We are beginning to see the end of another year and we can tentatively begin to summarize the Connemara year 2011. The competition season still continues with indoor events so there may still be changes in the performance rankings before the year is over, but the in hand shows and the young pony events have all been completed.
In the dressage ranking Backens Lotus (by the Elite premium stallion Rolls Royce out of Princess Jasmin) has continued to do well throughout the season and he is the highest ranked Connemara in 17th place. In the Swedish dressage championships he could not quite manage to repeat last year’s silver medal but was still placed fifth among the 130 – 140 cm ponies. He has now been advertised for sale and will most likely bring on a new young dressage rider next year.
The second highest ranking dressage Connemara at the time of writing is the blue eyed cream Tic Tac (by Countach Campbell out of Ko ̈hls Rapsodi) who is presently in place 59, just a few points ahead of his cousin Ko ̈hls Evelina (by Shirley’s Thunderbell out of Hagens Ellina) in 60th place. Both Countach Campbell and Shirley’s Thunderbell are by snother Elite premium stallion, Brantshammar Bell Dara. Shirley’s Thunderbell has another daughter in the top 100, Evelina’s full sister Ko ̈hls Fidolina who is presently ranked number 88. A new name on the top 100 dressage ponies is Lofty Roseanne (by Ashfield Cathal Crobdhearg out of the Elite premium mare Rolo) who is ranked number 74 at the moment.
The partbreds Poetic Poetry (by the Elite premium stallion Poetic Justice) and Chopin AM (maternal grandsire Tootle U) have also continued to do well during the summer and autumn and are now in place 36 and 39 respectively. Poetic Poetry was placed 8th in the Swedish dressage championships and he also participated in the Nordic dressage championships where he was part of the bronze-winning Swedish team.
The interest in eventing has been fairly low in Sweden lately, but it now seems to be on the increase and with the eventing season over there are seven pure and partbred with eventing competition points. The highest ranking eventer for 2011 is the old partbred Connemara trouper Casper (by Cannon). The highest ranking purebred is another old veteran, the stallion Nice-n’-Curly (out of Corinne II), by the Elite stallion Nice-n’-Easy. Nice-n’-Curly participated in the Nordic eventing championships where he took a creditable individual bronze medal. Mosquito R (by Calvin Klein out of Marion Jones S) finished 25th and Glendun Lad (by Moyans Little Monkey out of Murphy Blue) finished 46th.
There are also some new names on the list of Connemaras with eventing points. Kasper Kavat (out of Carnaby Kajsa Kavat), another pony by the above-mentioned Countach Campbell, finished in 17th place, ahead of the partbred Lakeview Decs Joy (by Ballintub- ber Lad) in 19th place, Calabash (maternal grandsire Gloves Duke) in place 28 and Moon Struck (out of Moon Light) in 27th place. Moon Struck’s sire Uranus was himself a suc- cessful eventer in the 1990’s winning the individual Nordic championship gold in 1998 and a team gold in 1999 as well as individual gold and silver at the Swedish eventing championships in 1996 and 1999 respectively.
This year, for the first time, Connemara ponies have been able to compete for the title Swedish Connemara champion in eventing. The title was awarded together with a compe- tition open for all breeds and the title went to Halle Salix (by Ashfield Cathal Crobdhearg out of Saga).
Among the show jumping top 100 ponies there are no less than 17 pure and partbred Connemaras. Three of the purebreds are Swedish-born: Desdemona (by Brolo ̈tens Joop out of Ti-Ti-Oo) in 12th place in the ranking and taking 10th place at the Swedish championships;Phalcon(bytheElitepremiumstallionO ̈xenholmMarbleJroutofGra ̈ns Lady Stella) in 38th place and Poetic Annie (out of Myrens Anitra) presently placed 53 and one of Poetic Justice’s many successful show jumping offspring.
