New year, new competition season and by now it should be safe to assume that last year’s competition results have all been reported. Which means time to summarize the most successful competition ponies of 2011. In dressage, Backens Lotus (by the Elite premium stallion Rolls Royce out of Princess Jasmin) was the Connemara to gain the highest number of competition points. With his 289 dressage points he ended up in place 18 of all the dressage ponies of all breeds. Lotus is now teaching the art of dressage to a new rider and together they have already won a couple of classes at the regional level and are presently the highest ranked Connemara in place 18.
The blood of Rory Ruadh through his two Swedish sons (and full brothers) Rolls Royce and Juno Rory, continues to be a safe recipe for dressage performance. Lotus’s half brother Ragnarps Little Royce (out of Bolle Lusona) and Ally Mc Coist (by Juno Rory out of Brolo ̈tens Alo ́e) both finished 2011 among the top ten dressage Connemaras. Juno Rory’s and Rolls Royce’s maternal half brother Janus also had a son on the top ten last yearwiththedunO ̈strahultsBenz(outofO ̈strahultsSonette)finishingin7thplace.
A successful dressage combination is that of Shirley’s Thunderbell and Hagens Ellina who together have produced two dressage ponies both ending on the top ten Connemaras for 2011. K ̈ohls Evelina finished in third place (64th among all breeds) and K ̈ohls Fidolina took number five (89th among all breeds). Thunderbell’s half brother Countach Campbell is the sire of the blue eyed cream Tic Tac who did so well last year and finished as the second most successful dressage Connemara of 2011 with a 63rd place among all breeds.
Among the rest of the top ten Connemaras Va ̈rnbergs Orion boasts a son in Ilion (out of Myk ́ene) in 6th place and a grandson in Okay Cosmos (by Cannon out of Iowa) in 8th place. The fourth ranking pony Lofty Roseanne (77th among all breeds) instead has a fully Irish pedigree being by Ashfield Cathal Crobdhearg out of Rolo. Best among the partbreds 2011 was Poetic Poetry by the Elite stallion Poetic Justice, otherwise best known for his jumping offspring.
Turningtothisyear’sresultsinstead,wefindanewnameinO ̈nnarpsKurant(byAladdin out of Cillva II) who has been placed at national level during the early competitions of the year. It will be interesting to see how he will succeed during the rest of the year. Another interesting name is Molliere (by Juno Rory out of Brol ̈otens Samba) who can be found among the top 100 after a win and a second place at the regional level. Molliere was last summer’s Swedish Connemara Champion in dressage and it is nice to see him continue do well. Among the top 100 we also have the new name Hansas Daisy (by Lofty Roderic out of Hagens Naughty-Nora) and Ko ̈hls Fidolina, Lofty Roseanne and Tic Tac all presented above.
The number of ponies gaining points in eventing were up slightly compared to last year. The pony gathering the most eventing points of all breeds was the Connemara partbred Casper (by Cannon), half brother of the dressage pony Okay Cosmos mentioned above. Among the purebreds the most successful pony was the approved stallion Nice-n’-Curly (by the Elite stallion Nice-n’-Easy out of Corinne II) who was placed 12 overall. Second to him was Kasper Kavat (out of Carnaby Kajsa Kavat) a half brother of Tic Tac who was placed 19 among all breeds. Third was Mosquito R (by Calvin Klein out of Marion Jones S) followed by Moon Struck (out of Moon Light) who is by the old Nordic eventing championship gold medal winner Uranus. The last Connemara to gain eventing points during 2011 was the Irish import Glendun Lad (by Moyans Little Monkey out of Murphy Blue).
The Connemaras were doing well in show jumping in 2011. All top ten Connemaras were among the top 100 (and indeed almost the top 50) show jumping ponies of all breeds. The Elite stallion Poetic Justice, now in France, had two daughters among the ten: Irish bred Poetic Moonlight (out of Lehid Vida) finished as number four (19th of all breeds) and Swedish bred Poetic Annie (out of the Elite mare Myrens Anitra) was tenth among the Connemaras and 54th of all breeds. Another Swedish bred pony to make the top ten was Desdemona (by Brol ̈otens Joop out of Ti-Ti-Oo) finishing 5th (24th of all breeds).
