Report and results from Swedish Connemara Show 2010

swedish_riks_2010_img_0National Connemara Show in Alingsås

On July 24th the national show for the Connemara ponies took place. Judging exhibition classes was invited from France Yvonne Held, who raises both Connemara and Shetland po- nies in the stud Schuracher, together with Christina Sjölander-Johansson from Bolle stud in Bollebygd. Working Hunter class was judged by Mary Holdhaus and ridden classes by Anna Iletorp.

The weather was with us and assessment of the young horses in the morning started with one year old fillies. Beautiful Bride Broderick was winning out of this class that included three participants. Gelding 3 & 1 year old had only one participant each and they were awar- ded a bronze medal. The full range was used by our judging couple. Two-year colt / gelding was also alone, but won a silver plaque. The notified five two years would be four mares with a streak and won did Fredericksminde Lofty Made with a silver. From Bjennesby and Ker- stin Johansson was the victor in the three-year class for fillies and Hagen Cup, Bjennesby Fergi. Fergi a powerful individual by Poetic Justice, was reserve champion young horses bea- ten by the one-year old filly Bride Broderick.

Bride Broderick s. Coosheen Finbarr RC 99 Junior Champion

Bride Broderick
s. Coosheen Finbarr RC 99 Junior Champion

After lunch was mare classes and Maggie May RC 1405 was the first to win a gold plaque. The next mare class received three gold plaques and winners were Dangan Memory RC GB M 1787. Lovön Destiny RC 1117 winner of next class and a gold. The class of mares not yet in the studbook held high class and the first two received the gold, won the class did Gentle Farm’s Breeze.

Dangan Memory RC GB M 1787 s Castlestrange Fionn S 1046 reserve Supreme Champion

Dangan Memory RC GB M 1787
s Castlestrange Fionn S 1046 reserve Supreme Champion

Foal class was fine five participants and winners would be a daughter of last year’s stallion leased to Sweden, Clifden de l’Aulne. Mother is Yasmin Broderick and class of a high stan- dard in all but one foal received a gold rank on the plaque.
Stallion classes are of course one of the highlights of the exhibitions and not many guys were notified but those who came received gold plaques. Winner here were Coosheen Fin- barr RC 99 before Starrhults Bossanova RC 106.

Coosheen Finbarr RC 99 s Glencarrig Prince S 1073 Supreme Champion

Finbarr RC 99
s Glencarrig Prince S 1073
Supreme Champion

The old Connemaras, 18 year-old Kazmir got a nice gold plaque.

Last out of the day of the exhibition was the gelding class where Carl Bosson and his pony Elphin Darwin not only did they win the class but is also a fine display price which also Isa- belle Svensk received showing the one year old Bride Broderick.

That would be a very long days coming to an end and finals. Champion young horse had already been appointed in this morning’s assessment of Bride Broderick as the winner. Color Cup, where black, brown or chestnut coloured ponies may be shown to have participated in the day. Winner would be mare Maggie May RC 1405 (bay) with reserve Shade’s Dark Rosa- lee RC 1368 (black).

Best gelding was Elphin Darwin and it was time for Best In Show. In all that has been awarded gold or class winner with no less than silver. After few turns in the ring was stallion Coosheen Finbarr RC 99 to be today’s most beautiful pony with the mare Dangan Memory RC GB M in 1787 as a reserve.

Swedish News, June 2010


We’re half-way through the year and it’s time to take a peak at the rankings for the competing ponies. In dressage there are seven purebred Connemaras and two partbreds among the top 100 ponies. Compared to last years final ranking there are both some familiar old faces and some new names.

Of the ones figuring in last years final ranking the partbred riding pony stallion Verdi (maternal grandsire Lofty Roderic) is presently highest placed in 5th place. He has been out competing internationally with two fifths from a dressage competition in Moorsele. Another partbred from last year’s top 100 is Poetic Poetry. Her sire Poetic Justice is known for siring excellent show jumper and his offspring has not been seen so much in the dressage arena, but Poetic Poetry shows that they can also do dressage with the very best and he has several wins on the national level so far this year.

