Finnish National Pony Show 2011

Connemara Filly All Breeds Champion in Finland

With no Connemara Breed Show arranged in Finland this summer, all the Connemara Pony entries were gathered at the National Pony Show, the annual show for all pony breeds, arranged for the 34th time this year. The judge was a third time visitor of Finland, Mrs Jackie Webb from the UK.

Doyher Ruby Rose, Junior Champion of all breeds

Doyher Ruby Rose, Junior Champion of all breeds

The first day, Saturday 13th August, saw the young ponies in the ring. The same day the Finnish Horse Board Hippos had their own ring, giving assessments to young ponies of all breeds – judging their type, conformation and movement. A top score of 40 points was awarded to a yearling Connemara colt, Goldrock Laddie (Golddigger Laddie – Sparrow Melody – Grange Surf Sparrow, breeder & owner Annika Hägglund), who then went on to win his class in the Connemara ring.

The two year old colt class saw a record number of entries, as six of the seven entered colts shared the ring, which for once seemed a wee bit too small for so many young and virile males! The class also showed high standard: Besides arranging the ponies in winning order, they are also awarded quality premiums in the form of rosettes – Finnish colours white and blue for the first premium, blue for 2nd premium and white for the 3rd premium. Two of the colts got the blue and white, which may predict an interesting spring 2012, when they are eligible for inspection.

Marshland Prince

Marshland Prince

The class winner was Marshland Prince, a well developed son of Ard Ri Cunga out of first class winner mare Downhill Dewdrop (by Kåsta Scaramouche). The colt is bred by Elisa Uusi-Heikkilä and owned by Cecilia Rosenlew. The other 1st premium colt, but 2nd placed in the class was beautiful dun Zitherbay Neil O’Hara (Ashfield Cathal Crobdhearg – Aramara Ona O’Hara – Rockfield Scarface, bred by Sari Lahtinen, owned by Inga Jytilä).

Only one three year old colt came forward. Fieldhill Apollo (Dale Mountain Mist – Irish Dream – Öxenholm Marble Jr, breeder Sari Takala, owners Neea, Sirpa & Timo Pönni) was awarded the first premium and a careful suggestion he could be successful in the colt inspection next year.

Yearling fillies’ class was taken by dun Cleos Fay Fenella (Vanity Padraigh – Enghöjs Irish Golden Rose – Öxenholm Markbook, breeder Laura Ovaskainen, owner Mia-Maria Lampiola), while the two year old filly class winner was Fieldhill Bene Bettina (Dale Mountain Mist – Eternal Amity – Symphatil Hazy Becks, breeder Sari Takala, owner Jenna Loimijoki) – last

year’s Connemara Junior Champion.

Three year old fillies saw two 1st premium ponies. Rockfield Arctic Glow (Atlantic Ace – Rockfield Scaramé – Kåsta Scaramouche, breeder & owner Merja Nurmi) had to give way to class winner Doyher Ruby Rose (Rockfield Scarface – Omey Ruby – Gleann Rua Maxwell, breeder Nina Tiainen, owner Hanna Asklöf ).

Ruby Rose then went on to claim the best of breed Junior Championship (Marshland Prince being the best of opposite sex), and then a few hours later claiming the title of the best Finnish bred junior pony of all breeds! A pleasant result for the breeder, the owner and all the Connemara Pony enthusiasts in Finland.

Vanity Fairy Siobhan

Vanity Fairy Siobhan

On Sunday, the older ponies had their shot at the ring. 4 to 9 yr old mares class (without foal) was taken by Vanity Fairy Siobhan (Janus – Eiris Fairy Fiona – Ardnasillagh O’Flaherty), while 10-17 yr old mare class went to Irish bred Lady Of Kylemore (Kylemore Rocky – Waterfield Girl – Seafield Silver Rogue ), who has developed nicely after giving birth to her first foal.

There was one separate class for mares with foal at foot; the winner of the 4-9 yr old mare class was Symphatil Irish Mist (Symphatil Hazy Becks – Symphatil Esmeralda – Ard Ri Cunga, breeder & owner Susanna Rahikainen).

Senior mare class and Championship was taken by the only veteran participant, 18 yr old Winter’s Carneval (Ardnasillagh O’Flaherty – Espe Dina – Cocum Tiger Moth, breeders Marja & Tenna Talvi, owner Ira Oksanen), while Symphatil Quality (Halle Lafferty – Irish Dream – Öxenholm Marble Jr, breeder & owner Susanna Rahikainen) became the Champion Foal of the year. Of all the mare class champions, Vanity Fairy Siobhan became the Champion Mare.

