Great Britain

BCPS Report 2020 – Anne Harries

I am sure everyone will agree that Covid 19 has made 2020 a year like no other. It is usual to start this report by describing all the Society events that have taken place during the year. Sadly, this year almost all of them have, one by one, been cancelled.

The first event to be cancelled was the Colt Inspection which was due to take place at Moreton Morell on 15th April. This was of course when we were all locked down’ so it was rearranged for 2nd September, again at Moreton Morell.  We were very fortunate as things had eased and we were able to go ahead.  Ten colts were forward and the following ponies were graded Class One.

Wellbury Play The Joker’ (Spinway Token/ Cloonisle Colleen)

Clover Hill Magic’ (Glencarrig Knight/ Inverin Misty)

Skaergaardens Disco Night’ (Wirtsmuhle Delaney’s/ Skaergaardens Secret Love)

Rosscon Emperor’ (Frederiksminde Hazy March/ Everlast Worth the Wait)

In early May it was with heavy hearts that the Council decided to cancel both the Breed Show and the Northern Show and the Eventing Championship followed soon after this.

During the summer, our members were given something to do when Horse Events ran four well supported Virtual Shows for us, with In hand and Ridden Classes culminating in a Championship Show

Virtual In Hand Champion -Tesresmos Sunny Bear – Owned and bred by Jane Somerset.

Virtual Ridden Champion – Eastlands Tushie Brae
Bred by Mr & Mrs JG Staveley and owned by Emma Jane Murray

For the first time, the Performance Day was held in a new format with three Performance Days “piggy backing” on 3 One Day Events held on 3rd and 4th In spite of some bad weather, these days were well supported and enjoyed by competitors.

CAHERROSS DUKE ridden
by Katey Cuthbertson for the Hon Finn Guinness
Winning at the Southern Performance Day in Storm Alex

The Council have been busy in spite of the cancelled show and other events. The previous Council started the process of updating the Society’s Articles and Rules in October 2019 so as to update them and make them compliant with the Companies Act 2006 and it was for this Council to complete the task.

One very good thing to come out of the pandemic has been that the Society has now embraced “teleconferencing” with all the Council and Sub-Committee meetings taking place on Zoom. Whilst it will never replace being able to sit around a table, Zoom has saved many hours of driving and the cost of venues.

There have not been many causes for celebration this year, but one of them was being able to celebrate Blanche Miller being given the prestigious Michael J O’Malley Award by the International Committee of Connemara Pony Societies. and to congratulate her on this achievement.

Blanche with Rosenaharley Laurin

Filly Inspections were held in the autumn, organised by the regions and 60 fillies were inspected which is only 25% less than previous years. At the time of writing, applications to register pure and part bred foals are still coming in and so far, only one HWSD test has come back positive. This was for an adult pony imported into the jurisdiction of the BCPS in utero.

Unsurprisingly, the membership has decreased slightly but the increase in passport income from the over stamping of Irish passports has helped to compensate for this. It is now a legal requirement for all equines resident in the UK for more than 30 days to be registered with a British Passport Issuing Authority and in the case of Connemara ponies this is the BCPS.

Meanwhile, interest in the Connemara pony remains high and sales have been very brisk with good prices being sought and obtained. As has been the case in recent years, ponies bred for performance are commanding the highest prices. It is important that this Society which is first and foremost a “Breed” Society continues to preserve and cherish the native characteristics and that elusive quality “type” which makes the Connemara Pony the wonderful breed that so many people admire.

Great Britain: Spring 2013 Connemara Success

Connemara ponies are loved by everyone in any discipline!  Penny Smith, Chairman of the British Dressage Supporters Club, loves hacking out on the North Downs in Surrey on her ‘gorgeous’ connemara pony Callum.   She says ‘I’m really lucky as he is beautifully schooled, loves to jumps and is known at the yard as PP – perfect pony!

On Sunday 14th April 2013, five teams of Connemara ponies competed at the NPS Dressage Finals at Addington Manor.  Three teams competed in the Prelim 12 and two in the Novice 27, with each rider also competing individually in their arena.  There were so many Connemara entries that they had their own dedicated arena for both tests!   The scores were then added together and the top 10 riders stayed for an unmounted presentation at the end of the day – from our teams, 7 ponies from Prelim and 4 ponies from Novice were in the top 10!

