reserve supreme champion, so full brother and sister won the championship! A very big success for this family!

Carla van de Groenweg

Carla van de Groenweg

The Connemara Pony Belgium is happy to announce a judges’ clinic with Mrs. Elisabeth Petch on the 4th of April at 2.00 p.m

All people with interest in the Connemara Pony, breeders, inspectors and judges are invited to attend this clinic that will take place at Aalter Stud Farm in Aalter (approx. 1 hour from Brussels airport).

For those who are interested there will also be a stallion inspection at 10.00 a.m. on the same day.

Please confirm your attendance to Anne Storme, if possible before March the 15th.
Phone: 0032/9/374.36.11,
mobile: 0032/475/436404

Germany: Connemara News 2008

Layer_4 As you might know, there are two societies in Germany, that support the Connemara Pony Breed, independent from the breeding societies. The German Connemara Pony Association (CPIG) as well as the German Connemara Pony Society (CPV), had some changes inside their structures and both have a new homepage since then. This is a common report and shall give an overview on all activities we had. We had an eventful year with several breeding shows and other events around the Connemara Pony Scene in Germany. 

The annual meeting of the CPV was supported by Tom Mac Lochlainn from Ireland. On two days he held an impressive lecture about the Connemara Pony, supported by nicely presented ponies of the Kinzighausen and the Marvellous and Crystal stud. The annual driver’s day of the CPV in May, organized by the Dröge family, attracted a lot of competitors and was an Layer_1enjoyable outing for everyone attending. In the morning Franz-Josef Dröge (you might remember seeing him in Clifden at the stallion parade) gave instructions about the course of the day. The afternoon was filled with a dressage competition and a pole competition on time. The Equitana Open Air 2008, 16th-18th of May, was the biggest local event in the middle of Germany. The Connemara Pony was well represented for several days. The CPV organized a small exhibition stand. The champion of the breeding competition was a grey mare called Joy of Life (Power Boy x Fort Curran), owner: Anne Langschwager, winner of the gelding class was a dun called Filou S (Flagrant x May Prince), owned by Manuela Rath. For sure the biggest event was the Allover German Connemara Pony Show Layer_3held in Schönbach in May, about which we already reported. Tom Mac Lochlainn luckily followed the invitation of the Connemara Pony IG to judge the ponies together with Klaus Biedenkopf, a member of the Hessian Breeding Society and a big fan of Connemara Ponies. Champion of this show was a wonderful mare named Crystal Jessie, a 9 year old mare by Bengt (Big Ben), out of Jessica (Caraway). Her breeder and owner, Claudia Quasnitza is also the owner of the best stallion of the show, Marvellous Simon by Grange Surf Sparrow, out of Josy Lady (Smokey Duncan). Reserve Champion was Glaskopf Grey Josephine, an 8 year old daughter of Grange Surf Sparrow out of Glaskopf Grey Joan (Glaskopf Golden Merlin), bred and owned by Dr. Sabine Bachmann. The next local event was a Hessian show in Usingen with almost 19 entries. Marvellous Joy (Groken Gun x Smokey Duncan) won the champion title, first reserve: Crystal Jessie, second reserve and last years champion: Glaskopf Gentle Jill (Glaskopf Golden Merlin x Carna Bobby). Best foal was Crystal Ann (by Marvellous Simon).

Layer_2A day on the Sunshine Connemara stud was an informative event about the ponies owned by Jan and Sonja Hendricks. It offered the visitors a lot of new perspectives about the wonderful sport and family ponies. We were delighted to be invited. The yearly regional shows and sport events took place and the German Connemara ponies were very well presented. Several very successful ponies appeared in the arenas and gave proof that Connemara Ponies can compete with the warmbloods as well as the German Riding Ponies. It was a very impressive promotion for the breed in Germany.