Among the purebreds Backens Lotus (by Rolls Royce out of Princess Jasmin) is presently in 25th place after some strong national competing. He represented Sweden at the Nordic – Baltic Championships in Drammen in Norway the first weekend of July and was there part of the silver-winning team of ponies 130 – 140 cm. Lotus’ cousin Golden Garlic (by Rolls Royce’s full brother Juno Rory out of Ambrosia) also continues to do well, competing mostly at the regional level so far this year. A third pony who has stayed in the top 100 since last year is the reliable Hagens Qumulus (by V ̈arnbergs Orion out of Hagens Fondora). He has participated both in the European and the Nordic Championships several times and has hardly been out of the top 10 dressage Connemaras since 1996. This year he turns 20, but is still going strong.

Figure 1: Tic Tac (by Countach Campbell out of K ̈ohls Rapsodi), taking the second place at last year’s Swedish Connemara dressage Championships. Photo: Jenny Hagenblad

Figure 1: Tic Tac (by Countach Campbell out of K ̈ohls Rapsodi), taking the second place at last year’s Swedish Connemara dressage Championships. Photo: Jenny Hagenblad

Among the newcomers we find another of Rolls Royce’s offspring, Ragnarps Little Royce (out of Bolle Lusona), who with his present 7th place is the highest placed Connemara. He has had a successful career as a young pony competing, and doing well, in the different young pony finals. Now he’s proving to be just as strong among adult ponies, being just shy of scoring 70 % in one of his competitions lately. A bit further down we find some more new names. Pyramus (by Janus out of Olympia II) is presently in 38 place. Last year he was third at the Connemara dressage championships and he continues in strength. Pyramus has V ̈arnbergs Orion as his maternal grandsire and is thus closely related to Hagens Qumulus and other successful dressage Connemaras.

Another familiar face from the Swedish Connemara dressage championships to appear in the top 100 so far this year is Tic Tac (by Countach Campbell out of K ̈ohls Rapsodi). Last year he was second in the Connemara dressage championships for the smaller ponies. This year he has won on his only national competition so far. The final Connemara to be found on the present top 100 is K ̈ohls Evelina (by Shirley’s Thunderbell out of Hagens Ellina). She is a full sister of K ̈ohls Fidolina who was on last year’s ranking and she is also related to Tic Tac as they share the Elite stallion Brantshammar Bell Dara as their paternal grandsire.


Sadly there have been very few Connemaras (or even ponies in general) eventing so far this year. The stallion Nice-n-Curly (by Nice-n’-Easy out of Corinne II ) has been by far the most successful Connemara, but was unable to clear the vetting at his last competition. Fingers crossed it is nothing serious and that we will soon see this grand old gentleman out and about again.

Show Jumping

The list of the 100 most successful show jumping ponies so far this year has some lovely reading for the Connemara friend. No less than 14 purebred and four partbred Con- nemaras rank among the top 100. The most successful sire, as usual one might almost add, is Poetic Justice (by Ballydonagh Cassanova out of Gloves Misty) with two pure (Poetic Annie out of Myrens Anitra and Highlander out of Gryt ̊asa Kryddan) and two partbreds (Little Wonder and Poetic Shano) on the list. Poetic Annie did well at the Elite competitions at Norrk ̈oping Horse and Pony Show in May where she was 3rd in a 1m20 class. She was also 4th at the Swedish show jumping championships for ponies 130 – 140 cm. Little Wonder is presently fifth in the show jumping Ridsport Pony Cup among the ponies 130 – 140 cm.