Rockfield Scarface

Rockfield Scarface

Out of the four entered stallions only Rockfield Scarface (Ard Ri Cunga – Rockfield Scaramé – Kåsta Scaramouche, bred by Maj-Gret Nurmi, owner Merja Nurmi) entered the ring, in fine condition after having spent two years in Sweden. Not surprisingly he claimed the Stallion Championship… The Champion Gelding was the champion stallion’s half brother Rockfield Wizard (Innellan Kestrel – Rockfield Scaramé – Kåsta Scaramouche, breeder Maj-Gret Nurmi, owner Sanna Ollikka).

In the end of the day the Connemara Champions entered the ring to see which one of the ponies would become the Breed Champion, to enter the Best In Show ring of all

breeds. The choice was Saturday’s all breeds Junior Champion, Doyher Ruby Rose, who in the end beat her sire Rockfield Scarface, who was placed Reserve.

Unfortunately, the flow of success didn’t carry on into the end – the Best In Show titles of the whole National Pony Show were shared by Shetland and Welsh ponies.

Next year’s show, the 35th National Pony Show in Finland is likely to be arranged the last weekend of July 2012.

All results and photos of all ponies at the 2011 Show:

Goldrock Laddie(left) and Lady of Kylemore(right)

Goldrock Laddie(left) and Lady of Kylemore(right)



Finnish News, spring 2010

news_finland_5-2010_img_0Inspection of pony stallions in Finland was arranged by Finlands Hippos on April 17th & 18th at Ypäjä Equestrian Centre. Almost 50 stallions, mostly Shetlands, were inspected during the weekend. From five presented Connemara stallions one was approved as class 1 stallion. He was a three year old Halle Lafferty bred by Ingrid Hallengård in Sweden and owned by Susanna Rahikainen.

Lafferty is by young very successful sire Coosheen Finbarr, who got his Premium A for the quality of his offspring this spring, only 9 years of age! Lafferty’s dam is Lofty Hazy Rambler by Frederiksminde Hazy Chance.

news_finland_5-2010_img_1Another stallion, this time bred by Susanna Rahikainen, has been successful in Austria. 14-year old Symphatil Hazy Bucks was sold as a young pony to Susanna’s friend, who moved to Switzerland and took the pony with her. Hazy Bucks was inspected and approved for breeding there few years ago. Now the pony is sold to Sabrina-Michaela Honeder in Austria where he was also

approved for breeding with good marks. Hazy Bucks is by Frederiksminde Hazy Marvel and out of Downhill Shawndelle by Kåsta Scaramouche. He has a half brother Symphatil Hazy Becks in Finland.

news_finland_5-2010_img_2Two year old Caragh Gaoithe was exported to Canada in the spring. Gaoithe is by Innellan Kestrel who was leasad to Finland by Tuula Pyöriä. His dam is Innellan Gem (by Glencarrig Lexus) and the breeder is Tuula Pyöriä. Gaoithe was Junior Champion as well as Reserve Supreme Champion as a yearling at the Breed Show in 2009, judged by Tom MacLochlainn. Gaoithe’s new owner is Heather Sherratt of Elphin Mountain Connemaras, Ontario.

Park Benjamin successful in Finland

Park Benjamin shines in Finland


There are quite a few pure bred Connemara and part bred Connemara ponies jumping in the top pony level in Finland, the best of them even showing their back hooves to bigger horses.

park_benjamin_in_finland_img_1One of them is a beautiful fleabitten gelding Park Benjamin (G-2711), who is bred by Sandra Parkinson from Co. Kildare. His sire is Ashfield Festy (S-859), and the dam is Spanish Dancer (M-

8211) by Mervyn Pookhaun. He was imported to Finland as a 9- year-old in 2006 by Irish born trainer Eowen Earlie, who had seen a video of the gelding competing in international level in eventing.

Park Benjamin first took Emilie de la Chapelle to European Championship level, and is now jumping with 15-year old Vera Elopuro for the second and final year. Last year the pair took a number of prestigeous victories, including the Pony Final at Helsinki International Horse Show in October. This year they started the Pony Cup with a 2nd placement in Helsinki in mid- May, and the following week left for their first international competition in Sweden.

As this is the last pony year for Vera, she hopes her younger sister will continue competing with the talented gelding!

Vera Elopuro & Park Benjamin in Helsinki Pony Event / Hevoshullu Pony Cup, 15th May 2010 – arranged at Laakso Stadium, which was built for the equestrian disciplines in the 1952 Olympic Games

Originally published at


Connemara Show in Finland 2010

finland_show_2010_img_0Woolpacks Sweetie Pie Supreme at Tampere

This year’s Finnish Connemara Pony Breed Show was held in Tampere, at the Teivo race track on the 10th July, with Malachy Gorham having come all the way from Kingstown Connemara Ponies in Clifden to participate as judge.