Layer_6The Hessian breed show for foals in Alsfeld, held in September, had 24 entries. Best foal was Kinzighausen Hazy Minou (Frederiksminde Hazy Marvel x Kinzighausen Golden Minta v. Glaskopf Golden Malcolm) followed by Kinzighausen Hazy Medley (Frederiksminde Hazy Marvel x Kinzighausen Golden Melody v. Glaskopf Golden Merlin), both bred an owned by the Kinzighausen stud, home of Frederiksminde Hazy Marvel. Beside these events we have had several other local shows in the north and south of Germany. Some new stallions were registered: Rhinstroem Mighty Man (Øxenholm Markbook x Maigaardens Killian) , Hohnhorst Jamiro(Hesselbjerggard Justice x Tootle U) , Springfield Fianaid (Canal Flynn x Layer_5Rosenaharley Lavelle) , Pattys Veuve Cosmic (Pattys Veuve Cliquot x Rolls Royce), Hohnhorst Jaro (Hesselbjerggard Justice x Tootle U). One stallion got a special prize from the breeding societies: Penancing-Brook Hazy Marschall (Fredriksminde Hazy Marvel x Golden Gori). You will find detailed information about everything that happened, all stallions and also international show events with a lot of pictures, even of the stallions progeny, etc… on the new CPIG homepage and it ́s English version: Please also notice, the new homepage of the CPV:


Annette Korbanka


Australia: Monahan Harrison 2008


Sire: Ben Dhui Diccon

Dam: Wychwood Lady Ann

Gaye & Tim Haworth purchased Harrison (or Harry as he is known as) in May 2003 from Christa Jone’s Monahan Stud. They were looking for that special pony for their daughter Kristy, and Harry being a newly broken in 3 year old, seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

Initially it took a while for the two to “click ” as Harry had a strong personality, but after a while the two found common ground and the rest is history.

One of the first outings for the two was the BRAG Pony Sports Day in 2004. Harry and Kristy came along for the experience, but ended the day by taking out the Ballantrae Cup for the Best Performed Connemara on the day. No mean feat, as he was up against some of the more experienced and well known ponies. Even then he showed his potential for show jumping, only being beaten by “that damned wave jump”.

Since then Harry and Kristy have gone to be a formidable combination in show jumping circles. They consistently place and win junior jumps at many of the local shows and are jumping clear rounds at EFA D grade level (easily clearing rounds at 1.1 mtrs.)

Harry does have a couple of pet hates, those being, dressage (boring!!!!), working cattle and becomes disgruntled when the odd occasion arises when a rug leg strap comes undone. Even though he “hates” dressage, he is still placing at PC grade 3, plus also in open company at prelim and novice levels, which is a pretty good effort for a horse that gets bored with it as easily as he does.

Some of Kristy and Harry’s achievements over the last 18 months have been:

2nd working hunter
Reserve champion working hunter
1st working hunter
Two 2nd placings
2nd C Grade Championships Barastoc Inter School Show jumping Championships
4 out of 5 rounds clear (team placed 5th) PCAV State Dressage & Show jumping Championships

St Arnaud Show
Donald Show
Colac Show
Wannon Zone PC Qualifying Day

Overall C grade Champion South West Victorian PC show jumping Championships (1st in championship round, 1st in power & speed, 2nd in top score)

Harry is not quite ready to tackle cross-country courses as yet but he is mellowing with age and it won’t be long before this talented combination are taking the eventing world by storm.

With his extravagant movement (courtesy of Diccon) and his long wavy mane and tail (Diccon and Lady Ann), Harry has that “look at me” appeal and at only 61/2 years of age he and Kristy have a big future in front of them. Especially when you think he is now jumping 1.3 mtrs at home. How high will he be able to go is the question?

Emu Creek Pony Club which Kristy and Harry attend is the largest club in the Wannon Zone. There are three other Connemaras at the club along with Harry, and they are Ballantrae Hoopla (featured in a previous article) Ballantrae Bracken and Celtic Fairy, all of whom are going extremely well for their owners, proving that South West Victoria is once again becoming a stronghold for these fantastic ponies.

Peter Browhar2

Newletter February 2008

TO ALL ICCPS SOCIETIES, MEMBERS AND FRIENDS. Welcome to Newsletter No. 2 – 2008 season. A final edition.

It is with a great deal of reluctance and considerable sadness that I indicate that this newsletter will be my last to you as chair of the ICCPS, and as the Australian delegate to the ICCPS.

As you are aware, I was not able to get to Clifden last year because of the aortic heart valve replacement operation that I had and the effects thereof that lasted until early August… Whilst all is working correctly now, I find that I have lost some of the zip and I feel that the old body would not be happy with the extremely long flights to get to Clifden; the work load whilst there and then the flight home again.

I have indicated to the executive board that I will not attend Clifden this year and I have tendered my resignation from the ICCPS Chair. I feel that with my 77th birthday coming up a little later this year, I would be wise now to think more of my future health.

