Connemara People in Victoria had a real treat served to them recently when the extremely well know and highly talented Horseman Manola Mandez presented a demonstration of Classical training using Connemara Ponies. Manola’s training is extremely interesting as he combines work in-hand, with his deep understanding of Equine Chiropractic methods, to help the rider better communicate with the Horse/pony once under saddle.
Manola Mandez’s background is unique. He was one of six founders of the Royal School of Equestrian Art in Jerez, Spain. In 1978 Manola was invited to come to Australia by Ray Williams of R.M. Williams, Stockmen and Horse outfitters, to be a Director and Head Riderat the El Caballo Blanco Equestrianne school in Perth, WA. He was later director of El Caballo Sydney.
Those in Australia who can remember will know of his star performer at these establishments was non other than a Connemara Stallion Kemill GHill Spinnaker, bred by the late Alan Longman of Western Australia. I had the pleasure of seeing Spinnaker and Manola perform once when in Adelaide and the manner in which this man was able to establish his routine with Spinnaker has never left my memory.
Manola now lives in Sunbury, Melbourne, Victoria as teaches overseas and throughout Australia. Breed and so the ability of our Connemara ponies to excel in all formats of Equestrian sport and in particular Dressage is something that Connemara owners and Riders all over the world should recognize and ensure that the Connemara is given a broad opportunity to show its latent talents.
The continuing development of the Performance Connemara and the results of the varied performances in a broad spectrum of events, including Dressage is there for the Doubting Thomases to see! And repeat!!!
Another item from the scrap book centres on the legendary part bred Connemara “Grasshopper” He started life as “Copper Coin” and competed for Ireland in the 1956 Olympic Games in Stockholm. He had a clear show jumping round but was eliminated for missing a flag. He was sold to Californian interests where his name was changed to “Grasshopper”. Ridden by Michael Page he had an excellent career with individual gold in both the 1959 Pan American games in Chicago, and the 1963 Pan American Games in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The career continued to the Rome games in 1960 and the 1964 games in Tokyo where “Grasshopper” was on the silver medal team. This Part Bred Connemara is known as only one of five horses in the sport to have competed in six or more CCIOs.
In glancing through CPBSA action Groups newsletter it is very pleasing to see so many younger riders preparing their ponies and part breds for all aspects of performance competition down under. Dressage, Eventing, Trail, Harness. The Performance Register and its rewards is beginning to be seen with the numbers of new and younger riders preparing their ponies for all facets of Equine participation. Another interesting aspect is the number of Connemara owners and enthusiasts that are now travelling to Clifden to the Show and to tour Connemara. It appears that the Connemara Pony is travelling well “Down Under”.
John Tennant, ICCPS Publicity Officer.
Many thanks to Jean Dart, Victoria for information sent!
Summer down under has NOT been the usual summer we normally have! What with the devastating floods in Queensland, flooding in New South Wales and Victoria and now as I write this article, to cap it all off we have this huge cyclone of category 5 intensity with winds reaching over 300kmp devastating towns for 200 kmp north and south along the Northern Queensland coastline.
Little wonder that Equine events have been put on the back burner in most of the eastern States and so very little news is to hand. One can say however, apart from several Connemara Pony members properties in Queensland being flooded, there has been no loss of Ponies and members housing, Stables etc have survived. Fencing has been a major problem but the enthusiastic input from volunteers have descended on damaged areas and, in the main, those with fencing problems have had repairs effected and ponies once again secure. It is too soon to even think about the devastation of the cyclone but one keeps hoping!
Despite all the down turns, some encouraging and exciting news has come to hand. I have written in the past of Monahan Harrison (Ben Dhui Diccon – Wychwood Lady Ann), and his rider Carissa BAILEY. A review just to hand of Monahan Harrison’s performance in 2010 -2011 vindicates my last comments that this Pony must be considered the top performance Pony in Australia. IN 2010 and in the short period of 2011, the combination has competed at many local, district and State Show Jumping and Eventing competitions with the following outstanding results.
90 cms – 5 Firsts that included 3 Championship ribbons 95 cms – 3 Firsts 1 Championship
100 cms – 4 Firsts 1 Championship
105 cms – 1 First.
108 cms – 3 Firsts 3 Championships
SIX BAR COMPETITION:
120 cm – 2 Firsts
125 cm – 1 First
These events included “D”, “C” grade Show Jumping, AM5, AM7 classifications.
In 2010, “Harrison” competed in four, Grade 2 – 90cm events as well as show Jumping. H e achieved a 1st, 2nd and two 4th places.
A truly outstanding Connemara Pony that is showing the flag down under.