Other Swedish-born Connemaras to do well so far are Tammy Lane (by V ̈arnbergs Orion out of My Lane), the partbred Hip Hop (by Pommac) and presently ranking number six Desdemona (By Brol ̈otens Joop out of Ti-Ti-Oo). This fantastic mare is presently the most successful Swedish-bred show jumper of all breeds. She competed internationally at the Baltic Cup in Vilhelmsborg, Denmark, where she was second in the 1m20 Grand Prix class as well as winning two other classes. She is presently third in the Ridsport Pony Cup for 130 – 140 cm ponies, just behind Hip Hop.

Figure 2: Tullineaskey Fear Ideas (partbred by Templebready Fear Bui) Photo: Jenny Hagenblad

Figure 2: Tullineaskey Fear Ideas (partbred by Templebready Fear Bui) Photo: Jenny Hagenblad

But performance Connemaras are also very popular to import and imported Connemaras have done very well too this year. In particular the French ”I crop”, that is foals born in 1996, has done very well in Sweden. Presently both the leader of the show jumping ranking and the runner up (Ice and Fire d’Albran (by Dexter Leam Pondi out of Underline of Laps) and Idefix du Villon (by Quignon du Parc out of Hilda des Ludes) respectively) are French bred Connemaras born in 1996 as is the present number 13, Ix de l’Aulne (by Dexter Leam Pondi out of Castille de l’Aulne). All three boys have been successful both in Sweden and internationally with Ice and Fire d’Albran winning at both Middelfart and Vilhelmsborg in Denmark and Ix de l’Aulne winning in Vestfold in Norway. Ix was furthermore fourth at the Swedish championships for ponies 140 – 148 cm while Idefix was part of the gold winning team at the Nordic-Baltic championships for ponies 140 – 148 cm and he has been selected to represent Sweden at this year’s European championships.

Another French bred Connemara to jump well this year, both nationally and interna- tionally is Lover de Vauper (by Thunder du Blin out of Daphne de la Dive), while the Swiss-born Little Finnigan de la Praz (by Leam Finnigan out of Little Witch, competing as Little Finnigan) has been one of the more successful ponies in the category 130 – 140 cm. He took a bronze at the Swedish show jumping championships as well as an individual and a team gold at the Nordic-Baltic championships.

Of course a large number of performance Connemaras come here from Ireland too and presently there are no less than five Irish bred Connemaras among the top 100 show jumpers. Of these Some Man for One Man (by Ashfield Bobby Sparrow out of Misty Maiden), Sceilig Siofra (by Deise Sam Maguire out of Gentle Jessie) and Lexus Justice (by Westside Fred out of Dunamoney Lass) have featured before in my Swedish news. Hesperus Eagle (by Ashfield Jovial Joker out of Ashfield Spinks), Harnells Tricky Dicky (by Rynn Richard out of Fermoyle Heather) and the partbred Tullineaskey Fear Ideas (by Templebready Fear Bui) are interesting new names regularly seen at the top of result lists.

Some Man for One Man continues to do very well and was second at the 1m30 Grand Prix class at Moorsele, Belgium in April. He is also one of the ponies that will represent Sweden at the European show jumping championships in Bishop Burton at the end of this month. The partbred Tullineaskey Fear Ideas has been very successful in the pony category 130 – 140 cm. He has been winning both at Drammen in Norway and at Vilhelmsborg in Denmark, and he is presently sixth after three Ridsport Pony Cup qualifiers. Among the ponies 140 – 148 cm Westside Padraigh (by Westside Fred out of Aran Suzy) is in fourth place after winning the first of the qualifiers. The leading lady of Ridsport Pony Cup is however Sceilic Siofra among the 130 – 140 cm ponies who is well ahead of her competitors after winning two out of three qualifiers. Rumour has it that she after many successful seasons among in the show jumping circuit may retire soon to breeding. Let’s hope all goes well and so that she can pass on her exceptional performance genes.


