Springtime means stallion inspections and this year’s Swedish inspections were held the weekend of 20 – 21 March. The new approved stallions have already been presented elsewhere. Coosheen Finbarr (by Glencarrig Prince out of Scarteen Mistral) had a good weekend at the inspections and in addition to having his first son approved he was also awarded an A premium at the age of just nine, for the good conformation of his offspring. Another stallion to be awarded his A premium this spring was Ashfield Cathal Crobdhearg (by Ormond Oliver out of Ashfield Lor Sparrow) who has also proved to sire good quality offspring.
More sobering news reached us earlier this year when the stallion Kilpatrick Fionn (by Abbeyleix Fionn out of Moorland Juliet) had to be put down due to melanoma. This stallion has had a rather short but brilliant show jumping career in Sweden crowning it with participating in the European show jumping championships in 2005. Sadly he has not had time for breeding due to his commitments as a show jumper and it was a cruel twist of fate that his owners had planned to use him for breeding this year. But it was not to be and there will be no foals by this nice stallion in Sweden.
Summing up last years dressage results there are Connemaras right up fighting with the very best. The Connemara taking the most dressage competition points for 2009 was the gelding Backens Lotus (by Rolls Royce out of Princess Jasmin) who finished on a creditable overall 4th place with a large number of wins on a national level and several placings in Elite competitions. Another of Rolls Royce’s offspring to make the top 100 was Lotus II (out of Lorette V) and Rolls Royce had no less than eight offspring winning dressage points during 2009, most of them born in the 00-ies, so we can surely expect to see his sons and daughters in the dressage arena for many years to come.
Rolls Royce’s full brother Juno Rory (by Rory Ruadh out of Brantshammar Julie) was in his heydays one of Sweden’s most successful dressage ponies taking several successive riders to the highest national level. Like Kilpatrick Fionn competing meant little time for breeding duties, but one of his few sons, the approved stallion Golden Garlic (out of Ambrosia) has followed in his sired footsteps and was another one to make the top 100 in the dressage rankings. A final little connection to Rory Ruadh is the part bred Chopin AM, bred in Denmark and number 21 among the dressage ponies in Sweden last year, and the highest ranking part bred. His maternal grandsire is the Connemara stallion Tootle U who is another son of Rory Ruadh.
Another successful dressage sire is V ̈arnbergs Orion who has three offspring on the top 100 dressage ponies. The highest ranking of them is the mare Hagens Rosmara (out of Hagens Andora) who is 12th in the dressage ranking for ponies of all breeds. She is another one to have had a very successful year 2009 including competing at the international horse show at Falsterbo. Sadly her rider is now too old for competing in pony competitions, but what a fine year to finish off their career together. Rosmara’s two half brothers to also make the top 100 were Olbiz Tellus (out of Twilight) and Hagens Qumulus (out of Hagens Fondora) and Orion has another two sons taking dressage points in 2009.
Eventing in Sweden is not attracting a huge crowd of competitors these days, and there were only two Connemaras winning competition points last year, the two stallions Grange Flynn Sparrow and Nice-n’-Curly. At the end of the year Nice-n’-Curly (by Nice-n’-Easy out of Corinne II) was the one to have accumulated more points and finished in 12th place with Grange Flynn Sparrow (by Ashfield Festy out of Grange Agnes Sparrow) a bit further down the line.
In addition to the pure breds there were also four part bred Connemaras gaining eventing points last year, with Lillefot (by Frederiksminde Hazy Chance) being the highest placed in fourth place after a successful year crowned by an individual 9th place in the European eventing championships.
In the show jumping the Irish-bred Connemaras have, as always, done really well in 2009, but the most successful of the Connemaras was a French-bred, the gelding Ix de l’Aulne (by Dexter Leam Pondi out of Castille de l’Aulne) who competed internationally and crowned the season by taking a gold medal at the indoors Swedish championships.
Three Irish-bred Connemaras made the top 100 show jumping ponies this year. The highest placed of these was Lexus Justice (by Westside Fred out of Dunamoney Lass) who was 12th. During the year he competed not so much in Sweden, but he went to several international competitions and was won two classes at Freudenberg. Lexus Justice was also part of the Swedish team at the European show jumping championships. With him at the championships was another Irish-bred Connemara from the top 100 list, Some Man for One Man (by Ashfield Bobby Sparrow out of Misty Maiden). He also competed at the Nordic-Baltic championships and was placed at the Swedish championships both outdoors and indoors. The third Irish-bred Connemara on the top 100 is Sceilig Siofra (by Deise Sam Maguire out of Gentle Jessie) who had a successful year among the ponies 130 – 140 cm with team silver at the Nordic-Baltic championships and an individual bronze at the Swedish championships.
The last two Connemaras to make top 100 are both bred and born in Sweden. Desdemona (out of Ti-Ti-Oo) is by Brol ̈otens Joop who is by Finney Master (incidently also the sire of Rory Ruadh). Poetic Annie is one of the many good show jumpers sired by Poetic Justice (now in France) while her mother Myrens Anitra is by Nice-n’-Easy, another sire known for his performance offspring and also the sire of the eventing stallion Nice-n’-Curly.
The show jumping season of 2010 is already well under way and some ponies have already been out to compete internationally. The one that has done best so far is the French-bred Ice and Fire d’Albran (by Dexter Leam Pondi out of Underline of Laps) who has won both in Middelfart and Vilhelmsborg and was placed in Zwolle. The French Connemara seems to become increasingly popular (and successful) in Sweden as the top ten jumping ponies so far this year includes no less than three French-bred Connemaras. In addition to Ice and Fire you will also find Lover de Vauper (by Thunder du Blin out of Daphne de la Dive) and Idefix du Villon (by Quignon du Parc out of Hilda des Ludes). With all three having already been out competing on the international scene it will be interesting to see what happens once the European championships are approaching.