NEW PONIES ON THE BLOCK
Three new Connemara Ponies competed in the Eastern States are: Sugargum Sensation, Sugargum Vivinne and Sugargum Sirocco. These ponies are owned by a newly appointed Committee person in Janine Leslie. They are all by the Connemara Stallion Boonahburra McGee. Sirocco is Pure bred and from the mare Glenormiston Lisdoornvarna; Vivinne from the mare Bureyer Victoria and Sensation from the Anglo Arab Bakidoll. The ponies appeared for their very first outing at the Victorian Stud pony Show recently. They had never been away from the property; had never seen arenas, crowds and massed ponies. It was all a very new experience! In true Connemara style they knuckled down to the job and between them won 9 first ribbons in led and ridden classes and this included a best M&M exhibit. I am sure we will hear more of these ponies in the future.
Celtic Santolina (Springfield Devereux – Celtic Thyme), was found by the Mathews Family after a friend advised that this mare was for sale. A visit to the mare saw her change hands and her new owner/rider quickly clicked. Their first event was at Lieghdale Connemara Sports Day where the combination competed in Showjumping and Dressage, taking home twelve 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed ribbons. They were well and truly away!
In 2010 the combination competed at the Barwon Valley ODE with a 4th place. Then to Smythdale ODE where they competed successfully but out of the ribbons. At the APSB Action day the combination qualified for the Native Challenge where Santolina earned a 7th in Dressage and 3rd in Pony Club event. Throughout 2010 this combination competed at numerous ODEs, Agricultural Shows and Interschool competitions earning numerous placings that included Champion and Reserve Champion led and Ridden classes.
At the prestigious Melbourne Summer Royal Show event, Santolina was placed 2nd in the Working Hunter class, 2nd Best Presented Connemara, 2nd Led Connemara and 2nd Ridden Connemara. In 2010 Sarah and Santolina has been placed in the top 10 in all grade 4 Pony Club ODEs in which she has competed.
This Connemara combination will, I am sure, continue to perform strongly in numerous Pony Club and Open events and Santolina and her rider will appear regularly in results as they come to hand.
John Tennant, Publicity Officer ICCPS
AUSTRALIAN CONNEMARA PONY 2010
Consistent drought conditions through almost all States of Australia in the past few years have resulted in a considerable fall in Equestrian events and horse participation. Spring 2009 and Summer 2010 really hit hard but those Connemara ponies out competing showed their true talents and adaptability with quality results in a number of disciplines throughout Australia.
The Victorian Gelding “Monahan Harrison” (Ben Dhui Diccon – Wychwood Lady) has displayed tremendous Jumping ability and won two State Show Jumping Championships and competed successfully in Junior 95cm and Junior 6 Bar competition. He has competed in Pony Club State Dressage with 2nd place overall in C Grade dressage and placed fourth in Teams competition. 2010 saw him competing in Pony Club Eventing and this discipline was yet another field in which he has excelled.
Another Connemara pony came to light at an ‘all breeds country horse sale’. Ballantrae Turkish Delight (Toorigal Danny Boy – Ballantrae Treacle) was bought as “breed unknown’ and discovered to be a pure bred Connemara. He has gone ahead in leaps and bound with his new owner with wins and champion ribbons at “in hand” classes and wins and placings in Show Jumping. His diversity has also seen him with wins and placings in Dressage at levels 3 – 4 and 5. The real achievement for this “find” pony was being awarded the Barostoc Champion led and ridden Gelding classes in Victoria for 2010.
Newlands Cascade (Newlands Gideon – Boonahburra Red Robin) gave an impressive performance at the Melbourne Royal wining the best Led, Supreme Mountain and Moorland and placed in the “All Breeds” championship. Another Victorian Connemara Boonahburrah Faintail (Celtic Micael McGee – Boonahburra Red Robin) qualified for the “DESSAGE WITH THE STARS” program at just her 2nd Dressage competition.
“Binnowie Mandolin” (Glenormiston Fintan – Binnowie Eileen) is yet another Connemara showing true performance traits. Purchased as a 12 yr old with little or no training, in just 12 months, he has competed successfully in Pony Club Dressage, consistently scoring in preliminary and a 5th place in State Championships and 1st or top 3rd placings in level 2 and State Championships. His talents are not limited to Dressage as he has been placed at EFA Junior Pre Introductory One day Eventing and 80 & 90 cm Pony Club Inter School Show jumping.
Other prominent Connemaras performing during 2010 have been “Glenormiston
Finnigan” (Glenormiston Finbar – Glenormiston Elebration). He has competed very successfully at Pony club, Show Jumping, Hunter Trials, One day eventing and competitive Trail Rides. “Glenormiston Dunmurry” (Castle Baron – Glenormiston Rosmara) is waving the connemara flag in Australia in the Dressage field with nine 1st placings in numerous Dressage competitions including National Interschool Championships.