A couple of local shows have been held. In mid-June Norrk ̈opings Ridklubb, the venue for last year’s breed show, gathered a nice crowd of ponies to be shown both in hand and under saddle. Twelve of the ponies shown were awarded golds and Hagens D’Arcy (by Hagens O’Chief out of Hagens Morning) was given a gold for his progeny group and won the class. In the championship ring, however, it was his sire Hagens O’Chief who could see his daughter Hagens Bella (out of Hagens Xquisite) take home the Champion title with D’Arcy’s two-year-old daughter Holmtebo Winding Rose (out of Holmtebo Wait For Me) as the reserve. The two ridden classes were won by Hagens Bonnie (by Carnaby Patrick Hooligan out of Winnie Love) and Holmtebo April Lily (by Hagens O’Chief out of Hagens Ayla) respectively with Blackbird (by Golden Rover out of Lady Chief) winning the Working Hunter Pony class.

Figure 3: Hagens Bella (by Hagens O’Chief out of Hagens Xquisite) at the 2009 breed show where she also was gold awarded and won her class. Photo: Jenny Hagenblad

Figure 3: Hagens Bella (by Hagens O’Chief out of Hagens Xquisite) at the 2009 breed show where she also was gold awarded and won her class. Photo: Jenny Hagenblad

There has also been some local pony shows where Best of Breed titles have gone to Lowis Calla May (by Juno Rory out of Merrielegs), Hagens Bonnie and Hagens Yoleen (by Frederiksminde Hazy Chance out of Hagens Surf) and Lidens Mr Li (by Janus out of May-Li) was the highest scoring Connemara at a drop-in show where no Best of Breed title was awarded.

Young ponies

A few of this year’s three-year-old tests has been held during the spring with others due to be held during August and September. At the test in O ̈rebro Arda’s Sprinter (by Hagens O’Chief out of Backuddens Greenwood Haze) showed his talent over fences and was given a jumping award. Sprinter is thereby qualified for the finals this autumn, and hopefully he will be joined by other Connemaras after the summer.

/Jenny Hagenblad

Finnish News, spring 2010

news_finland_5-2010_img_0Inspection of pony stallions in Finland was arranged by Finlands Hippos on April 17th & 18th at Ypäjä Equestrian Centre. Almost 50 stallions, mostly Shetlands, were inspected during the weekend. From five presented Connemara stallions one was approved as class 1 stallion. He was a three year old Halle Lafferty bred by Ingrid Hallengård in Sweden and owned by Susanna Rahikainen.

Lafferty is by young very successful sire Coosheen Finbarr, who got his Premium A for the quality of his offspring this spring, only 9 years of age! Lafferty’s dam is Lofty Hazy Rambler by Frederiksminde Hazy Chance.

news_finland_5-2010_img_1Another stallion, this time bred by Susanna Rahikainen, has been successful in Austria. 14-year old Symphatil Hazy Bucks was sold as a young pony to Susanna’s friend, who moved to Switzerland and took the pony with her. Hazy Bucks was inspected and approved for breeding there few years ago. Now the pony is sold to Sabrina-Michaela Honeder in Austria where he was also

approved for breeding with good marks. Hazy Bucks is by Frederiksminde Hazy Marvel and out of Downhill Shawndelle by Kåsta Scaramouche. He has a half brother Symphatil Hazy Becks in Finland.

news_finland_5-2010_img_2Two year old Caragh Gaoithe was exported to Canada in the spring. Gaoithe is by Innellan Kestrel who was leasad to Finland by Tuula Pyöriä. His dam is Innellan Gem (by Glencarrig Lexus) and the breeder is Tuula Pyöriä. Gaoithe was Junior Champion as well as Reserve Supreme Champion as a yearling at the Breed Show in 2009, judged by Tom MacLochlainn. Gaoithe’s new owner is Heather Sherratt of Elphin Mountain Connemaras, Ontario.

Swedish Stallion Inspection 2010

Colt inspection in Sweden

Tuula Pyöriä, Finland, Padraig Hynes, Ireland and Håkan Erlandsson from Sweden were the team of judges to look through this year’s colts in for inspection.

