We are now halfway through the year and the summer season is full of championships both in hand and under saddle. Connemaras and their owners and riders have been out and about participating in all sorts of events.
In the dressage arena several Connemaras successfully take on the riding ponies. Two partbreds are on the ranking of the 100 ponies gaining the most dressage points. The Danish bred Chopin AM has a Connemara grandsire in Tootle U and is presently in place 26. Another successful partbred is Poetic Poetry. With Poetic Justice as his sire he is of jumping breeding, but still has a most respectable dressage career, and he was part of the Swedish team taking a bronze medal at the Nordic dressage Championships.
Among the purebreds Rolls Royce has two gelding sons among the top 100. Backens Lotus (out of Princess Jasmin) continues to do well and recently won the dressage derby while Ragnarps Little Royce (out of Bolle Lusona) is in place 96. Another family connection is though Rolls Royce’s half brother Janus who is the sire of O ̈strahults Benz (out of O ̈strahults Sonette) in place 79. Benz has also done well in the show ring in previous years and twice been reserve champion gelding at the breed show. The remaining two Connemaras in the dressage top 100 are closely related too. The blue eyed cream Tic Tac (by Countach Campbell out of Ko ̈hls Rapsodi) is just a few points ahead of K ̈ohls Evelina (out of Hagens Ellina) by Countach Campbell’s half brother Shirley’s Thunderbell.
In June Connemara ponies and riders met in Norrk ̈oping where the Swedish Connemara society held the national show and, together with a local riding club, Swedish Connemara championships in dressage and show jumping. The dressage championship saw 21 partic- ipants divided into three categories. Among the smaller ponies the winner was Molliere (out of Brolo ̈tens Samba). He has a true performance breeding with the Elite stallion Finney Master as his grandsire. His sire is Juno Rory, the full brother to Rolls Royce, who himself had a long dressage career at the highest national level.
Molliere started his career by being placed fourth in the national dressage championships for five-year-olds. Another pony to do well in the young pony championships has been Azalea (by Frederiksminde Hazy Chance out of Liljeg ̊ardens Graze) who last year won the dressage championships for six-year-olds. This year she participated in the Connemara championships and won among the larger ponies with a beautiful performance, but only a few points ahead of her half brother the stallion Golden Garlic (out of Ambrosia) competing with a new rider this year. Golden Garlic also participated in the class for overheight ponies and riders over the age of 18, this time with his former rider, and was again narrowly beaten. In this class the champion was Lidens Mr Li (by Janus out of May Li) who took his second Swedish Connemara champion title, the first one being won in 2008.
Pony eventing in Sweden is still at a low with no Swedish ponies participating in the European eventing championships this year. At home there are ponies eventing, though not at a level that make them qualified for the courses at the European championships.
Ranking second at present is the partbred old trouper Casper (by Cannon). Another one in the top ten is the stallion Nice-n’-Curly (by by Nice-n’-Easy out of Corinne II). He took part in the Nordic eventing championships where he took the bronze medal. Other ponies to also take eventing points are Mosquito R (by Calvin Klein out of Marion Jones S) and the Irish-bred Glendun Lad (by Moyans Little Monkey out of Murphy Blue).
The list of the 100 ponies with most show jumping points so far this year makes nice read- ing for the Connemara friend, or how about ten purebred Connemaras and six partbreds among the top 100 ponies of all breeds. Most show jumping points, and in number two so far, is the Swiss-born Little Finnigan de la Praz (by Leam Finnigan our of Little Witch) competing under the name of Little Finnigan. He has been out and about competing abroad at the Baltic Cup competitions in Norway and Denmark where he has won and been placed.
OfthepurebredsfourarebredinSweden:Phalcon(byO ̈xenholmMarbleJroutofGr ̈ans Lady Stella) in place 4, Desdemona (by Brol ̈otens Joop out of Ti-Ti-Oo) in place 7 and Poetic Annie (by Poetic Justice out of Myrens Anitra) are all familiar names for those following pony show jumping at this level, while Brol ̈otens Cloetta (out of Molly) in 86th place is an interesting new name. With Juno Rory as her father you would expect a dressage pony but together with her grandsire Ballydonagh Cassanova he has provided a healthy dose of jumping genes allowing Cloetta to compete and win in show jumping classes with fences up to 120 cm.