The part bred gelding ‘Exmoor Truffles” ( Thoroughbred sire Cosine – Exmoor Sugar Gum) has been performing brilliantly in the Eventing field. In late spring 2009, he competed in the Adelaide International Horse trials CCI 2 star event. This was a big, imposing course for the 15hh “Truffles” yet in true Connemara style he competed all phases successfully finishing in mid field. Prior to this event he had won and was placed in numerous Horse trials in Victoria and South Australia.
“CONNEMARA PONY SHOW CASE” a new Connemara pony show event that is developing into one of the major Connemara pony shows in Australia, held its second “Show Case” at the Werribee Equestrian Centre, Victoria in July 2010.
The event had a two day program. Saturday was “Show and tell” with National judges giving new, young and experienced riders and handlers excellent instructions and demonstrations in all facets of in hand, ridden working Hunter, Showjumping and Six Bar work. Many of the top Connemara performance Ponies competed on Sunday – Performance day” with “In Hand”, working Hunter, beginners and open Show jumping, Six Bar events and Dressage.
“Ballintapper Galahad” was awarded the supreme Connemara Performance Pony award, for ponies under 14.2hh. “Celtic Fairy tale” was awarded Supreme Part Bred Connemara Performance pony, with the highest scoring jumping Connemara Pony award going to the most consistent Connemara pony showjumping in Australia “Monahan Harrison”.
Pony Dressage is a growing event “Down Under” and the Connemara pony is again showing its multiple talents in this field. “Boonahburra Fantail” is performing well as is the 13.2hh “Smak the Pony” a striking Dun part bred Pony is excelling in Free style, and has taken out numerous Pony Dressage events in 2010.
2009 – 2010 has seen a strong emergence of Performance Connemara ponies in Australia and the oft stated comment “Jump on a Connemara and really go places” is being well and truly being proven.
Publicity officer ICCPS
Iccps newsletter Nov 2010
CONNEMARA PONY NEWS FROM DOWN UNDER WINTER EDITION 2010
Connemara Pony Showcase for 2010 has been and gone, and what a spectacular event it was. Typical winter in Melbourne was the order of the day for Saturday but the good lord smiled on Sunday’s event and bright sunshine reflected in the day’s events. It was fortunate that the full event was held in the magnificent indoor arenas of the Werribee Equestrian centre some 40 kms south of Melbourne.
Saturday was “Show and Tell” day with Judges Karen Spicer, Luke Dodds, Sue Tufnell and M. Kelly and Oliver Evans officiating. Sharon and Luke gave young, new and experienced owners and handlers some excellent experience on the showing of Native Ponies and the Connemara in particular. This school was very well received. The working Hunter demonstration had Sue Tufnell giving of her life time, hand on experience with all ponies being given every opportunity to learn and improve.
“Monihan Harrison”, the best showjumping Connemara in Victoria and probably Australia and his diminutive rider Carissa Baily gave a perfect demonstration of precision showjumping and this was followed by the cute 13.2hh Part bred Connemara “Smack the Pony” and his rider Katy Ryman who gave a delightful demonstration of Free Style Dressage to true Irish music.
Saturday’s crowd went away with a much better conception of the Connemara pony! Sunday brought bright sunshine to Werribee. This was action day and Saturday’s demonstrations saw a marked improvement in the presentation of all Ponies for the “In Hand” classes.
In hand classes were followed by beginners and open Working Hunter events, beginners and open sections, 6 Bar Jumping and Dressage with beginners and open classes.
Those collecting the prize money were “Ballintapper Galahad” Supreme Connemara Performance Pony 14.2hh and under. “Celtic Fairy tale” Part Bred Supreme Connemara performance Pony. Highest scoring Jumping Male Connemara – ‘Monahan Harrison”, Highest scoring Jumping female Connemara, Boonhaburra Fantail”
A number of other Pony Breed owners and presenters were evident and comments passed indicated that “Show case” had created a huge impression with comments that this type of show/presentation event must become a regular event in Australia to improve and show the native pony to their full potential.
‘Connemara Show Case” 2012 is already on the drawing boards and sponsorship has already been promised. It appears that “Show Case” has created a great impression of the wonderful Australian Connemara Pony!
***CPBSA PERFORMANCE REGISTER 2010/2011***
The final date to accrue points for the first year of the newly established CPBSA Performance Register is 30 June 2011. It is anticipated that the state division winners and overall national Australian Connemara Performance Pony for 2010/11 will be announced in August.