The grass had turned yellow in the past day’s heat when the day was opened with a gelding class. 5-year old Ohana Andromera (Rockfield McBurney – Aramara Eliza – Ardnasillagh O’Flaherty, breeder Hanna Koli, owner Maarit Lähteenmäki) continued his show success from last year, being chosen as the best gelding. The class was followed with the only entered stallion, so consequently 4-year-old Vanity Padraigh (Janus – Tempelisa Lady Calista – Ard Ri Cunga, breeder Jenni Virtanen, owners Laura Ovaskainen & Suvi Virtala) was Champion Stallion. He later on earned also the day’s Best Turn Out prize with his handler Annastiina Niemi.

The three mare classes’ winners were Woolpacks Sweetie Pie (Janus – Bolle Cornett – Lukas, breeder Carina Jansson, Sweden, owner Hanna Koli) in the 4-9 years old class, Leirg Seordan (Frederiksminde Hazy Marvel – Wänga Sisela – Värnbergs Orion, breeder Carina Helander, owner Saija Laine) in the 10-15 year old class, and the 16 years and over class saw Irish Dream (Öxenholm Marble Jr – Rollsinette – Rolls Royce, breeder Gun & Per Hall, Sweden, owner Susanna Rahikainen) victorious. Out of these, Woolpacks Sweetie Pie proved to be Mr Gorham’s favourite and became the Champion Mare.

finland_show_2010_img_1As most of the foals in Finland are born in May-June, only one foal was shown during the day. Five week old Zitherbay Daigh O’Hara (Atlantic Ace –

Aramara Ona O’Hara – Rockfield Scarface, breeder & owner Sari Lahtinen) proved to be quite a young rascal and earned his Champion Foal status with his energetic attitude.

Youngstock followed, with the only colt class for yearlings. Symphatil O’Malley (Ashfield Cathal Crobdhearg – Symphatil Irish Mist – Symphatil Hazy Becks, breeder & owner Susanna Rahikainen) was the best colt. Out of yearling fillies, another foal by Ashfield Cathal Crobdhearg was chosen as the class winner. Yearling dun Caragh Grian (Ashfield Cathal Crobdhearg – Innellan Gem – Glencarrig Lexus, owner & breeder Tuula Pyöriä) went on to become the Junior Champion, ahead of the colt and ahead of the two year old fillies’ winner Cleos Erin Elspeth (Cleos Antonius – Symphatil Irish Mist – Symphatil Hazy Becks, breeder Laura Ovaskainen, owner Anna Vuorinen) and three year old fillies’ winner Bellindene Latte (Garryhinch Prince – Rockmore Sable – Atlantic Swirl, breeder Mrs J. Somervail, Great Britain, owner Taija Paasilinna-Helminen).

finland_show_2010_img_2In the final ring the Champion Stallion had to give way to the female ponies, as Caragh Grian became the Best Pony Bred in Finland and the Reserve Supreme Champion. Her half brother Caragh Gaoithe (by Innellan Kestrel) took the same
titles in last year’s show, before being exported to Canada earlier this year. The Supreme Champion therefore became the
seven-year-old grey Woolpacks Sweetie Pie, to her owner’s great delight.

Woolpacks Sweetie Pie was imported to Finland a couple of years ago. She has proven to be a true, kind all-round family pony. After having tried out in Show-jumping she is now concentrating in dressage with the owner and handler Hanna Koli, and in the meanwhile is also regularly ridden by Hanna’s four-year-old daughter Peppilotta! For next year Woolpacks Sweetie Pie is in foal by Swedish stallion Hagens Ryan (Tulira Highball – Abbeyleix Flora – Sticky), who is currently on loan to Finland.

finland_show_2010_img_3At the end of the day there were two ridden classes, one for ponies smaller than 138 cm, another for bigger ponies. As the race track was shared with shows for Shetland and Welsh ponies and Norwegian fjord horses the same day, the entries were open for all the breeds. The bigger ponies class was mainly Connemara entries, and 5-year-old Rockfield Honesty showed true improvement from the show class and won the Connemara Ridden Championship with Hanna Koli. The Supreme Champion, Woolpacks Sweetie Pie, was placed 2nd. The overall Ridden Championship went, however, to the winner of the small ponies’ class, when Shetland pony mare Wilma V with a very skilled 6-year-old jockey Pinja Pohjosmäki was chosen as No.1.