I indicate to you that I have enjoyed working with and for you all within the ICCPS organisation. It has been extremely rewarding to be able to be part of a system wherein the problems of the Connemara pony world wide have been able to be addresses so fully, thoughtfully and debated and finally solved to the benefit of our pony, not just in Ireland, nor the EU, but world wide. I am, and will be eternally grateful for the contacts made in the past 15 years of attending Clifden; the friendships that have developed and knowledge of both ponies and personnel are very dear to me and I shall mist this very much.

In all probability it was, and is now time, for a new approach through the Chair to those areas that I see as the future role of the ICCPS. That is to closely follow the constitution of the ICCPS and move forward strongly to develop, maintain and promote this wonderful pony on a worldwide basis.

The CPBSA will not nominate for the ICCPS executive board this year and unfortunately the Southern Hemisphere will have no presence on the executive.

I have indicated to the chair of the CPBS and to the present executive board of the ICCPS that I would still like to have some involvement in the work of the ICCPS and I offer myself to assist in any area that members feel that I may be able to continue my support for our wonderful pony. I sincerely hope that I will be able to maintain my e-mail contacts with the many wonderful people whose addresses fill my mail box. I would dearly love to receive mails from you all as to events, breeding concepts, internal and external problems, all of which will still be in my mind, and, if I can be of assistance, then I would consider it an honour to be of assistance. Your newsletters etc. will and would still be a delight to receive in the future as has occurred in the past!

Now to business.

AGENDA ITEMS: Susan has been her usual busy self and you all have received by now the agenda for Clifden in meeting in exactly 30 days time. If you have not already done so – PLEASE advise Susan of your delegate’s names and PLEASE brief them on your organisation’s response to each item on the agenda.

SUBSCRIPTIONS: Please check to ensure that your society’s financial dues to the ICCPS have been made paid and that your organisation is financial and that your vote is acceptable during the Clifden meeting. You may want your delegate to pay dues prior to the Clifden meeting and Padraic will be at hand to allow this to be effected.

REQUESTS FOR REPORT AS TO STALLIONS APPROVED FOR AI: Earlier this year there was an urgent request for each society to advise Susan as to what stallions in your society are approved for AI usage; chilled or frozen and if approved for overseas transport. This is a request from many groups outside of the EU community and the availability of semen for groups such as New Zealand, Australia. The USA and Canada could have a marked result on the genetic stability of the herd in general. If not as yet completed PLEASE let Susan have it as a matter of urgency if you have not already done this! The executive board wants to have a complete paper of AI stallions available for presentation to the meeting.

PROMOTION OF THE CONNEMARA PONY WORLDWIDE: Item 7 on the agenda is, I believe, long overdue. We had taken seven years finalising rules and the constitution requirement of development, maintenance and promotion. Fostering the breed has not been given the importance that it certainly requires. The rules debate is, I trust now completed and individual variances that any specific group may have is now to be taken up with the mother society. The way is now very clearly open to the mission statement being given full and urgent attention; for the funds accumulated in the ICCPS bank facilities to be wisely utilised and perhaps in this 2008 ICCPS meeting firm steps will be taken in these matters.

I have indicate my thoughts to the executive council and to the chair of the CPBS and I have suggested that greater use be made of the Video/DVD systems to educate classifiers, members and enthusiasts and have these packages presented in a format that can be used to promote and educate the general public. This vital task of the ICCPS is now in the courts of all societies. Please give it thought and attention this year in Clifden.

I have said to the executive board that I have felt that since Clifden last year when the rules debate was finalised (perhaps not happily to all societies) that there has been a decided slackening of responses to mails, requests, ideas etc. Is it perhaps that the work of the past seven years has hidden from many of us the objectives as to why this organisation was designed? Initially yes, it was to ensure that the EU requirements were satisfactorily put into place, but as the meetings developed, some people with considerable forethought saw the opportunity to use this loose formation of Connemara pony societies as the window to in fact develop, promote, and preserve the Connemara pony as a distinctive breed internationally.

It would be criminal if the ICCPS as a world organisation with interests in 16 countries, having finalised and accepted a set of stud book rules under which Connemara ponies can be registered and transferred world wide, did not now ensure that the pony that they have fought to preserve within their organisations fell by the wayside, because of the lack of continuing development and promotion.