The Swiss import Little Finnigan de la Praz (by Leam Finnigan out of Little Witch) was the most successful Connemara in 2011 finishing 6th among ponies of all breeds after a strong season. A nose hair behind Little Finnigan was the French bred Ix de l’Aulne (by Dexter Leam Pondi out of Castille de l’Aulne) in 7th place among all breeds.
The remaining ponies on the top ten were all Irish bred. The little mare Sceilig Siofra (by Deise Sam Maguire out of Gentle Jessie) has long been a resident of the top end of the result lists of national competitions. This year she took a bronze at the Swedish championships and finished third on the Connemara pony ranking as well. Lexus Justice (by Westside Fred out Dunamoney Lass) finished in 6th place (33rd among all breeds), ahead of the new name Dunbelievable (by Kylemore Rocky out of Primula Pearls Blazer, 39th among ponies of all breeds). Some Man for One Man (by Ashfield Bobby Sparrow out of Misty Maiden) had a good year participating in both the European and the Nordic championships and took a team gold at the latter event. In the 2011 ranking he was 8th among the Connemaras (41st among all breeds) ahead of Drumcong Finn (by Seafield Fionn out of Westside Lady) in 9th place (46th of all breeds).
Looking at this year’s ranking so far Brolo ̈tens Cloetta is leading the pack of Connemaras. Cloetta (out of Molly) has an interesting pedigree with the old dressage ace Juno Rory as her sire. Clearly she knows how to jump as well. Another interesting name is the French stallion Ice and Fire d’Albran (by Dexter Leam Pondi out of Underline of Laps) in place 18 who has already won at both regional and national level this year. The mare Brittney (out of the Elite mare Hagens Grandezza), a half sister to the dressage pony Lofty Roseanne mentioned above, has also had a promising start and is presently in place
76. Her daughter Holmtebo Bridie (by Hagens D’Arcy) earned a jumping award at her three-year-old-test in 2009 and proved that Brittney indeed also pass on her jumping genes.
Poetic Justice as always has several offspring among the top 100. In addition to last year’s number ten Poetic Annie, Highlander (out of Gryt ̊asa Kryddan) and the partbred Little Wonder are also among the top 100 so far. Another sire to have more than one offspring among the 100 first is Westside Fred. Lexus Justice is presently in number 9 and the partbred Wutang is found a bit further down in place 45. Three names from last year’s top ten Connemaras are also among the first 100 Sceilig Siofra, Ix de l’Aulne and Drumcong Finn, while the partbred Hip Hop (by Pommac) has had a great start and is fifth so far.
After a warm and sunny March, winter returned in time for the stallion inspections and sleet was falling all through the day. Thank goodness for indoor schools. Four three-year- olds, three four-year-olds and two older stallions came forward at the inspections, but disappointingly none of the boys was considered to be of sufficient quality to be passed as a stallion. Irish born Castle Verdi (by Janus out of Orph ́ee Schueracher) and French born Vox Pop de l’Aulne (by Glenree de l’Aulne out of Ies de l’Aulne) had conformation scores closes to the approval threshold and hopefully they or one of the others can come back next year and show a stronger conformation after maturing a little. In the loose jumping Count on Courageous (by Coosheen Finbarr out of Count on Chiquita) shone with the highest points for the day for both technique and temperament but did not fit the bill with his conformation.
The older, already approved, stallions were reviewed with respect to their offspring. Ha- gens D’Arcy (by Hagens O’Chief out of Hagens Morning) could be given an A premium for his offspring’s good conformation. The late Janus (by Øxenholm Marble Jr out of Brantshammar Julie) was given a posthumous Elite premium only awarded to stallions with progeny of exceptional quality. Janus is now the second generation Elite premium stallion as his sire also is one.