Erinmore Golden Marble

Erinmore Golden Marble

Four three year old, three four year old and one five year old colt were shown to the judges. Out of the eight colts two were passed. Erinmore Golden Marble, a four year old whom has won a Best in Show last summer and he won the Championship for three year old ponies, all pony breeds, for his movement.

Erinmore Golden Marble was born 2006 with his owner Susanne Leijonhufvud and Pierre Glad in Valbo, Sweden and is out of Öxenholm Marble JR RC 61and the dam is Glaskopf Grey Joanna DE21994 who is by Fr

edriksminde Hazy Marvel DEN 68. He is born dun but is going grey and measures 146 cm, 20 cm cannon bone. The judges gave him 9 for type, 8 for head, neck and body, 8 for his limbs, 8 for his walk, 8 for his trot and canter. In his performance loose jumping he was awarded two sevens.2010_sweden_colt_inspection_img_22010_sweden_colt_inspection_img_1

Number two to pass the inspection was the five year old grey XL Broderick, a son of Coosheen Finbarr RC 99, his first group of offspring in Sweden. Finbarr himself being awarded on the Saturday with the letter of value A for his good progeny in the show ring.

XL Broderick’s mother is Moyode Aisling RC IRE 8358, a super performance pony herself. Her sire is Grange Finn Sparrow IRE 659, top of the list’s stallion in Ireland. XL Broderick was given so many words of appreciation for his ride ability and way of jumping the poles, for his temperament and paces.

Line, XL Broderick and his test rider Örn

XL Broderick and his test rider Örn

His figures was, three nines for jumping, his paces were, 8 for walk, 7 for trot, 8 for canter and 8 for temperament being ridden and the test rider gave him three sevens, ridden paces, temperament and ability. For his exterior he was given 40 points out of 50. XL Broderick is bred and owned with Dan-Axel Danielsson.2010_sweden_colt_inspection_img_4

Text written by Kristina Blad, photos taken by Lina Åkerberg and Kristina Blad

Swedish News, spring 2010

Stallion news

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.

Figure 1: Coosheen Finbarr (by Glencarrig Prince out of Scarteen Mistral), new A pre- mium stallion. Photo: Jenny Hagenblad

Figure 1: Coosheen Finbarr (by Glencarrig Prince out of Scarteen Mistral), new A pre- mium stallion. Photo: Jenny Hagenblad

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.

Figure 2: Rolls Royce (by Rory Ruadh out of Brantshammar Julie) in 2006 at the age of 26. Sire of many dressage Connemaras in Sweden. Photo: Jenny Hagenblad

Figure 2: Rolls Royce (by Rory Ruadh out of Brantshammar Julie) in 2006 at the age of 26. Sire of many dressage Connemaras in Sweden. Photo: Jenny Hagenblad

Figure 3: Lillefot (by Frederiksminde Hazy Chance) in 2006. Photo: Jenny Hagenblad

Figure 3: Lillefot (by Frederiksminde Hazy Chance) in 2006. Photo: Jenny Hagenblad


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.

Show Jumping

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.

Figure 4: Poetic Annie (by Poetic Justice out of Myrens Anitra) Photo: Jenny Hagenblad

Figure 4: Poetic Annie (by Poetic Justice out of Myrens Anitra) Photo: Jenny Hagenblad

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.

/Jenny Hagenblad

Park Benjamin successful in Finland

Park Benjamin shines in Finland


There are quite a few pure bred Connemara and part bred Connemara ponies jumping in the top pony level in Finland, the best of them even showing their back hooves to bigger horses.

park_benjamin_in_finland_img_1One of them is a beautiful fleabitten gelding Park Benjamin (G-2711), who is bred by Sandra Parkinson from Co. Kildare. His sire is Ashfield Festy (S-859), and the dam is Spanish Dancer (M-

8211) by Mervyn Pookhaun. He was imported to Finland as a 9- year-old in 2006 by Irish born trainer Eowen Earlie, who had seen a video of the gelding competing in international level in eventing.

