Newsletter

Newsletter October 2008

SIMPLY THE BEST
An Rugha Is Fearr

TO ALL ICCPS SOCIETIES, MEMBERS AND FRIENDS

A MEMO FROM THE CHAIR:

ICCPS August meeting was well attended although we missed official delegates from Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and Switzerland.

We had a good start at the meeting – after discussion we were able to adopt the form cover the veterinary stallion assessment in all ICCPS Countries from the beginning of 2009. This form will follow a stallion if he changes country later. Thank you to Madeleine Beckman and Philip McManus for preparing this form.

Prefix registration was an item that caused hot debate in the spring meeting. It is clear that certain prefix/suffix should only be used by a person who “owns” it. If duplicates exist in different countries the country code will separate them and from now on the registrar should check before accepting a prefix that it is not in use already. The CPBS has a rule that prefix cannot be used even as part of a name by another breeder. If this rule works for the CPBS, it is fine. But by accepting some common and much used words as a prefix the CPBS cannot prevent breeders in other countries using words like Misty, Scarlet or Sparrow as part of a name. So, the CPBS Council might need to look at this again. Now, I’ll ask all ICCPS societies to prepare a list of prefixes in use in your country and send this list to Susan McConnell, secretary, and also to Niamh at the CPBS office… We should be able to prevent duplication in the future. Perhaps the list of prefixes in use by Connemara pony breeders might be able to be listed on the ICCPS website? Susan MUST get this information for this to occur!

Alex O’Connor has done a great job and the pedigree database is up and running. The link can be found on the CPBS website. Alex is waiting for the information from the ICCPS Societies! You might remember that the CPBS is funding the cost of putting up the database and yearly maintenance costs will be shared by the societies. That cost will not be high, so please think about the benefits of a world wide database! I do know that it is not possible to get the necessary information in compatible form in some areas. At least in Finland there are some difficulties but the matter is now in the hands of Finland’s Hippos computer wizards.

ICCPS rules on the website are not up to date. The executive board will review the rules during the coming winter period. The intention is that the rules should be as simple as possible and the executive board will bring its proposal to the next AGM. To be able to re-draft the rules we need your help. Please, email your thoughts to Susan – the sooner the better so that work can begin.

We had other items in the agenda as well, but the above items are the ones that need action from the societies. So, a list of prefixes to Susan and Niamh, database information to Alex and suggestions regarding the rules to me or Susan, ASAP PLEASE!

I didn’t quite manage to end the meeting by midday as promised beforehand. On the other hand we heard interesting news about sweet itch and the results of the latest research from the Swedish researcher Marie Sundqvist, and saw a beautiful presentation of Susanne Lehman’s photographs from the Pony European Championships!

Next year the AGM will be in August – but my guess is that many will visit Connemara for the stallion parade in the spring festival.

Regards to all Tuula Pyöriä ICCPS Chair

Notes from the Societies:

AUSTRALIA: The first team of inspectors from the CPBSA has been and returned to Clifden as part of a continuing program to ensure that the CPBSA has the same inspection procedures as the mother country and other groups. Information is that they all thoroughly enjoyed their trip. The instruction and experience they received, the added knowledge of Connemara and the environment from which the pony emanated together will provide them with a much broader picture which they will carry into their role as Australian inspectors. We must ensure that this rotation of inspectors is continued.

A number of pure bred Connemara ponies and part bred ponies have been flying the Connemara flag down under. Exmoor Truffles from pure bred Connemara mare Exmoor Sugar Gum and thoroughbred sire Cosine was placed 2nd twice and 3rd in her last four events that included a large field of interstate horses. Truffles is now leader on the South Australian Barostoc leader board for eventing in South Australia and placed 32nd in the national field.

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Two part bred geldings in Western Australia from the mating of Skipcello, a New Zealand thoroughbred line and a pure bred Connemara mare Kemill Hill Amie are truly showing the versatility of the Connemara part bred. Kemill Hill Co-Pilot (15.2hh) is competing at medium dressage, hacking and hunter classes and has twice been the Connemara part bred of the year. The younger brother, Kemill Hill Storm (16.1hh) has the first place on the WA Pony Club leader board for eventing in 2007.

The pure bred mare Rupari Baronia (Rupari Ronan – Ballantrae Lupin) has been involved in pony club and one day eventing for 18 months with wins at state pony club championship in 2006 and grade 3 horse trials and numerous other high placings. Glenormiston Finnegan (Abbeyleix Finbar – Glenormiston Celebration) has been competing at dressage, and horse trials with numerous top placings at all disciplines.

AUSTRIA: Andrea Hochfellner reports that at a regional pony show in Styria in May the filly foal Green-Heart Myra won the youth championship and the all over championship from approx 50 ponies that attended. At an eventing/military competition also in May, 1st, 2nd and 3rd placings went to Connemaras. In order – Rebel Lord, Collens Lord and A.C. Silver Stream filled the placings.

The Austrian Pony Championship in eventing/military in August saw two Connemara stallions succeed. A.C. Silver Stream won the Austrian pony championship in the youth rider class and the stallion Rebel Lord won the adult class. A very happy report from Andrea.