This may sound a little harsh, but as a parting wish I fervently ask that all societies now look to the future and ensure that the close co-operation that has developed between all societies is maintained and strengthened so that the Connemara pony is recognised world wide as the unique pony we claim it to be.

I again thank each society, all members and the many dear friends that I seem to have accumulated in the past 15 years for the wonderful friendships gained; for all of your great contributions to the development of the ICCPS; for the wonderful support that each and every one gave to me as chair of your organisation and for the continuing involvement in issues that have allowed me to bow out knowing that the future of the Connemara pony, worldwide, is sound, that it is stable and that the unique qualities of this wonderful pony will continue to be seen and sought after well into the future generations.

Thank you all!

John Tennant Chair (just), ICCPS 2008

Newsletter December 2007

TO ALL ICCPS SOCIETIES, MEMBERS AND FRIENDS. Welcome to newsletter no. 2 for 2007 – 2008 season.On behalf of the executive board of the ICCPS I would like to wish each and every member of the international groups of Connemara Pony lovers the happiest Christmas possible and that the year 2008 will not only be prosperous but will bring those things to you and your families that you privately wish to happen. In these wishes I hope that we do not forget the very reason for this period each year! From comments in our local newspapers this week when children were asked what Christmas was about not one mentioned that it was the birth day of Christ but that it was simply when Santa came; when we have a holiday, and when presents are given out!

The newspapers and TV news from around the world still show us that climate change must be challenged by all countries. Massive snow falls, blizzards, floods, depletion of the Arctic and Antarctic plateaus, and down here, a continuing devastating drought and so on. For a few days then perhaps let us remember, enjoy our families and the ponies and look to 2008 for some changes that can and will count!

In looking back over this year and past years at what has been achieved or not achieved I think that the best possible result on the stud book rules has been reached. I have been corrected in saying that the new 2007 rules have been accepted by all groups. I still believe that this is correct, and, whilst some EU groups have varied these rules to suit individual needs, the basic rules as debated for so long remain just that – a standard set of rules has been agreed and variations are allowed for EU groups so long as the EU principles are adhered to. We still of course have the “outsiders” who are working to their own programs based on the 1998 rules with the possible change over in later years when and if a change is seen as appropriate.

We are all aware just how long this task has taken to reach a climax. It all began way back in the late 1980s and then the draft set of stud book rules was produced by the CPBS in 1998, agreed to; was brought back to meetings for further variations annually until 2007 when the rules were finally set as the standard stud book rules.

The database project has been a long time coming to fruition – but – it is hoped, it too, will be able to be finalised in 2008 and thus provide a ready reference to those seeking to find the breeding lines etc that they wish to follow or research!

Standardisation of judges and inspectors has also been an agenda item for some time and has not as yet been finalised. A standardised veterinary inspection document is now used by all societies. Movement of ponies from and into any stud book society world wide is now recognised.

The Feely report has strongly indicated to all groups the deterioration of the genetic basis of the Connemara Pony herd with all societies being made aware of need to maintain those basic qualities of type, height and breed to ensure a strengthening of the genetic base worldwide.

It is an unquestionable statement that almost all of the work of the ICCPS since its inception in 1999 has been focused on producing a set of rules acceptable to all. I believe that this was the original role of the ICCPS -“a standardised set of rules to suit EU Council demands”. Subsequent to that function, it was wisely decided to develop an organisation that was to develop, maintain, support, promote and coordinate a system whereby the Connemara Pony could be developed as a distinctive breed worldwide.

With the obvious primary function of standardised rules being acceptance in 2007, I feel that the roles of the ICCPS must now change to encompass the wider requirements of the mission statement. I have drafted a proposal along these lines and sent it to the executive board for thought and comment. You will also find that an article on possible future roles of the ICCPS will appear in the 2007 edition of “An Capaillín”.

There are a number of areas in which the ICCPS can now move to comply with the mission statement of development, promotion, support and co-ordination of the rules for registration as laid down by the mother society. It must ensure that the data base is finalised and available for all; that a standard system of inspections for all ponies worldwide is devised and accepted; the standardised training for all inspectors and classifiers to ensure that type and other areas of uniqueness of the pony is achieved; and the development of a worldwide promotion program and, I would hope, a register of performance ponies and their progenies is produced, updated regularly and available through the website to ensure that those who are looking for that unique performance quality can find the right types.

