As the nights grow longer and darker the show and competition season in Sweden is coming to an end and we can look back at a busy and successful Connemara year at both breed specific and interbreed events.
On the last day of July, the Connemara ponies and riders competed for the coveted titles of Swedish Connemara Champion. After warm-up classes three championship classes were held. First out was the championship for riders over 18 and/or Connemaras over height. The gelding New Star (by Myrens Wilbur out of Nadin) has been competing successfully against horses and had no problems to take the championship title after also winning the warm-up class. Second to New Star was Busy Bailiff (out of Betty Blues). His sire Spinway Corona was exported to the US as a dressage horse, but has apparently passed on his talent for dressage.
Among the ponies 130 – 140 cm Olbiz Tellus (by V ̈arnbergs Orion out of Twilight) was second in the warm-up class, but stepped up a notch in the championship class to take the title. The runner up, the BEC Tic Tac (by Countach Campbell out of K ̈ohls Rapsodi), also did an impressive test although he couldn’t quite match Tellus.
Tellus’s half sister, Hagens Rosmara (out of Hagens Andora) came fresh from the Falsterbo show (see Swedish news from July) to win both warm-up class and Connemara champion title, but not without a good fight from the stallion Golden Garlic (by Juno Rory out of Ambrosia ) who with just a single point less was only a nose hair behind Rosmara. Garlic, however, later turned the tables on Rosmara and took home their ridden class with his full sister Ginger as runner up and Rosmara in fourth place. With the tripple Swedish dressage Champion (all breeds) Juno Rory as his sire Golden Garlic surely is another Connemara to have dressage in his blood.
Among the dressage ponies Backens Lotus (by Rolls Royce out of Princess Jasmin) has continued having a successful year and he is still the highest placed Connemara with a 5th place on the dressage top 100. Also on the top 100 are some of the names from the Connemara championships: Hagens Rosmara in place 19, Golden Garlic in place 43 and Olbiz Tellus in place 45. Also on the top 100 are Lotus II (by Rolls Royce out of Lorette V), Hagens Qumulus (by V ̈arnbergs Orion out of Hagens Fondora), K ̈ohls Fidolina (by Shirley’s Thunderbell out of Hagens Ellina) and Backuddens Hurricane Haze (by Dale Haze out of Tyfon). There are thus three ponies by V ̈arnbergs Orion among the top 100 dressage ponies.
The partbred Verdi (maternal grandsire Lofty Roderic) also continues to do very well. At Falsterbo International Horse Show he won the Grand Prix Ku ̈r and in the European Championships Verdi was seventh in the individual finals.
In eventing the two stallions Nice-n’-Curly (by Nice-n’-Easy out of Corinne II) and Grange Flynn Sparrow (by Ashfield Festy out of Grange Agnes Sparrow) continue to do well. Nice-n’-Curly is presently in 8th place on the eventing top 100. This vet- eran eventer participated in the European eventing championships in 2003 and 2004 winning a team bronze in 2004 and he has an individual gold from the 2004 Nordic eventing championships. At 17 years of age he is now ridden by the fifth of six brothers and sisters helping her win her debute in CNCP**.
At this year’s European eventing championships the partbred Connemara Lillefot (by Frederiksminde Hazy Chance) was part of the Swedish team. The Swedish team finished fourth with Lillefot taking a creditable individual 9th after clear rounds in the show jumping and cross country phases. In the Swedish championships Lillefot was third and he is presently placed 3rd in the eventing top. Interesting Lillefot and Verdi not only share the Connemara blood, but Verdi’s grandmother is also the dam of Lillefot.
Three Swedish Connemara champions were crowned on the last day of the national show. The Irish-bred Duncan Cuckoo (by Smokey Duncan out of Heather Cuckoo) took the title for adults riders and overheight Connemaras. He has had a successful career but can no longer compete in pony classes as his rider has turned 19. Among the smaller ponies (130 – 140 cm) the winner was another Irish import, Caperann Silver Line (by Seafield Silver Dun out of Cold Winter). His rider Nickilee ̊Angman has had a successful year with her three Connemaras and also won the warm-up class on Caperann Shamone (by Kylemore Rocky out of Turlough Beauty).
The championship class for ponies 140 – 148 cm saw the single clear round from Brittney (by Ashfield Cathal Crobdhearg out of Hagens Grandezza) who subsequently took the Champion title. Second to her was one of the oldest ponies at the show, the 21-year old Amielle (out of Brantshammar Beckymoss 33-83-2567), one of the Elite stallion Finney Master’s daughters.
There has also been Swedish show jumping championships for ponies regardless of breed, both outdoors and indoors. Three Irish imports were in the ribbons in the outdoor championships. Some Man for One Man (by Ashfield Bobby Sparrow out of Misty Maiden) took sixth place among the ponies 140 – 148 cm, just ahead of Lexus Justice (by Westside Fred out of Dunamoney Lass) in seventh place.