The 16-year-old French bred Idefix du Villon (by Quignon du Parc) has been in Sweden for a couple of years now. His dam Hilda des Ludes is the mother of 19 foals, five of which has taken part in the European Championships. Before coming here Idefix had a successful show jumping career in France and participated in the European Championships in 2005. He has continued to do well show jumping here ranking number 6 among ponies of all breeds and 2nd among the Connemaras in 2010. Due to his busy competition schedule he was unable to be present at the stallion inspections but was given a dispensation to be inspected in a separate inspection. Happily, Idefix fulfilled all the necessary quality requirements and could be passed as a stallion giving us one new stallion this year.
I have written before of the excellent performance of the Australian Connemara Part bred performance at the prestigious Adelaide international Horse trials. This event is only one of four held worldwide and the only one in the Southern hemisphere. The Course is set in the parklands that surround the City and it is both a demanding and yet extremely beautiful course!
“Exmoor Truffles” owned and bred by the Withers Family, a well-known Connemara family in South Australia and ridden by a daughter of the family, competed in 2009 and performed admirably in the CC1 2 star event. “Truffles” had clear Cross Country and Show jumping rounds and was in the top twenty at the end of the Dressage phase. This mare was from a pure Bred Connemara Mare from a well performed Thoroughbred Stallion.
In this year’s event yet another Part Bred Connemara competed and, as one would expect, performed with considerable dash to finish in 11th place overall.
The Connemara in question is “Feldale Mouse”. He is by the extremely well performed Glenormiston Stallion “Glenormiston Praize” from a thoroughbred mare. “Praize” was a top performing Pure Bred Stallion and went on to produce a myriad of top Pure Bred and Part bred performers.
“Feldale Mouse” is a grey gelding and stands 15.3hh. He is owned and ridden by a Queensland rider in Isabel English. The combination competed in the CCI 2 star section of 2011 Adelaide International Horse trials Event.
At the end of the Dressage phase, Isabel and “Feldale Mouse” had a score of 67.8 and were in 41 st place. His forte, as one would expect is the cross Country section and the combination finished this demanding International course with no cross Country penalties and clear on time. “Mouse” entered the Show Jumping phase in 23rd position. After a clear Show Jumping round and clear on time the combination completed the competition with a total score on 67.8 and in 11th Position.
It is sincerely hoped that this combination will continue to perform well throughout the Australian Eventing program and that we will hear more of the performance deeds of this combination. The previous AIHT performer, “Exmoor truffles” has not been heard of in the present season.
John Tennant Publicity officer
More about the Adelaide event: http://www.australian3de.com.au/
NEWS FROM AROUND THE WORLD CHRISTMAS EDITION 2012
As is usual, there has been very little, in fact no news, from Societies around the world.
Does this mean that there are no Connemara Ponies working and performing, or, just that no one has the time or interest to report on their ponies and their activities???
Given the above, readers will have to accept that which is readily available! There is a gorgeous article from an owner of the Pony that has won the “Jo Heard” trophy down under. I shall send the full article for presentation as it indicates several things, the ability of the Connemara, the joy of a child competing and then the absolute pleasure of the owner who took the pony under her wing and competed not just “in Hand” but at ODEs!
State Royal Shows have been well supported by the Connemara owners. Perth Royal led mare went to “Margylyn Lady Gwynne” owned by J Rockman. Stallion Class was awarded to “Clare Downs Outlaw” prepared by the Clare Downs Stud and this Stallion was also awarded Champion Connemara with “Glenormiston Dundrum” taking out the reserves ribbon.
In South Australia at the Kapunda Show Led Pure bred Colt /filly was awarded to “Gracefield Park Dr. Doolittle”; led Mare was taken out by “Newlands Winsome with “Glenormiston Rosanna” accepting the 2nd place ribbon. “Newlands Winsome” was awarded Champion of the Show.
In Victoria the Geelong Royal Show saw a strong field of Connemaras competing.
Led mare was awarded to “Kahean Snow Blossom”. Led Stallion ribbon went to “Gracefield park Mr. Ed” and the led pure bred gelding ribbon was awarded to “Kahean Knight Storm”.