Winners of the ‘In hand’ and ‘Performance’ sections will be awarded a good quality, embroidered woollen rug, and promoted in a major national horse publication.
There has been a good response to the Performance Register with nearly 70 ponies entered.
Ponies that have had scores submitted and have accrued greater than 100 points so far are:
- Celtic Fairytale – (Celtic Winter’s Tale x Ballantrae Treacle)
- Glenormiston Ballymalloe – (Castle Baron x Glenormiston Ballycara)
- Glenormiston Killian – (Castle Baron x Glenormiston Ballycara)
- Springfield Kylemore – (Ben Dhui Diccon x Celtic Summer Mist)
- Wychwood Happy Songbird – (Wychwood Willy Wagtail x Lagoonside Divinity)
The CPBSA looks forward to receiving final scores and announcing the state winners and national Australian Connemara Performance Pony for 2010/11.
Pony Profile : Kemill Hill Tinka
A party of note to Connemara lovers in Western Australia took place recently at Helen Colleran’s when the mare Kemill Hill Tinka celebrated her 29th birthday with a special cake and group of admirers.
Born of imported parents at the Kemill Hill Stud, Tinka was very much the traditional Connie pony type, bomb proof and very much the family pony with bone and substance. The major part of her first eighteen years was spent as the back bone, school master of the Kemill Hill Riding School. Her near perfect response to voice control made her the ideal beginner pony. She was trained to work on the lunge from spelling, this was achieved by emphasis being placed on the last letter so that STOP resulted in her cue to halt, WALK the K was the cue and TROT the T became the cue. A simple gimmick but it resulted in apprehensive young riders becoming so fascinated by this pony that could spell they forgot their nervousness and relaxed. The first essential in learning to ride.
Such was Tinka’s bomb proof temperament and willingness to serve that she also became a star in the Hill Group of Riding for Disabled. In 1981 the Rural & Industries Bank sponsored a competition across the state for the mount most suitable for Riding for Disabled work.
Qualifying competitions were held at major country shows and the final took place at the large Autumn show held in Claremont. Tinka was the state winner of this prestigious event.
With the sale of the riding school Tinka was passed on to Helen Colleran to use as a dam in her breeding program with her stallion Leroy Dwayne. This Dwayne – Tinka union was very successful, especially the female progeny many of which went on to be champions. Probably the most notable being Hill View Irish Mist being supreme champion at several Perth Royals, Connemara of the year, and judged many times to be a champion in both saddle and led classes. Others that left their mark in the outside show scene were Hill View Patrice and Hill View Kate, so Tinka, although restricted by the work load she has carried, has been denied the opportunity to shine in the show ring but proved most valuable by leaving her mark in the West Australian pony world and has provided a lot of pleasure to many.
NOVEMBER NEWS FROM DOWN UNDER
A quote from the Australian Anzac ode goes age shall not weary them nor the years condemn and from the news this month from Australia, this could apply to the Connemara Pony. Read on!
The “Jo Heard” Memorial trophy for 2009 was given to one of Joe’s home bred ponies – Ballantrae Turkish Delight. The story of the acquisition of and the working with this pony by its present owner is delightful. The trophy is decided on the Connemara Pony that is “out doing”. Not necessarily winning ribbons but out doing whatever it is that shows the Connemara pony is capable of doing better than most other ponies! A broad spectrum, but one that Jo always bred her ponies to achieve.
Turkish Delight, or “Star” as he is known at home, was first noticed at a Horse Sale on the River Murray in March 2004 by Nicole Salisbury. Catalogued as “black gelding, white star, done stock work, good jumper, suite pony club, nice type, 11yr, and 14.2hh”, Star took the eye and was purchased by Nicole’s parents that “Pony Club type” would be correct. There was no indication as to breed, or type.
It soon became evident that the previous owner had been a bully and had belted Star frequently and consistently. He had a fear of everything! Some tender loving care soon had Star beginning to accept the new environment and he went to pony Club a few times, then in May 2004, he went to his first Pony Club Gymkhana. To the surprise of all, including his new owner, he came home with 3 reserve Champions, 5 firsts, 2 seconds, 3 thirds and a first in Jumping. All of this from a pony that was initially scared of everything from his previous treatment and had been in work with the Salisbury family for just 2 months. TLC really worked.
Some little time later Nicole and her mother went riding in the bush – and got well and truly lost. The Australian bush can be very tricky in many areas if you are not “Bush orientated”. Good common sense saw Star given his head and he turned, took a course that he knew was to home although it went down steep hills, huge rocks protruding etc. but he knew and soon familiar sights were noticed and home became evident.