Louise Helyer riding Breaffy Delight win the 80T class in the 2013 Stirlingshire Saddle Fitters Arena Event held at Gleneagles Equestrian Centre

Louise Helyer riding Breaffy Delight win the 80T class in the 2013 Stirlingshire Saddle Fitters Arena Event held at Gleneagles Equestrian Centre

Results of the Prelim test:

  • 1st  Julia Woods on St Flannans Aodhan
  • 2nd Debbie Boylan on Kippure Norma
  • 3rd Julia Woods on Wormsley Glen Paddy
  • 4th Claire Cornwell on Tyan Tyriana
  • 8th Gillian Hasberry on Kilmiston Night Hawk
  • 9th Louise Johnson on Croftbank Finnella
  • 10th Patsy Drake on Alfie

Results of the Novice test:

  • 1st Julia Woods on St Flannans Aohdan;  2nd Claire Cornwell on Tyan Tyriana;
  • 5th Julia Woods on Wormsley Glen Paddy and Debbie Boylan on Kippure Norma

As Julia Woods on St Flannans Aodhan won both Prelim and Novice, they were asked to perform a freestyle test to music to decide the Supreme Championship.  The standard was extremely high and St Flannans Aodhan was crowned 1st Reserve Supreme!

Sarah Webb & Wefan NPS dress team Saskatoon

Sarah Webb & Wefan Saskatoon

The Connemara Charms team won the Prelim team competition, out of 23 teams entered – team members were Julia Woods on St Flannans Aodhan, Gillian Hasberry on St Flannans Sorcha, Claire Cornwell on Tyan Tyriana and Sarah Webb on Wefan Saskatoon.

The Connemara Rebels team were placed 7th in the Prelim team competition, with team members Louise Johnson on Croftbank Finnella, Sarah Fortune on Mundon Twilight, Gillian Hasberry on Kilmiston Night Hawk and Patsy Drake on Alfie.   Many congratulations to all riders and ponies for doing so very well!

BE Kirriemuir

BE Kirriemuir

With the start of the eventing season, two ponies – Breaffy Delight and Eques Junior – have really exceeded their owner’s expectations!   First time cross country, only five years old and coming 14th and 18th respectively in the Kieriemuir BE 90 section of the Horse Trials.  Both ponies did decent dressage tests scoring 35 & 39.5, both had one showjump down and both clear cross country with time penalties.   James Helyer could have not been more pleased with both his daughter and her two rides!   Louise Helyer was doing her first BE event in 10 years, and they definitely plan to do more this season, moving up to BE 100 if all goes well.  James tells me he bought them as 4 yr olds, and that they are such lovely characters!   Obviously Louise has put in a lot of work over the past year to do so well in their first event.   Well done Louise and James – good luck in the future!

During the winter showing season, Mathew Lawrence scored a double with his two Connemara rides at Stretcholt’s Winter Show.  Judge Sue Phelan chose Tulira Dardg for top spot in the novice class and Blackthorn Passion in the open class.   Matthew opted to stay on Passion for the championship, when Dardg was ridden by Gemma James to claim the title.   The Tulira Connemara Stud is located in Ireland and Gloucestershire and run by co-owner Serena Cookson, whose grandmother Lady Anne Hamphill founded the stud and is based in Ireland with the renowned connemara stallion Tulira Robuck, Dardg’s sire.  Judge Sue Phelan commented: ‘my champion has a super temperament and is true to type, with lots of timber.  For a stallion he was impeccably behaved for his first outing.  I expect both him and my reserve – a lovely mare – to go on and do very well’.  Blackthorn Passion is by former Olympia ridden champion Bunowen Castle Ri, bred by Jackie Webb.   The 6 yr old did well in-hand, winning at the Royal Show in 2009, and she has won every time out in Picton classes, but hasn’t yet been aimed at RIHS or HOYS qualifiers.   ‘I’ve kept her as a novice to give her time to mature, but she will possibly go on to do the qualifiers later in the year’ said Mathew.

In showjumping, at Ingleston, Alex Gill celebrated his birthday weekend with victory in the Peace, Love, World Pony Adventurer class on his new ride Wildwood Silver.  They finished marginally ahead of local rider PJ Williams with Just Dolce.  ‘He’s a super sort who’s won on all three of his last outings’ said Alex.

