Last year’s competition season is since long completed. By now all competitions should have been reported and it is time to take a look at the final standings among the perfor- mance ponies. In dressage last year’s most successful Connemara was Backens Lotus (by Rolls Royce out of Princess Jasmin) who finished in 8th place among ponies of all breeds. In second place we have his half brother Ragnarps Little Royce (out of Bolle Lusona). Rolls Royce’s half brother, the late Janus, has Pyramus (out of Olympia II) in third place and Tip Top (out of Hagens Farabella) in ninth place and Lidens Mr Li (out of May-Li) in tenth place. Rolls Royce full brother Juno Rory, himself a successful dressage stallion in the 90ies, is the sire of the stallion Golden Garlic (out of Ambrosia) who ranked number six last year.
More family connections among the top ten dressage ponies in 2010 are the two full sisters Ko ̈hls Fidolina (by Shirley’s Thunderbell out of Hagens Ellina) in fifth place and Ko ̈hls Evelina in seventh place. Their sire, Shirley’s Thunderbell, is a half brother to Countach Campbell who was the sire of the blue eyed cream Tic Tac (out of K ̈ohls Rapsodi, not closely related to Fidolina and Evelina) who finished fourth among the dressage Connemaras. O’Neil (by Hagens O’Chief out of Nelly Dun) finally, who was eighth, is a half brother to Golden Garlic’s dam Ambrosia and his paternal grandsire, Blue Chief is maternal grandsire of both Backens Lotus, K ̈ohls Fidolina and Ko ̈hls Evelina.
The first competitions of the year have also been held and reported. It is always interesting to see how old names show up and new names appear. At the time of writing no less than seven Connemaras and three partbreds are on the top one hundred dressage ponies of all breeds. Backens Lotus is still doing well and is presently in fifth place. Other names that are reappearing from last year’s final standings are Ko ̈hls Evelina and O’Neil both in joint 50th place.
Among the new names, the highest placed is Countess II (out of Chess III) in 29th place. Her sire, Carnaby Patrick Hooligan, is by Hagens O’Chief and thus a half brother to O’Neill. Further down in the line we find Markanth (by Ashfield Cathal Crobdhearg out of Idholmens Lily) in joint 50th place, followed by Fame II (out of Birkums Funny), another of Rolls Royce’s dressage progeny, in 87th place and Bellina (by Frederiksminde Hazy Chance out of Belle II) and Okay Cosmos (by Cannon out of Iowa) in joint 89th place. The partbred Connemaras on the top one hundred are brother and sister Miramis and Jumping Arizona. Their sire, Kamik Breeze, was himself a performance pony, but compeated mostly in show jumping. The third partbred on the top one hundred is Vicky (by Holens Ingolf), presently in place 78.
Moving on to eventing, last year was a slow year for both Connemaras and ponies in general. Only two purebred and three partbred Connemaras competed and took points in eventing. The above mentioned Lidens Mr Li who was placed tenth in the dressage ranking was also the pure bred Connemara to take the highest number of eventing points.
This put him in a tied sixth place in the all-breeds ranking sharing with the old European Championship participant Casper (by Cannon) and Calabash who’s maternal grandsire is the Irish stallion Gloves Duke. The other two Connemaras taking eventing points in 2010 are two golden oldies: The 18-year-old stallion Nice-n-Curly (by Nice-n’-Easy out of Corinne II) and the partbred Djufwan ̈as Bea (by V ̈arnbergs Neptunus) turning 23 this year. The eventing season 2011 has yet to start in Sweden.
In show jumping the Connemaras had an exceptional 2010. There were three purebred Connemaras among the top ten, seven (and one partbred) among the top 20, and fifteen among the top one hundred. Although many of the best show jumpers have been im- ported, this year we were happy to see a Swedish bred Connemara at the head of the pack. Desdemona is by Brol ̈otens Joop and out of Ti-Ti-Oo and had an exceptional sea- son crowning it by winning the Ridsport Pony Cup finals for ponies 130 – 140 cm and she was placed fourth among ponies of all breeds. The other two Swedish bred ponies among the top ten Connemaras were Highlander (by Poetic Justice out of Gryt ̊asa Kryddan) in sixth place and his half sister Poetic Annie (out of Myrens Anitra) in tenth.
