News from Australian summer 2011

Summer down under has NOT been the usual summer we normally have! What with the devastating floods in Queensland, flooding in New South Wales and Victoria and now as I write this article, to cap it all off we have this huge cyclone of category 5 intensity with winds reaching over 300kmp devastating towns for 200 kmp north and south along the Northern Queensland coastline.

Little wonder that Equine events have been put on the back burner in most of the eastern States and so very little news is to hand. One can say however, apart from several Connemara Pony members properties in Queensland being flooded, there has been no loss of Ponies and members housing, Stables etc have survived. Fencing has been a major problem but the enthusiastic input from volunteers have descended on damaged areas and, in the main, those with fencing problems have had repairs effected and ponies once again secure. It is too soon to even think about the devastation of the cyclone but one keeps hoping!

Despite all the down turns, some encouraging and exciting news has come to hand. I have written in the past of Monahan Harrison (Ben Dhui Diccon – Wychwood Lady Ann), and his rider Carissa BAILEY. A review just to hand of Monahan Harrison’s performance in 2010 -2011 vindicates my last comments that this Pony must be considered the top performance Pony in Australia. IN 2010 and in the short period of 2011, the combination has competed at many local, district and State Show Jumping and Eventing competitions with the following outstanding results.

90 cms – 5 Firsts that included 3 Championship ribbons 95 cms – 3 Firsts 1 Championship
100 cms – 4 Firsts 1 Championship
105 cms – 1 First.
108 cms – 3 Firsts 3 Championships

120 cm – 2 Firsts
125 cm – 1 First
These events included “D”, “C” grade Show Jumping, AM5, AM7 classifications.

In 2010, “Harrison” competed in four, Grade 2 – 90cm events as well as show Jumping. H e achieved a 1st, 2nd and two 4th places.

A truly outstanding Connemara Pony that is showing the flag down under.


Three new Connemara Ponies competed in the Eastern States are: Sugargum Sensation, Sugargum Vivinne and Sugargum Sirocco. These ponies are owned by a newly appointed Committee person in Janine Leslie. They are all by the Connemara Stallion Boonahburra McGee. Sirocco is Pure bred and from the mare Glenormiston Lisdoornvarna; Vivinne from the mare Bureyer Victoria and Sensation from the Anglo Arab Bakidoll. The ponies appeared for their very first outing at the Victorian Stud pony Show recently. They had never been away from the property; had never seen arenas, crowds and massed ponies. It was all a very new experience! In true Connemara style they knuckled down to the job and between them won 9 first ribbons in led and ridden classes and this included a best M&M exhibit. I am sure we will hear more of these ponies in the future.

Celtic Santolina (Springfield Devereux – Celtic Thyme), was found by the Mathews Family after a friend advised that this mare was for sale. A visit to the mare saw her change hands and her new owner/rider quickly clicked. Their first event was at Lieghdale Connemara Sports Day where the combination competed in Showjumping and Dressage, taking home twelve 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed ribbons. They were well and truly away!

australian_summer_2011_img_1In 2010 the combination competed at the Barwon Valley ODE with a 4th place. Then to Smythdale ODE where they competed successfully but out of the ribbons. At the APSB Action day the combination qualified for the Native Challenge where Santolina earned a 7th in Dressage and 3rd in Pony Club event. Throughout 2010 this combination competed at numerous ODEs, Agricultural Shows and Interschool competitions earning numerous placings that included Champion and Reserve Champion led and Ridden classes.

At the prestigious Melbourne Summer Royal Show event, Santolina was placed 2nd in the Working Hunter class, 2nd Best Presented Connemara, 2nd Led Connemara and 2nd Ridden Connemara. In 2010 Sarah and Santolina has been placed in the top 10 in all grade 4 Pony Club ODEs in which she has competed.

This Connemara combination will, I am sure, continue to perform strongly in numerous Pony Club and Open events and Santolina and her rider will appear regularly in results as they come to hand.

John Tennant, Publicity Officer ICCPS