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