The register would show the names of those ponies that are competing – in what field of competition – performance details, the sire and dams of these ponies, and, as part of the register, both dams and sires listed and this list to then become the basis from which breeders and owners of performance ponies can refer to in their selection processes. This program could be further extended to provide a premium list of sires and dams.

These then are just my personal visions for the future of the ICCPS. I would ask that you think about them, please also see that these areas are discussed within your society and your delegates for 2008 are aware of your ideas. WHY? It is my intention, when drafting an agenda for 2008 to seek approval from the executive board, and your groups, to have these concepts as the basis of that agenda. A new start and role for the ICCPS and what the constitution requires.

Whilst on 2008 agenda – remember that the ICCPS meeting will be held on 27 March 2008. In a conversation with Tom MacLochlainn this week we briefly looked at what that week’s program could encompass – Thursday ICCPS Annual and technical meetings; Friday – inspection; Sat- Sun – festival activities – show jumping, free jumping, dressage, harness etc. Monday – further inspections. Remember this is very much a reminder so that you can begin to think about travel, accommodation etc. The CPBS has already forwarded a program of the Connemara festival for this period – 27 march – 2nd April 2008. If you do not have a copy for your members please contact the CPBS office ASAP.

I have received from several sources, comments as to the cost and presentation of the new Inspection DVD released in Clifden this year. I have spoken to Tom and it appears that there was some wire crossing in relation to the cost of the DVD. The cost of the unit was and is 20 euros, With copies still available at the CPBS office. The DVD has, it seems, been well accepted throughout Ireland and other areas.

I hope that all societies have forwarded their article for inclusion in “An Capaillín”. What a wonderful idea if the ICCPS could give this publication greater support, both in content and financial support, to ensure that our mission statement was able to be further promoted through this source!

The afternoon coffee has just arrived – the Australia – New Zealand cricket match is now on TV so I again wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a Joyous and prosperous New Year and a wonderful crop of beautiful Connemara foals come your spring. (Just to crow a little – the Aussie team has just won the three match series!)

John Tennant Chair, ICCPS

USA: Connemara Wins Junior Virginia Gold Cup

Talbotstown & Amelia Eyles Earn Top Honors On VA Junior Field Master Chase

By Lauren R. Giannini

If you haven’t run across the name Eyles or Ridgetop Connemaras, now at Greenwood Farm in Middlebrook, VA, here’s a little tale about a family whose involvement in the horse world continues to promote the versatility of these incredible equine athletes. At the Upperville Horse Show, progeny of Aladdin’s Denver and Landgate Bluebeard won classes and the Connemara championship. They really do ‘do it all’ – including harvesting first place in the Junior Field Master Chase on the 2008 Virginia Point-to-point circuit.

As soon as Amelia Eyles was old enough, she started riding a pony at her grandparents’ Top of the Ridge Farm, just outside Winchester, VA. She was just five or so – genetically programmed from birth to get bitten by the bug. It got her father Billy Eyles back in the saddle after a hiatus of about 20 years. He missed riding and hunting and wanted to share what he loved about growing up with his parents (Marynell and Walter) with Amelia, Isabella and Allegra. Billy’s wife Karen goes on occasional trail rides and happily admits that she’s a great support crew at competitions.

Amelia and Talbotstown made their triumphant debut last October at the International Gold Cup Races held on the Great Meadow course in The Plains, VA. Three ponies ran with the horses for a field of 11 starters. Isabella and Ridgetop Moya ran second to her older sister in the pony division, and Tinsel, as Talbotstown is affectionately called, finished sixth overall, first of the ponies.

In 2008 Amelia and Tinsel did five Junior Chases. They won at their home hunt, Blue Ridge in early March, and ran second at Orange County at the end of the month. They won the next two weekends at Old Dominion and at Loudoun.

“My mother told me to be safe and smart,” recalls Amelia, who positioned her pony well during each race so that he had some run left after the final fence and the race to the finish line. “She told me not to try to keep up with the horses the whole time. Tinsel needed more condition for the Field Masters Chases than he needed for hunting, so we galloped around the field at home and up hills.”

She also gave her pony a few days off after a race. But it wasn’t just equine fitness. Amelia participates in school sports, including track, and also rides her pony.