At the Arena UK Large Pony Premier show, Emily Ward and Prospect Eddie achieved 2nd place in the first day’s JC qualifier after an electric jump off over Di Boddy’s up to height and technical track, and the following day Scarlett Worrow and Dancing Hero did the same – both just being ‘pipped to the post’ by Millie Allen on Unorthodox Blue, who was in scintillating form.   15 yr old Scarlett was ecstatic with her place ‘I’m a bit starstruck after being in that line up.  Compared with showing, it’s so much harder to get placed, let alone win, in showjumping’.  Prospect Eddie was in excellent form at the Addington Manor Pony Premier show also, taking the Winter JC on both days, with a tight jump-off time giving few clears in the Sunday class.  Emily executed every conceivable inside turn, and stated ‘he’s ‘Mr Consistent’, is usually in the third round and is seriously fast at turning!’’.

Georgina Heeney on Gurteen Champ jumped the sole double clear in both the Blue Chip Coral and JC/JA Pro Sparkle at Quob, Hampshire.   What seemed a straightforward track from Matt Hoskins produced only two clears in the first round.  Georgina said ‘the first round was quite technical, though it seemed straightforward when I walked it.  The spreads were quite wide and I think that was catching some people out – you had to ride positively’.   She had already qualified for the Sapphire and Pro Sparkle, and now she has the Coral qualification too.   7 yr old Gurteen Champ has been owned by Georgina for four years.  She said ‘It’s my final year in juniors and I’m aiming to qualify for HOYS as I’d like to make the most of it.  I jumped my final Foxhunter double clear today, so now we’ll do second rounds’.

In dressage, at the South West Winter Regional Dressage Championships, Sara Squires returned to her happy hunting ground on Linda Penfold’s 15.3hh part-bred connemara Irish Dream to head the medium restricted class.   Sara said ‘He’s a super consistent little horse’!

Clare Day and Ninja II won both elementary tests at Sissons Farm, Cambridgeshire, scoring 65% in elementary 42 and 64% in the elementary 49 qualifier.   The 11 yr old connemara x TB was bought as an allrounder, but Clare has recently been concentrating on flat work.   ‘I was bitten by the dressage bug taking my daughter to shows’ said Clare, ‘and now I’m addicted.   We’ve been working on transitions within the paces to encourage Ninja to engage behind more, and he’s become stronger and finds the work easier’.

Amanda Bowie, who piloted the 10 yr old connemara The Silver Spirit to 69.72% in the novice freestyle at Rowallan, trains with Jane Rutherford.  ‘Alfie had a Rolfing (holistic therapy) session with Pauline Kidd last week’ said Amanda.  ‘I can see a real difference and it seems to make him feel good.

In showing, at the Heart of England show, 19 yr old Lauren Campion and Chilham Aquarius took reserve in the Heritage Pretty Polly section and booked their place at Hickstead.  The 8 yr old gelding by Castle Comet out of Chiltern Quota is home-produced by Lauren, who works full time in the family business making brow bands for the Mrs Candy equestrian range.   The pair also had a fantastic P(UK) winter, taking two championships and RIHS qualification in the intermediate and large breed sections.  Competitors in the outdoor working hunter ring had testing weather but Paul Thompson’s up to height twisting track jumped well.   Champion was Matt Cooper from Yorkshire with his partner of five years Mirah Kilgobben Rebel, a 16 yr old by Westside Mirah, who won the intermediate workers section at the RIHS in 2010.  Matt said ‘he can be very quirky – but he is an out-and-out performer and loves a big track’.

And finally, how to fill in spare time successfully!  Heidi O’Brien went showjumping before the eventing and showing seasons started again, and managed to qualify Ballynahowen King and her other ride for the Horsequest UK novice final.   She says ‘he is quite a challenge – not everyone’s cup of tea, and he’d had five or six homes in Ireland by the time he was 4 yrs old – but he’s a real pocket rocket and shines at eventing!’

News Around the World, October 2011

It is amazing how quickly the time passes us by. With local AGM and Committee meetings, members away in Ireland for the Festival and so on and before one knows, it is out with Summer and in with winter and vice versa – depending where one resides.