Champion Connemara at Geelong was awarded to “Gracefield Park Mr. Ed”.
Ballarat, Victoria ran a Mountain and Moorland pony show that included Fell, New Forest and Connemara ponies. M&M Male class saw “Kahean Knight Storm” taking home the First ribbon with Connemaras taking the first 4 placings in this class.
News from Britain also indicates a strong representation of the Connemara pony in competition. One most interesting note that I received was concerning the Eldwick Riding Club’s Quadrille team. This group competes on a team of Connemara ponies all of which have competed successfully at Dressage, Working Hunter, Show Jumping, Pony Club and general showing. After some trepidation in preparation the team was entered in the British Riding Clubs SEIB Quadrille Selection trials. With Connemara ponies as their mounts the team chose an Irish theme to the music of Lord of the Dance! The team was called back into the ring for the final placings to be announced. One can imagine the joy when “Eldwick Riding Club” was announced as the fourth team that would go to Olympia. What a great triumph for the Connemara pony and the riders who competed on them!
The British Connemara pony Super Sunday saw a Stallion Parade of 30 Connemara pony Stallions. These ponies ranged from mature aged Males down to recently inspected and graded Colts. Some were shown in hand and some were ridden. Also on Super Sunday was a 2 hour long “Showing Clinic” and this was followed by an “Open Jumping Clinic”. From the reports on “Super Sunday” it is obvious that many people gained considerably from all aspects of this wonderful day.
With winter now well settled in the Northern hemisphere very little news of the Connemara pony will be forthcoming for a while. Down under, The Connemara Part Bred has once again indicated its capabilities with a strong performance by yet another part bred Connemara in the prestigious Adelaide International Horse trials. Last year saw “Exmoor Truffles” competing in the CC1 2 event and whilst not finishing in the placings competed extremely well in all sections. In 2011 yet another part bred “Feedale Mouse” competed in CC1 2 produced yet another confident round. Placings in this class are hard to determine as yet but I shall follow this up and try to get a final result for those who are interested.
May I take this opportunity to wish all Connemara pony owners, enthusiasts and riders the very best for the Christmas period. May the year 2012 be a happy riding time for you all and may your ponies produce many wonderfully keen and talented off spring to take you further into Connemara performance areas as yet untouched by you!
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!
ICCPS Publicity officer
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.
It is amazing how quickly the time passes us by. With local AGM and Committee meetings, members away in Ireland for the Festival and so on and before one knows, it is out with Summer and in with winter and vice versa – depending where one resides.
News is quite sparse from the Northern hemisphere as ponies are looking to be out doors, or stabled for the winter and the show season is finished. Down under it is about to start, hence the lack of news.
In England, the sun shone brightly on yearling gelding Innellan Rambler (by Anbally Cloud out of Glencarrig Wild Rose) and indicates that he is one of the best yearlings in England at the moment. He was shown at seven county and two breed shows and was awarded seven first placings, four championships and three reserve championships. He was not finished with that as he was taken to the Equifest where he was awarded a first place in the young stock class; Champion Connemara and then the best M&M pony at the show. We all look forward to the return of summer in 2012 to see what he next achieves.
Connemara events in East Anglia saw some great ponies being shown. Natchaniel Nutmeg and Moatwood Constance Spray both left the arena with top ribbons around their necks. Sue Allen and her mount Hobart Alchemy took out the Ridden Championship.
The Northern Breed show also produced quality Connemara ponies. Both the adult and pure bred in hand championships were taken by Drumcare Prince Albert. The young stock in hand Championship was awarded to Senruf Primula. The pure bred ridden championship went to Skellorn Harrison and this stallion went on to take out the Supreme champion of the show.
“Down Under” there is little activity to report on. However, the AGM and Committee meeting of the CPBSA saw yet further changes that are being introduced to lift the Performance value of the Australian Connemara. At the completion of the first year of its introduction 76 ponies have been nominated to be considered for awards in this ongoing award scheme. At the AGM, Annual winners were announced and Green and Gold Saddle cloths and Horse rugs were presented to each of the State winners.