“Amelia trained that pony and they were both fit,” says Karen. “They did great and the junior chases were well done. All the people, Gregg Ryan and everybody did a great job. They had it safe and all together. Rob Banner at The Chronicle of the Horse was all about making it fun and safe for the Virginia riders. They’re the next crop of foxhunters.”

Needless to say, with Dad, Amelia and Isabella competing in chases this season, Allegra (10) is chomping at the bit, so to speak, because she wants to get in on the fun.

“I think that twelve is a good age to start – if you have the right pony and the ability,” says Karen. “I think my family will be involved again next year. I was nervous in an excited way, but they were well mounted. That’s so important – to have the right pony or horse. They have to be good out hunting.”

That’s the whole premise to the Field Master Chases, senior and junior. You must qualify your horses in the hunt field and get written documentation in order to compete. Riders follow the field master over a flagged course of hunting type fences and, after the last jump, anywhere from 50 to 100 yards from the finish line, the “field” is let loose to race home.

“Talbotstown does it all well – he keeps up with the field, jumps well, and I think he’s as well-behaved as the others, if not better,” says Amelia. “The most important thing to remember is to have fun – and make sure your pony is in shape so they can make it all the way around the course.”

At the Virginia Gold Cup races, a field of five ponies and horses followed Gregg Ryan, top amateur steeplechase jockey and also Master of Foxhounds with Snickersville (Middleburg, VA) around the famed Great Meadow course, modified for the Junior Virginia Gold Cup Field Masters Chase Championship.

In a hotly contested finish, Tinsel and Amelia placed second in the pony division, besting Isabella and Moya in third. Overall, Talbotstown and his rider earned enough points to claim top honors and the Junior Virginia Gold Cup. Even with all the hoopla of trophies and being the cover girl for the May issue of Middleburg Life, Amelia stays well grounded.

“The best race of the season was at Blue Ridge, because my dad was there [competing] and the jumps were higher and that was fun,” admits Amelia.

It’s a family affair from start to finish, and the girls ride to hounds with their father. Their grandfather Walter comes up for a day of sport with his progeny and to visit his hunting pals at Blue Ridge. Billy hunts four days a week whenever he can (his business partner is into golf and they accommodate each other’s seasonal interests). Like his own father, Billy takes his children hunting: Amelia and Isabella with Blue Ridge on Saturdays and Allegra with the MOC Beagles on Sunday. He’d like to persuade their grandmother to hunt with them more often.

“It’s more of what I grew up with, and the horse world provides opportunities for us to be involved and have fun,” says Billy. “I’ve hunted the last two and a half years with Blue Ridge. I grew up with MOC Beagles and when I went away to college, I got away from it. At this point, I feel as if I missed about 15 years.”

The whole Eyles family is taking advantage of every opportunity to make up for Billy’s lost time – and having a blast. This summer they’ll do some trail riding and horse shows, the girls will attend Pony Club and camps, but most of all they’ll have fun on horseback.

After all, their Connemaras can do it all. For more information, visit 

USA: Promoting the Connemara as a Performance Pony

by Chris Knox

Especially today, when the sport horse and sport pony are getting so much attention, it is important that we showcase our wonderful Connemaras as the great performance animals they are. As breeders begin to realize the large market for competitive and athletic ponies they see that performance geldings can comprise a desirable portion of their production goals. In years past mares were in the greatest demand as they were marketed primarily for their ability to produce offspring. Geldings were often held in lower esteem and priced more modestly. Nowadays it is recognized that the ultimate ‘end user’ of the ponies we produce is more often a junior or amateur adult rider looking for a competitive or recreational riding animal, rather than a fellow breeder looking to add to his herd of bloodstock. Connemaras enjoy a positive image worldwide as being kind, tractable and enjoyable companions who also possess the athletic ability to compete successfully in myriad disciplines.

In an effort to encourage and reward the use of Connemaras and halfbred Connemaras, the American Connemara Pony Society has an extensive awards program. This awards program not only recognizes Connemaras which are shown in hand and under saddle at breed shows, but also rewards Connemaras performing on the larger stage of national and international open competition.

There are several subdivisions within the ACPS awards system. Each is tailored to bring attention to the talents of the Connemara breed and to reward owners and riders of Connemaras for showcasing the breed heritage of their animal. Connemaras can and do compete successfully in all disciplines and against horses and ponies often bred specifically for one particular discipline. The ACPS is trying to do its part in exposing this great secret and let the world know Connemaras are not only great pleasure animals and companions for juniors and amateur adults, but can also compete and win in any company!