Among the ponies 130 – 140 cm Sceilig Siofra (by Deise Sam Maguire out of Gentle Jessie) took the bronze medal. This successful little mare is presently fourth on the show jumping top 100 list. At the recent indoor championships Desdemona (by Brol ̈otens Joop out of Ti-Ti-Oo) took a creditable seventh place and Some Man for One Man was fifth among the larger ponies, but the Swedish champion title went to the French-bred Ix de l’Aulne.
A lot of Connemaras figure on the show jumping top 100. Apart from Sceilig Siofra names like Lexus Justice, Ix de l’Aulne, Desdemona, Some Man for One Man, Clew Bay Thunder (by Thunderball out of Racecourse View) and Poetic Annie (by Poetic Justice out of Myrens Anitra) have all had a successful season.
Thethree-year-oldtestscontinuedafterthesummerandatNossebroFidelie(byO ̈xenholm Bobby out of Eriksbyns Colette) was given a double award for both gaits and jumping. The offspring of Coosheen Finbarr (by Glencarrig Prince out of Scarteen Mistral) have continued to do well and no less than four of his progeny have achieved awards this year. Two for jumping, two for gaits. At the national finals at Falkenberg it was instead another three-year-old who shone. Erinmore Golden Marble (out of Glaskopf Grey Joanna) is the lastsonofO ̈xenholmMarbleJr,andatthethree-year-oldgaitsfinalsheprovedtobethe most talented pony of all participants winning against gait talents of all other breeds.
The national finals for the four-year-olds saw another strong Connemara victory in Kenzo II (out of Enya). Kenzo is yet another talented show jumper by Poetic Justice and further proved that this spring’s Elite premium was not wasted on just anybody. From the four- year-old Connemaras participating in the local quality tests this autumn Poetic Justice had three progeny with awards (all in jumping) and Hagens O’Chief and Coosheen Finbarr had two each. Vanessa Broderick (by Coosheen Finbar out of Nelly Broderick) achieved both a gaits and a jumping award being a multi talent.
Also five- and six-year-olds have their national finals at Falkenberg during the same busy weekend. At these ages the ponies compete in real dressage tests and show jumping across a course, though the show jumping is judged based on the ponies’ attitude and talent for jumping rather than the normal counting of poles down and speed. In the dressage for five-year-olds five Connemaras came forward and among the ponies 140 – 148 cm the gelding Gr ̈ans Tabasco (out of Gr ̈ans Tussilago), a son of the eventing Grange Flynn Sparrow mentioned above, took a creditable fifth place.
Among the six-year-olds, the stallion Starrhult Bossanova (out of Hagens Paloma) showed that he had inherited the dressage gene from his sire Spinway Corona and won one of the classes finishing third overall. In total eleven Connemaras took part in the finals for five- and six-year-olds and did a great job promoting the breed. A mention should also be made of the partbred Jamalia who won the show jumping for the five-year-olds. Her maternal grandsire is the Connemara Gryt ̊asa Kallemero.
Many Connemaras have also visited the show rings and there has been two regional Connemara shows in addition to the national show. At the regional show in H ̈ol ̈o the stallion Brol ̈otens Joop (by Finney Master out of Dame Grainne) took the championship with the nine-year-old mare Hagens Bella (by Hagens O’Chief out of Hagens Xquisite) standing supreme.
The second regional show was held at Bj ̈orb ̈ack. Here the German import Glaskopf Grey Jacquelin (by Imp ́erator M ́elody out of Glaskopf Grey Joan) was youngstock champion with Junette II (by Coosheen Finbarr out of Juliette IV) as reserve youngstock champion.
Overall champion was Erinmore Golden Marble who later did so well at the young pony finals and reserve overall champion was his niece Junessa (by Janus out of Bellobina).
At the national show more than 70 ponies came forward in the in hand classes. Of these 16 were awarded a gold and the stallion Hagens O’Chief (by Blue Chief out of Ashfield Fancy) was very successful as a sire with four of his progeny being gold awarded and he himself winning a gold in the progeny class. Janus (by O ̈xenholm Marble Jr out of Brantshammar Julie) had sired three gold ponies and Frederiksminde Hazy Chance (by Hazy Dawn out of Frederiksminde Christina) two.
Lidens Mr Li (by Janus out of May-Li) won the gelding championship to his half brother O ̈strahults Benz (out of O ̈strahults Sonette). The youngstock championship went to L ̊angarn ̈o Decibel (by Dexter Leam Pondi out of Innellan Alice) with Holmtebo Urchin (by Hagens D’Arcy out of Hagens Ultra) standing reserve. Supreme champion was Urchin’s sire Hagens D’Arcy (by Hagens O’Chief out of Hagens Morning) with Hagens Rosmara (by V ̈arnbergs Orion out of Hagens Andora), the winner of the Connemara dressage championship, standing reserve to him.
As the supreme champion of the national show Hagens D’Arcy later represented the Connemara breed to compete for the title Pony of the Year. This event took place at Falkenberg at the same time as the young pony finals and in strong competition with the supreme champions of the other breeds D’Arcy took the Pony of the Year title.