At one show he was taken to a person stated that he was a New Forest Pony and should be registered as such. Shortly after this event the Secretary of the CPBSA, Vicki Plummer was in touch with the Salisbury family to say that she believed that Star was in fact a Connemara Pony. Records were checked, previous recorded owners contacted and finally Star was found to be Ballantrae Turkish Delight. Great joy for Nicole as she now knew what a gem she had been riding and could now see the reasons for the qualities in her new pony! She owned a Connemara.
Nicole cannot name all that Star has done and won with her as rider. Suffice to say that mum has made five rugs of the ribbons that have been won at varying disciplines. Star now trusts Nicole with everything; he has got over the fear etc. Those who saw him in the early days cannot believe the difference in the Pony and the brilliance that he is showing with the questions “is this the same pony that you had previously?”
In Nicole’s words: “Star has truly helped me find my favourite breed of horse. I will always know that you cannot beat a Connemara”. Star is now 15 years of age and he is really just now finding his rhythm.
To continue with the theme “Age shall not weary them” come the story of Binnowie Mandolin from Sally Weiss. After purchasing Mandolin, an out of work 12 year old with limited education and no training in dressage just over 12 months ago he has had a huge change of pace. He is successfully competing in Pony Club Dressage, consistently scoring top in preliminary and has placed 5TH AT State Championships. He has had numerous top placings at EFA Pony Dressage at 2** level. Mandolin is not limited to Dressage having been placed 2nd at EFA Jnr. Preliminary ODE events, 80cm Pony Club Combined training to State level and 90cm Interschool Show Jumping.
Mandolin being a Connemara, would do anything for food, hence teaching him to bow for presentations was really quite simple – once a carrot was introduced. Sally’s own words say it all: “Binnowie Mandolin has been our introduction to Connemara Ponies and this has been an absolute delight!”
What those with Connemara ponies already know – The Connemara pony is always an absolute delight and they do really just keep on keeping on!
News from South Australia again centres on the “Mature” Connemara.
Mayo Mary has been show jumping for a number of years but indicated that enough was enough. Yet, she still wanted to “do things” so her owner/rider entered her, at the age of 14 years, in her first ODE. I actually saw this event and was surprised to see Mary on course. She performed extremely well on an uphill, twisting course that ran through a steep dry creek bed with several fences set precariously on the brink of the uphill cut of the creek bed. At one fence that was built on a curve Mary decided that she did not have enough room and had a stop. The only one for the course and that fault was that of the rider. The combination at its first event finished midfield but the Connemara was noticed and recognised for all of those traits that we know the Connemara to have.
Yet another mature Connemara Newlands Winsome (Newlands Gideon x Wychwood Fairy Wren) is showing the true Connemara Colours. Newlands Winsome is owned by a mature aged lady and the combination attend “Riding club and potter around”. (Owner’s words)
At one meeting a ridden Dressage test to music was convened. Owner Helen decided that she and Winsome would have a go, “just for the hell of it!” First time ever at dressage! Music was chosen – This could be the last by John Farnham (perhaps appropriate at that time) and the tune had a firm 1-2 beat rhythm and so began the training. The event time came and perhaps it was the atmosphere – perhaps it was the music – perhaps the mare understood the feelings of her rider – whatever it was – Winsome powered on, picked up the beat with intelligence, worked to perfection and to the great excitement of all, Winsome and Helen won the event by a mile!
Once again those wonderful traits of the Connemara Pony came to the fore. Whilst Winsome is not considered “aged” in the true sense of the opening adage, the combination fits in as Helen said to me when talking about the event – “I fit in to your introduction, I have the age and it does weary me at times – but the mare took it in her stride and really excelled beyond belief”.
News from Hobart
Glenormiston Benbaun was awarded Champion Australian pony, reserve Saddle pony and Supreme Australian Pony at the Hobart Royal Agricultural Show 2009. Do not be mislead by the awards. In Australia, because of the lack of numbers at many shows, ponies are collectively entered in classes. For Instance the “Australian” pony could have Welsh, Connemara, Australian, New Forest, Shetland, Dartmoor etc. ponies entered in the one class called “Australian” Pony. Even greater the win varying breeds competing.
News from New South Wales
From NSW comes the news that Glenormiston Bartle was awarded the Supreme Champion ribbon at the Castle Hill show in March 2009. Glenormiston Stud yet again in the news!
– Finally a consignment of frozen semen from Spinway Comet is now available to owners and breeders of Connemara Ponies in Australia. In due course, this service will form part of the liaison between the Charles Sturt University and the CPBSA.
What a wonderful Pony the Connemara Pony is!!!