Originally published at


Finnish Connemara Pony Society – 25 years in 2009

finnish1The Finnish Connemara Pony Society is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2009. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since the founding of the society in 1984. The number of Connemara ponies has grown steadily, and it is estimated that there are about 600 pure bred ponies in Finland today. In 2008 there were eight stallions standing at stud and the 200th mare was inspected for Stud Book. For the past few years breeders have had the possibility to use leased stallions from abroad as well as frozen semen from some internationally well known stallions to their mares, too.

The show season in Finland has two highlights: The National Pony Show for all breeds in Helsinki, taking part the first weekend of August every year gathering approximately 450 ponies, and the Connemara Pony Show, which hopefully will be able to establish it’s annual position in the show calendar in the beginning of September. A Connemara pony has been chosen as the Best In Show at the National Pony Show twice. In 1983 mare Espe Etta was the best pony of the show, and in 2002 her daughter Caragh Elaine Aisling (by Kåsta Scaramouche) repeated her dam’s success. The judge for Connemara Ponies is invited together with the Finnish New Forest Pony Society, so usually the judges come from Great Britain.

Last year the best Connemara pony at the National Show was mare Aramara Eliza, 18 years of age. Her breeder is Outin Talli, and the owner is Hanna Koli from Pertteli in South Western Finland. Eliza is by internationally known dressage stallion Ardnasillagh O’Flaherty, out of Danish born Pilgaards Camilla (Padraig of Rosenaharley). She has so far had four foals and is now in foal to Ashfield Cathal Crobdhearg who visited Finland in 2008.

The best young Connemara pony of the show was the only one of year 2008 Champions not born in Finland. Yearling colt Halle Lafferty (Coosheen Finbarr – Lofty Hazy Rambler – Frederiksminde Hazy Chance, breeder Ingrid Hallengård, owner Susanna Rahikainen) was imported to Finland in spring 2008.

finnish2The best Connemara stallion of the show was Symphatil Hazy Becks (Frederiksminde Hazy Marvel – Pilgaards Canoc – Cnoc Dabuide, owner and breeder Susanna Rahikainen), while the best foal was filly Rockfield Arctic Glow (Atlantic Ace – Rockfield Scaramé – Kåsta Scaramouche, breeder and owner Merja Nurmi).

A month later it was time for the 12th Connemara Pony Show in Finland. The first show had been arranged in 1989, and the judge back then was Mrs Elizabeth Petch. In 2008 Mrs Petch returned to judge the show and was pleased to see the number of quality ponies bred in Finland. All Champion titles went to Finnish bred ponies!













The Supreme Champion of the day was nine year old stallion Rockfield Scarface. He is by Ard Ri Cunga, out of Rockfield Scaramé (by Kåsta Scaramouche). Breeder and owner is Merja Nurmi. The show was held at Scarface’s current home stables near Loviisa, Southern Finland, where he is in training and participating in dressage classes on regional level. He is going to spend the 2009 breeding season in Sweden.

Other champions were the Junior Champion and Reserve Supreme Champion, yearling filly Caragh Emer (Innellan Kestrel – Caragh Enya – Ard Ri Cunga, breeder and owner Tuula Pyöriä) greatgranddaughter of the aforementioned Espe Etta, and eight year old mare Cluain Caoilfhionn (Symphatil Hazy Becks – Paradis Aniara – Kåsta Scaramouche, breeder and owner Jaana Malin), who also became Ridden Champion with Jenni Hauhia. Best foal was like at the National Show Rockfield Arctic Glow from the successful Rockfield Stud.

In 2009 the Connemara Pony Show is going to take place on 5th September, and the organizing committee has already booked the same place as last year – an equestrian center with very spacious fields to build the show ring, and with extremely helpful people to arrange all practicalities. As it will be the 25th Anniversary Jubilee Show, some special programme including jumping and dressage classes are planned. The former CPBS president Tom MacLochlainn will judge the show.

finnish4Other plans for the year include Stallion Parade in May, breeders’ get-togethers, seminars etc. Please keep an eye on the coming events on the Finnish Connemara Pony Society website.

It might be also worthwhile to have a look at Finnish breeders’ websites (links can be found on the society website) and the society sales list. If you are looking for quality youngstock you might find one in Finland!

Legendary ponies like Cocum Tiger Moth (by Tiger Gill), Ard Ash Grove (by Ard Harka) and Gaelic Silver Mist (by Rosenaharley Cormac) among others established the reputation of Connemara ponies as great performers in Finland in 70’s and 80’s. Today’s stars like Glodbles v. Graaf Janshof (by Carna Gold) and Park Benjamin (by Ashfield Festy) at national level in showjumping and Floora’s Farfadet (by Frederiksminde Hazy Marvel) in dressage keep the Connemara pony flag flying with many others who compete successfully at regional level.