Also on the top 100 is the French Ix de l’Aulne (by Dexter Leam Pondi out of Castille de l’Aulne). He came home from the Nordic Championships with both an individual and a team gold among the larger ponies. He also represented Sweden at the European show jumping championships in July. Ix’s team colleague at the both the Nordic and European Championships, Some Man for One Man (by Ashfield Bobby Sparrow out of Misty Maiden), is just outside the top 100. He has competed sparingly but was placed when competing in the Netherlands and took a third in the consolation class at the European championships. Other purebreds on the top 100 are Drumcong Finn (by Seafield Fionn out of Westside Lady), Sceilig Siofra (by Deise Sam Maguire out of Gentle Jessie), Lexus Justice (by Westside Fred out of Dunamoney Lass) and a new name from Ireland, Dunbelievable (by Kylemore Rocky out of Primula Pearls Blazer).
At the breed show three Swedish Connemara show jumping championship titles were competed for by thirteen ponies under difficult weather conditions. Winner among the smaller ponies was Idylle (by Kamik Breeze out of Gina 2nd) a pony of strong show jumping breeding who’s sire had his own successful show jumping career. Among the larger ponies the winner was the eight-year-old Holmtebo Our Winnie (by Hagens Zephyr out of Hagens Ultra). This young mare has had a solid career competing in the young pony finals as a four-, five- and six-year-old and now carrying on her career successfully among the adult ponies. The class for overheight ponies and / or riders over 18 had only two contestants with last year’s winner Nice-n’-Cherry (by Carnaby Patrick Hooligan out of Dory-Nice) coming out on top once again.
Young pony activities
Some of the three-year-old tests have been held during the spring while the rest will be held after the summer. Among the Connemaras shown so far Hagens D’Arcy’s offspring and the Holmtebo stud have been very successful. Out of four Holmtebo ponies by Hagens D’Arcy, three (Holmtebo Swift out of Hagens Star, Holmtebo Archie out of Hagens Annie and Holmtebo Yale out of Hagens Yanine) were given double awards, both for gaits and for jumping, at their three-year-old test. In his first three foal cohorts D’Arcy have eleven offspring that have participated in three-year-old tests and seven of these have double awards and one has a jumping award. A very promising beginning for a young stallion.
Another stallion who’s offspring have distinguished themselves in the young pony activities is the Elite stallion Rolls Royce. This spring his daughter Hold Roxy Bellaria (out of Hold Bellarina Skylark) have added to his list of offspring with a gait award from a three-year- old test. The young L ̊angarno ̈ Cedrick has his first foal cohort turning three this year and his daughter Carnaby Lor Sparrow (out of Ashfield Flash Sparrow) was given a jumping award at her test.
The national show saw a good turnout in spite of being held much earlier than usual. There were no yearling colts forward, but the yearling fillies had five contestants. Win- ner was Bjennesby Janis Joplin (out of Hagens Yulie) by the Finnish stallion Rockfield Scarface. Among the two-year-old colts the winner was the Irish import Castle Verdi (by Janus out of Orph ́ee Schueracher). Verdi has an international pedigree with a Swedish born sire and a French born dam breeding him in Ireland. The winning two-year-old filly Holmtebo Walzing Mathilda (by Hagens D’Arcy out of Holmtebo Wait for Me) on the other hand has several generations of Swedish-bred ponies in her pedigree. Castle Verdi was awarded the youngstock championship with Bjennesby Janis Joplin as reserve.
The older gelding class saw some very strong contestants with Lidens Mr Li, the winner of one of the dressage championship titles, winning and also taking the gelding championship to Hagens Zinzano (by Spinway Corona out of Abbeyleix Flora) who was second and reserve gelding champion. The two lads also each one a ridden class.
Among the mares Hagens Hella (by Hagens Ryan out of Hagens Umbra) won the class for four- to six-year-old mares and Lofty Romilly (by Poetic Justice out of Rolo) the one for mares seven to ten years old. In the oldest mare class Hagens Rosmara (by Va ̈rnbergs Orion out of Hagens Andora) added another victory to her list. Her daughter, Hagens Umbra (by Hagens O’Chief) was third in the same class. Being the dam of Hagens Hella it made for quite a family reunion in the Best in Show ring later on. The class for mares not entered in the stud book was won by Markatta (out of Milldred), one of Gunne Anton’s few offspring. Secont to Markatta was Stockmossens Tindra (by Kamillo av Haga out of Stockmossens Timandra) who also too the allround pony title for the most successful pony participating in all the different events throughout the weekend.
The class for three-year-old fillies was won by R ̊a ̊as Emerald (by Kulan Kavat out of Little Sweet Lollipop) who was much liked by the judges and was the eventual second runner up for the Best in Show title. Only two licensed stallions came forward, but two very good ones: Backuddens Rebell (by Janus out of Tyfon) in the older stallion class and his half uncle Erinmore Golden Marble (by O ̈xenholm Marble Jr out of Glaskopf Grey Joanna) in the younger stallion class. At the end of the day Golden Marble took the reserve Best in Show title with Rebells half brother, the two-year-old colt Castle Verdi, being chosen Best in Show.