Poetic Justice also has an Irish born daughter, Poetic Moonlight (out of Lehid Vida) in 23rd place and other Connemaras bred in Ireland among the top 100 are Sceilig Siofra (by Deise Sam Maguire out of Gentle Jessie) ranked in 7th place after among other things a bronze medal at the Swedish championships, Dunbelievable (by Kylemore Rocky out of Primula Pearls Blazer) in place 34, Drumcong Finn (by Seafield Fionn out of Westside Lady) currently ranking 42 and Lexus Justice (by Westside Fred out of Dunamoney Lass) in 62nd place. Other imports are Little Finnigan de la Praz (by Leam Finnigan out of Little Witch) from Switzerland who presently holds the third place in the ranking; the French-born Ix de l’Aulne (by Dexter Leam Pondi out of Castille de l’Aulne) who was 6th at the Swedish championships and is placed 15 in the ranking and the Danish Nygaards Fo ̈lfod (by Baunely’s Dipper out of Skovbo’s Dorthealilje) rounding off the top 100.
The partbred Connemaras are also continuing to jump well. There’s a new Irish name, Wutang who is yet another of Westside Fred’s successfully jumping offspring, and the Swedish Hilma (another one by Poetic Justice) and Hip Hop (by Pommac) all making the top 100. A special mention, however, must be made of Sa’feds Frosty (maternal grandsire Roundstone Chief) who at the age of 22 still is competing very successfully and presently is the highest ranking partbred in 47th place. He gained his first competition points in 1994 and has been active in the show jumping circuit ever since, most years ranking top 100 with a succession of riders. What a pony.
Since the unusually early national show in June a local show has been held at Bjo ̈rba ̈ck in Southern Sweden in collaboration with the New Forest society. Some 35 ponies were entered and participated both in hand and under saddle. In the in hand classes the yearling filly Big’s Cha Cha Cha (by Clifden de l’Aulne out of Lofty Abigail) took the youngstock champion title with the three-year-old filly Aramos Lucy (by Aladdine out of Rodbella) standing reserve. Lucy’s half sister O ̈nnarps Melizza (out of O ̈nnarps Graze) too the supreme championship title with Big’s Cha Cha Cha as reserve.
The ridden classes were held in mixed classes together with the foresters. The Open ridden class, however, had only Connemara participants and was won by the stallion Coosheen Finbarr (by Glencarrig Prince out of Scarteen Mistral). The Open Working Hunter Pony class was won by a New Forest, but with a Connemara, Lofty Rowena (out of Lofty Romilly, half sister of the above mentioned Lofty Roseanne), a daughter of Coosheen Finbarr’s in second place.
Young pony activities
At this year’s young pony finals the Connemaras truly proved their worth as talented jumpers. The youngest ponies, the three-year-olds already set the stage for a memorable Connemara weekend. Among the ponies in height category D (140 – 148 cm) the first and fourth placed were all Connemara ponies with the second and third placed riding ponies both were partbred Connemaras. It was also a triumph for the Irish-born stallion Castleside JJ who had his first Swedish-born crop on site. JJ is the sire both of the winning Lofty Fionnuala (out of Lofty Fiona) and Hagalyckans Justin (out of Idholmens Zibylla) placed fourth. The riding pony Fix William (maternal grandsire Juno Rory) took second place and Poetic Starfighter (by Poetic Justice) took third.
Among the three-year-olds competing in the ”movements” category Holmtebo Yale (by Hagens D’Arcy out of Hagens Yanine) was fourth in height category D. Yeats full brother Holmtebo Yeats then stepped forward among the four-year-olds and took second place in the jumping for category D. The five-year-olds finally also saw some strong jumping performances among the Connemaras. The stallion Poetic Kelly (by Poetic Justice out of Lofty Dusty Rambler) followed up on the talent he has already shown at three and four years of age and he won category D. Third placed to him was the riding pony Amoro (by Kamillo av Haga) with another Connemara in fourth place, Holmtebo Crested Ten (by Hagens D’Arcy out of Hagens Ultra) who won the class for four-year-olds last year.
A pony that haven’t fitted under any of the headlines above but that definitely deserves a mention is Brol ̈otens Kenzo (by Finney Master out of Rambling Rosie) who recently took a silver at the Swedish championships in Western riding. Nice also to see that Edens Jaspis (by Janus out of Edens Honeybee) have given long distance riding a try.