The Irish born Poetic Moonlight (out of Lehid Vida) was yet another of Poetic Justice to be placed highly in the ranking, this time in ninth place. She was joined by two more Irish ponies, Sceilig Siofra (by Deise Sam Maguire out of Gentle Jessie) in fourth place and Lexus Justice (by Westside Fred out of Dunamoney Lass) in fifth place. The three French ponies from the I-cohort, Idefix du Villon (by Quignon du Parc our of Hilda des Ludes), Ice and Fire d’Albran (by Dexter Leam Pondi our of Underline of Laps) and his half brother Ix de l’Aulne (out of Castille de l’Aulne), were number two (and sixth of all breeds), seven and eight respectively. In third place, and seventh among all breeds, was the Swiss-born Little Finnigan de la Praz (by Leam Finnigan our of Little Witch).
Looking at the present ranking for this year we find a lot of pure and partbred Connemaras among the hundred with most show jumping points so far. I count twelve purebreds and eight partbreds and the suspiciously named Drishoge Bobby Sparrow with no recorded pedigree. As in the dressage rankings some ponies from the top ten Connemaras of 2010 are beginning the season strongly. Poetic Annie, Little Finnigan, Desdemona, Sceilig Siofra, Ix de l’Aulne and Lexus Justice are all amone the top one hundred show jumpers so far. Desdemona has already been abroad competing in Denmark where both her two qualifiers and the Grand Prix.
Among the new names the pedigrees are more diverse than in among the dressage ponies, but Poetic Justice continues to stand out with three partbreds, Temple Attica, Poetics Rodrigo and Poetic Bianca in addition to the purebred Poetic Annie. Another pony with more than one progeny among the present top one hundred is Pommac who is the sire of both the partbred Hip Hop and the purebred Scarlett Pimpinell S (out of Yankie Girl).
There are two more Swedish born purebred Connemaras among the top one hundred and one partbred. Tammy Lane (by Va ̈rnbergs Orion out of My Lane) and Phalcon (by Janus’ sire O ̈xenholm Marble Jr out of Gr ̈ans Lady Stella) are both among the top thirty while the partbred Knatte (by Kamillo av Haga) is a bit further down. Imported Connemaras from all over Europe also continue to do well. From France we have Jazz de Rhonon (by Vent Fou Duff out of Carry Me de Rhonon) and the partbred Koka d’Almy (out of Une de Aout), from Ireland Some Man For One Man (by Ashfield Bobby Sparrow out of Misty Maiden) and the partbreds CTS Jordan (by Murphy’s Rebel) och Tullineaskey Fear Ideas (bye Tempebready Fear Bui) and from Denmark Nygaards F ̈olfod (by Baunelys Dipper out of Skovbo’s Dorthealilje) all among the hundred ponies taking the most show jumping points so far.
A record number of seventeen stallions were entered for the stallion inspections this year of whom one, Erinmore Golden Marble was already approved and coming back for his volountary performance test while the others were new hopefuls. After thorough in- spection four new stallions could be approved as class one. Gra ̈ns Legolas was the only three-year-old of the nine entered to pass. He is the first stallion son of Grange Flynn Sparrow and his dam’s, Gra ̈ns Fideli’s, second stallion son. With both his sire and his maternal grandsire, Dale Haze, having competed successfully in eventing it will be inter- esting to see if Legolas will give the performance field a try too. Legolas scored a 9 (out of 10) for his type and received the highest overall conformation marks of the Connemaras.
Two four-year-old stallions were entered and the Irish born, Danish owned Bell Prince could be approved. Bell Prince is by Glencarrig Lexus out of Bellpark with Boden Park Finnard as the maternal grandsire.
Among the four five-year-olds only Bingo Bell could be passed as a class 1 stallion. Bingo Bell is the second son by Coosheen Finbarr to be approved. His mother Cameron Belle is a diploma mare and was reserve champion at the breed show as a three-year-old and one of her daughters was reserve youngstock champion in 1996. A son has won at the quality test and another daughter is a successful show jumper. Cameroon Belle’s sire is the late Elite stallion Brantshammar Bell Dara.
The last new stallion of the year was the six-year-old O ̈nnarpsOrcan.Heisthefirstson of Backuddens Mountain Haze and thereby the second new stallion this year with Dale Haze as a grandsire. Orcan’s dam O ̈nnarps Babette (by Aladdin) is also a diploma mare and was youngstock champion at the breed show as a two year old. Several of her progeny have been doing well at the three-year-old tests including Orcan who won the national finals for three-year-olds in the ”gaits” class. At the inspections he scored 9 for his trot and also nines in both his loose jumping grades.
ErinmoreGoldenMarble,thelastsonofO ̈xenholmMarbleandoutoftheGermanimport Glaskopf Grey Joanna (by Frederiksminde Hazy Marvel) was approved last year. As a three-year-old he won the national finals of the ”gaits” and he lived up to this success by scoring well in his performance test. In particular he received praise for his ridden jumping scoring two eights and a nine.