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.