Park Benjamin first took Emilie de la Chapelle to European Championship level, and is now jumping with 15-year old Vera Elopuro for the second and final year. Last year the pair took a number of prestigeous victories, including the Pony Final at Helsinki International Horse Show in October. This year they started the Pony Cup with a 2nd placement in Helsinki in mid- May, and the following week left for their first international competition in Sweden.

As this is the last pony year for Vera, she hopes her younger sister will continue competing with the talented gelding!

Vera Elopuro & Park Benjamin in Helsinki Pony Event / Hevoshullu Pony Cup, 15th May 2010 – arranged at Laakso Stadium, which was built for the equestrian disciplines in the 1952 Olympic Games

Originally published at


Winter News from Australia, 2010


Connemara Pony Showcase for 2010 has been and gone, and what a spectacular event it was. Typical winter in Melbourne was the order of the day for Saturday but the good lord smiled on Sunday’s event and bright sunshine reflected in the day’s events. It was fortunate that the full event was held in the magnificent indoor arenas of the Werribee Equestrian centre some 40 kms south of Melbourne.

Saturday was “Show and Tell” day with Judges Karen Spicer, Luke Dodds, Sue Tufnell and M. Kelly and Oliver Evans officiating. Sharon and Luke gave young, new and experienced owners and handlers some excellent experience on the showing of Native Ponies and the Connemara in particular. This school was very well received. The working Hunter demonstration had Sue Tufnell giving of her life time, hand on experience with all ponies being given every opportunity to learn and improve.

“Monihan Harrison”, the best showjumping Connemara in Victoria and probably Australia and his diminutive rider Carissa Baily gave a perfect demonstration of precision showjumping and this was followed by the cute 13.2hh Part bred Connemara “Smack the Pony” and his rider Katy Ryman who gave a delightful demonstration of Free Style Dressage to true Irish music.

Saturday’s crowd went away with a much better conception of the Connemara pony! Sunday brought bright sunshine to Werribee. This was action day and Saturday’s demonstrations saw a marked improvement in the presentation of all Ponies for the “In Hand” classes.

In hand classes were followed by beginners and open Working Hunter events, beginners and open sections, 6 Bar Jumping and Dressage with beginners and open classes.

Those collecting the prize money were “Ballintapper Galahad” Supreme Connemara Performance Pony 14.2hh and under. “Celtic Fairy tale” Part Bred Supreme Connemara performance Pony. Highest scoring Jumping Male Connemara – ‘Monahan Harrison”, Highest scoring Jumping female Connemara, Boonhaburra Fantail”

A number of other Pony Breed owners and presenters were evident and comments passed indicated that “Show case” had created a huge impression with comments that this type of show/presentation event must become a regular event in Australia to improve and show the native pony to their full potential.

‘Connemara Show Case” 2012 is already on the drawing boards and sponsorship has already been promised. It appears that “Show Case” has created a great impression of the wonderful Australian Connemara Pony!


Connemara Show in Finland 2010

finland_show_2010_img_0Woolpacks Sweetie Pie Supreme at Tampere

This year’s Finnish Connemara Pony Breed Show was held in Tampere, at the Teivo race track on the 10th July, with Malachy Gorham having come all the way from Kingstown Connemara Ponies in Clifden to participate as judge.

The grass had turned yellow in the past day’s heat when the day was opened with a gelding class. 5-year old Ohana Andromera (Rockfield McBurney – Aramara Eliza – Ardnasillagh O’Flaherty, breeder Hanna Koli, owner Maarit Lähteenmäki) continued his show success from last year, being chosen as the best gelding. The class was followed with the only entered stallion, so consequently 4-year-old Vanity Padraigh (Janus – Tempelisa Lady Calista – Ard Ri Cunga, breeder Jenni Virtanen, owners Laura Ovaskainen & Suvi Virtala) was Champion Stallion. He later on earned also the day’s Best Turn Out prize with his handler Annastiina Niemi.