To comply with the Standardisation of Inspectors qualifications etc., as announced at Clifden this year, all CPBSA inspectors will have to virtually be reassessed and all new applicants for inspector role will have a set criteria to comply with, work and through for appointment as inspector. One of the major difficulties down under is the vast difference between states, studs and personnel wishing to be appointed as inspectors. It is hoped that this new criteria will help to resolve this situation.
With the Mother Society about to recognise Michael O”Malley’s 100th anniversary of great service to the Connemara Pony in Ireland in 2012, the CPBSA has also agreed to make a similar recognition at the “2012 Connemara Showcase” event at Werribee, Victoria in June 2012. The full program of this Centenary program will be announced later as it becomes firm.
Summer is on the horizon. Connemara pony owners are checking stables, paddocks etc. for creepy crawlies. Dressage arenas, show jump areas, hacking tracks are being surveyed and ponies are being worked. The early shows will quickly occur. At my age, one does have the feel that one should be “doing” something. Not having one’s ponies around and instead, looking at a suburban back yard it is quite disheartening. One can still dream!!!
Photo source: http://www.britishconnemaras.co.uk/
Connemara People in Victoria had a real treat served to them recently when the extremely well know and highly talented Horseman Manola Mandez presented a demonstration of Classical training using Connemara Ponies. Manola’s training is extremely interesting as he combines work in-hand, with his deep understanding of Equine Chiropractic methods, to help the rider better communicate with the Horse/pony once under saddle.
Manola Mandez’s background is unique. He was one of six founders of the Royal School of Equestrian Art in Jerez, Spain. In 1978 Manola was invited to come to Australia by Ray Williams of R.M. Williams, Stockmen and Horse outfitters, to be a Director and Head Riderat the El Caballo Blanco Equestrianne school in Perth, WA. He was later director of El Caballo Sydney.
Those in Australia who can remember will know of his star performer at these establishments was non other than a Connemara Stallion Kemill GHill Spinnaker, bred by the late Alan Longman of Western Australia. I had the pleasure of seeing Spinnaker and Manola perform once when in Adelaide and the manner in which this man was able to establish his routine with Spinnaker has never left my memory.
Manola now lives in Sunbury, Melbourne, Victoria as teaches overseas and throughout Australia. Breed and so the ability of our Connemara ponies to excel in all formats of Equestrian sport and in particular Dressage is something that Connemara owners and Riders all over the world should recognize and ensure that the Connemara is given a broad opportunity to show its latent talents.
The continuing development of the Performance Connemara and the results of the varied performances in a broad spectrum of events, including Dressage is there for the Doubting Thomases to see! And repeat!!!
Another item from the scrap book centres on the legendary part bred Connemara “Grasshopper” He started life as “Copper Coin” and competed for Ireland in the 1956 Olympic Games in Stockholm. He had a clear show jumping round but was eliminated for missing a flag. He was sold to Californian interests where his name was changed to “Grasshopper”. Ridden by Michael Page he had an excellent career with individual gold in both the 1959 Pan American games in Chicago, and the 1963 Pan American Games in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The career continued to the Rome games in 1960 and the 1964 games in Tokyo where “Grasshopper” was on the silver medal team. This Part Bred Connemara is known as only one of five horses in the sport to have competed in six or more CCIOs.
In glancing through CPBSA action Groups newsletter it is very pleasing to see so many younger riders preparing their ponies and part breds for all aspects of performance competition down under. Dressage, Eventing, Trail, Harness. The Performance Register and its rewards is beginning to be seen with the numbers of new and younger riders preparing their ponies for all facets of Equine participation. Another interesting aspect is the number of Connemara owners and enthusiasts that are now travelling to Clifden to the Show and to tour Connemara. It appears that the Connemara Pony is travelling well “Down Under”.
John Tennant, ICCPS Publicity Officer.
Many thanks to Jean Dart, Victoria for information sent!