News is quite sparse from the Northern hemisphere as ponies are looking to be out doors, or stabled for the winter and the show season is finished. Down under it is about to start, hence the lack of news.

In England, the sun shone brightly on yearling gelding Innellan Rambler (by Anbally Cloud out of Glencarrig Wild Rose) and indicates that he is one of the best yearlings in England at the moment. He was shown at seven county and two breed shows and was awarded seven first placings, four championships and three reserve championships. He was not finished with that as he was taken to the Equifest where he was awarded a first place in the young stock class; Champion Connemara and then the best M&M pony at the show. We all look forward to the return of summer in 2012 to see what he next achieves.

Connemara events in East Anglia saw some great ponies being shown. Natchaniel Nutmeg and Moatwood Constance Spray both left the arena with top ribbons around their necks. Sue Allen and her mount Hobart Alchemy took out the Ridden Championship.

The Northern Breed show also produced quality Connemara ponies. Both the adult and pure bred in hand championships were taken by Drumcare Prince Albert. The young stock in hand Championship was awarded to Senruf Primula. The pure bred ridden championship went to Skellorn Harrison and this stallion went on to take out the Supreme champion of the show.

“Down Under” there is little activity to report on. However, the AGM and Committee meeting of the CPBSA saw yet further changes that are being introduced to lift the Performance value of the Australian Connemara. At the completion of the first year of its introduction 76 ponies have been nominated to be considered for awards in this ongoing award scheme. At the AGM, Annual winners were announced and Green and Gold Saddle cloths and Horse rugs were presented to each of the State winners.

To comply with the Standardisation of Inspectors qualifications etc., as announced at Clifden this year, all CPBSA inspectors will have to virtually be reassessed and all new applicants for inspector role will have a set criteria to comply with, work and through for appointment as inspector. One of the major difficulties down under is the vast difference between states, studs and personnel wishing to be appointed as inspectors. It is hoped that this new criteria will help to resolve this situation.

With the Mother Society about to recognise Michael O”Malley’s 100th anniversary of great service to the Connemara Pony in Ireland in 2012, the CPBSA has also agreed to make a similar recognition at the “2012 Connemara Showcase” event at Werribee, Victoria in June 2012. The full program of this Centenary program will be announced later as it becomes firm.

Summer is on the horizon. Connemara pony owners are checking stables, paddocks etc. for creepy crawlies. Dressage arenas, show jump areas, hacking tracks are being surveyed and ponies are being worked. The early shows will quickly occur. At my age, one does have the feel that one should be “doing” something. Not having one’s ponies around and instead, looking at a suburban back yard it is quite disheartening. One can still dream!!!

world_news_oct_2011_img_0John Tennant, Publicity Officer ICCPS

Photo source: http://www.britishconnemaras.co.uk/ 

News from England

The Scottish group have a diary of events for 2011 that should be of interest to members. This includes clinics, group shows, and visits to veterinary clinics, a racing yard and of course the AGM. Something for every one and it is hoped that as many as possible can attend and thus foster the Connemara pony even further in the North.

Just across the border in Northern Island a new show will take place on 4th June in County Wicklow. Ponies from the UK have been invited to attend. 25 classes are planned and this includes a semi-final qualifier for the BSPS Olympia ridden Mountain and Moorland final, working Hunter and high Jump, as well as in hand classes. Lovely to see new shows and events being developed to indicate the Performance qualities of our wonderful ponies.

The 2010 Olympia Mountain and moorland Championship was won by a Dartmoor Stallion, Pumpkin Buckthorn whilst the reserve was taken out by a Connemara Stallion, Connemara best of breed Lecarrow King. (Village Boy – Lecarrow) owned by LDY Vestey and her sister Henrietta Knight.

The British Connemara pony Society Performance Award scheme for 2009 – 2010 that covers Show jumping, Dressage, One day events, Working Hunter, Driving and Endurance riding has been determined. The overall winner was Gay Worrow’s Silver Fox. Runner up was Delmrose Applejack, owned by Kath Wilkinson. Third place was filled by Mrs S Evans Hookey Quaverlough.

The part bred Connemara award was taken by Mrs J Brown’s Windchimes Blue Jazz with Jan Funnell’s Deards Blue Peter being awarded third placing.

With summer appearing from the doom and gloom of the English winter the winter greater performance news should begin to appear soon.

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