The three mare classes’ winners were Woolpacks Sweetie Pie (Janus – Bolle Cornett – Lukas, breeder Carina Jansson, Sweden, owner Hanna Koli) in the 4-9 years old class, Leirg Seordan (Frederiksminde Hazy Marvel – Wänga Sisela – Värnbergs Orion, breeder Carina Helander, owner Saija Laine) in the 10-15 year old class, and the 16 years and over class saw Irish Dream (Öxenholm Marble Jr – Rollsinette – Rolls Royce, breeder Gun & Per Hall, Sweden, owner Susanna Rahikainen) victorious. Out of these, Woolpacks Sweetie Pie proved to be Mr Gorham’s favourite and became the Champion Mare.

finland_show_2010_img_1As most of the foals in Finland are born in May-June, only one foal was shown during the day. Five week old Zitherbay Daigh O’Hara (Atlantic Ace –

Aramara Ona O’Hara – Rockfield Scarface, breeder & owner Sari Lahtinen) proved to be quite a young rascal and earned his Champion Foal status with his energetic attitude.

Youngstock followed, with the only colt class for yearlings. Symphatil O’Malley (Ashfield Cathal Crobdhearg – Symphatil Irish Mist – Symphatil Hazy Becks, breeder & owner Susanna Rahikainen) was the best colt. Out of yearling fillies, another foal by Ashfield Cathal Crobdhearg was chosen as the class winner. Yearling dun Caragh Grian (Ashfield Cathal Crobdhearg – Innellan Gem – Glencarrig Lexus, owner & breeder Tuula Pyöriä) went on to become the Junior Champion, ahead of the colt and ahead of the two year old fillies’ winner Cleos Erin Elspeth (Cleos Antonius – Symphatil Irish Mist – Symphatil Hazy Becks, breeder Laura Ovaskainen, owner Anna Vuorinen) and three year old fillies’ winner Bellindene Latte (Garryhinch Prince – Rockmore Sable – Atlantic Swirl, breeder Mrs J. Somervail, Great Britain, owner Taija Paasilinna-Helminen).

finland_show_2010_img_2In the final ring the Champion Stallion had to give way to the female ponies, as Caragh Grian became the Best Pony Bred in Finland and the Reserve Supreme Champion. Her half brother Caragh Gaoithe (by Innellan Kestrel) took the same
titles in last year’s show, before being exported to Canada earlier this year. The Supreme Champion therefore became the
seven-year-old grey Woolpacks Sweetie Pie, to her owner’s great delight.

Woolpacks Sweetie Pie was imported to Finland a couple of years ago. She has proven to be a true, kind all-round family pony. After having tried out in Show-jumping she is now concentrating in dressage with the owner and handler Hanna Koli, and in the meanwhile is also regularly ridden by Hanna’s four-year-old daughter Peppilotta! For next year Woolpacks Sweetie Pie is in foal by Swedish stallion Hagens Ryan (Tulira Highball – Abbeyleix Flora – Sticky), who is currently on loan to Finland.

finland_show_2010_img_3At the end of the day there were two ridden classes, one for ponies smaller than 138 cm, another for bigger ponies. As the race track was shared with shows for Shetland and Welsh ponies and Norwegian fjord horses the same day, the entries were open for all the breeds. The bigger ponies class was mainly Connemara entries, and 5-year-old Rockfield Honesty showed true improvement from the show class and won the Connemara Ridden Championship with Hanna Koli. The Supreme Champion, Woolpacks Sweetie Pie, was placed 2nd. The overall Ridden Championship went, however, to the winner of the small ponies’ class, when Shetland pony mare Wilma V with a very skilled 6-year-old jockey Pinja Pohjosmäki was chosen as No.1.

Originally published at