ACPS Hall of Fame Awards

These are lifetime awards based on the distinguished career of the pony in producing offspring or in the competitive arena. They include the following trophies:

Tooreen Laddie Trophy

Awarded to an outstanding stallion that has had a positive influence on the breed

Broodmare Trophy

Presented to a broodmare that has had a positive influence on the breed

An Tostal Trophy

Awarded in recognition of outstanding achievement, both competitive and non-competitive, of a purebred stallion
Camlin Trophy
Presented to a mare of gelding that has had a career of outstanding competitive performance Tre Awain Halfbred

Awarded in recognition of a career of outstanding achievements of a halfbred Connemara

US Equestrian Federation Awards

These awards are presented at the annual Horse of the Year awards banquet of the US Equestrian Federation, which is the governing body of all horse sports in the U.S.

USEF Clifden Trophy

Awarded to the top ranking purebred Connemara in the USEF Pony Hunter divisions

USEF McKenna Trophy

Awarded to the purebred or halfbred Connemara with the most points in USEF recognized Events at Preliminary (Novice in England), Intermediate and/or Advanced Level

National Awards

In its National Award program, the ACPS teams with national organizations which track points in their particular disciplines, such as the US Eventing Association, the US Dressage Federation, the North American Trail Ride Conference and the US Equestrian Federation for its hunter and jumper disciplines. Awards are given to the highest placing purebred and halfbred Connemaras in the nation. In eventing all levels are awarded including Beginner Novice (a 2’6” introductory level in the US), Novice, Training, Preliminary (equivalent to Novice in the UK), Intermediate and Advanced.

The US Dressage Federation has a cooperative program with many US breed associations which it calls the All Breeds awards. Owners or riders must declare their horse as a particular breed and provide proof of registration with the designated breed association. Points at all levels of dressage from training level through grand prix are tracked throughout the country and tabulated in categories of open, amateur and junior rider. The ACPS rewards Connemaras and halfbreds in all categories. Winners are showcased at the USDF Annual convention. A list of Connemara winners and their photos also appear in the USDF Dressage Connections magazine, bringing more recognition to our wonderful breed.

The ACPS National Awards program has led to an increased interest on the part of owners and riders in making sure their Connemara is fully ACPS registered. Oft times riders in national, open, discipline based competitions are unaware or uninterested in the breeding of their equine partner. Providing awards based on breed association registration can help breeders track their produce and insure the breed gets the recognition it deserves in a larger competitive arena.

Achievement Awards

The ACPS Achievement Awards program provides a way to recognize Connemaras who are used in a variety of competitive and non competitive endeavors. Points are accumulated yearly based on show performance or regular service to the rider as a mount for Pony Club, foxhunting, etc. When an animal reaches the required number of points over a period of time, perhaps years, it is awarded a bronze, silver, or gold medallion in that discipline. If a pony reaches the gold medallion level of points in five different disciplines it is awarded the coveted ACPS Golden Shamrock. This program is particularly popular with owners and riders whose pony may not be winning at the highest levels, but puts in a workmanlike performance time and again in its discipline. Points are awarded in eventing for each completion and in dressage based on the percentage score earned, rather than the ribbons won. It also rewards the pony who may be passed from child to child in Pony Club or who has served as a reliable foxhunting mount for many years. For more information on the ACPS Achievement Awards program, or any of the ACPS awards programs, please visit the ACPS website at

Other programs

There are three additional programs within the ACPS Awards system which help promote the use of Connemaras. Through the ACPS junior and adult scholarship program individuals write an essay on how they use their Connemara and why they deserve to be awarded a monetary prize which may be applied to further training for themselves or their pony. The Connemara of the Year award is presented to an animal which in some notable way, within a given year, brings positive recognition to the breed. The ACPS also offers a program to show managers of open competitions by which they can award lovely championship ribbons to the highest placing purebred and/or halfbred Connemara. This serves to draw attention to the breed by giving the Connemara name recognition at the awards ceremony of a large competition in which many breeds and crossbred horses are represented.

The ACPS is doing all it can to let the world know Connemaras are competitive in all disciplines and at all levels. Not only can you win with a Connemara, you are sharing that win with the best equine friend you could ever have!