BRITAIN: The European pony eventing team of five members from Britain that journeyed to Avenches, Switzerland, had three Connemara ponies as mounts. One is a part bred – Ice Cool Bailey, and pure breds Glenayre Bay Surf and Killacorran Blue. Probably a few more teams with Connemaras if only we knew! Information is that the British team of Night Girl 002/Althea Bleekman, Ice Cool Bailey/ Gina Ruck, Catherston Nutsafe/Ella McEwen, and Killacorran Blue/Eliza Stoddart won the silver medal.

26 Colts were presented for inspection in Britain in 2008. 10 colts passed visual and veterinarian inspection and were entered in class 1 of the BCPS stud book. A judges day will be held in Warwickshire agricultural college on Saturday 18 October.

CANADA: A team of Connemaras again went into battle in Canada in the “Battle of the breeds” at Spruce Meadows, Alberta, in September. The Canadian Connemara team has performed extremely well in past years. Events covered are show jumping, obstacle driving, barrel racing, trail and compulsory driving skills. In the show jumping there was an error of

height in the jeopardy jumping, making the fence stand at four feet. This did not bother the 13.2hh Rory (smallest pony in the competition) who flew it with ease. He and a thoroughbred were the only two the successfully negotiate this fence. Rory finished 2nd. In the obstacle driving “Peso” decided to jump the water obstacle and this gave her driver a real thrill. Barrels were down in the barrel racing and the team finished the competition in 5th place. A brilliant team of mules were placed 1st.

FINLAND: Three new stallions are available to Finnish breeders for 2008/2009 season. Two are Finnish bred. Rockfield Wizard (Innellan Kestrel – Rockfield Scaramé), a 4 year old, will go back for final inspection in two years. Eternal Flake (Symphatil Hazy Becks – Apris Carolina), a 5-year old, will go back for ispection again next year. Eternal Flake’s grand sire is Frederiksminde Hazy Marvel and was bred north in Kolari in Lapland. The third stallion available is 16-year old Ashfield Cathal Crobdhearg. Bred by the late Jimmy Jones, he is by Ormond Oliver from the Carna Bobby mare Ashfield Lor Sparrow, and is leased by president Tuula.

Latest news from Finland is that the breed show was a great success. Libby Petch attended to judge. The weather was good, ponies behaved, therefore people were happy and the weekend was blessed with the attendance of a representative from the Irish Embassy. The show was well reported on the horse board’s website and on the German society’s website also. Truly excellent program organisation from the PR officer Satu Pitkänen.

(JT: I have just completed reading a novel centered in the far north of Finland. Lapland is heavily written about. I now feel that I almost have been in Lapland!)

UNITED STATES: An excellent article from the USA features the Dun Roche mare line. Dun Roche, a daughter of Noble Star carried the Connemara pony stud book number 773. She is recorded as having one foal, a filly foaled in 1943. She is by the stallion Creganna Winter and was called Winter Roche. This mare had 11 foals, one of which was named Finney Master and was exported to France and then Sweden. This stallion was a great sire and was awarded elite breeding stallion status in Sweden. The daughters of Winter Roche were themselves good brood mares and as a result the line has spread world wide. The file has in all 8 pages of detail, photos and extended blood lines. Unfortunately it is too long for this newsletter but those interested should contact the ACPS Secretary Marnel Eyles and I am sure a copy will be on its way to you ASAP. Well worth the read, don’t miss getting a copy!

BITS AND PIECES: In reading various Horse and Pony magazines etc. several interesting remarks in reader’s letters have appeared. One writer was most concerned: “The trend for some of our native ponies to become “horses” continues… classes are designed to show the best traits of a particular type… but when it comes to native ponies, we have a particular responsibility to safeguard the characteristics that they have achieved by natural selection and that allowed their survival. The breed standard clearly states that the Connemara should not exceed 148 cm. We cannot expect all prospective purchases to be discerning enough to buy over height ponies… But the judges have a responsibility not to place these animals in classes restricted to M&M ponies. I have always considered an animal that measures over 14.2hh or 148cms to be a horse!” – Interesting observation and one for all to remember!

From “Horse and Hound”: Connemara Ponies were able to compete in working hunter classes at Dublin show in 2008. Is someone finally recognising that the Connemara pony is a definite performance pony? The ICCPS certainly does and hence the development from the 2008 meeting in Clifden, April 2008, of moving to strongly foster the role of the performance Connemara. Given true conformation, movement and balance etc. it can equal and in fact perform better than many of the equines that it competes against. Just read the heading at the top of the page!

New Connemara pony publications: Tearna Goldston, an Australian Connemara breeder and enthusiast has been researching the Connemara breed in Australia for a number of years with the intention of putting her work to paper. Tearna last year realized that the project had become so incredibly large that her book has broadened to three books. The first focusing on the Cannon Ball line and the stallion mares in Australia, the second focuses on Connemara Boy and the Mountain Lad line families and the third book on the Carna Dun and Clonkeehan Auratum lines. It is expected that the publications will go to print early in 2009.

From “Native Pony”: A Fell pony breeder, in discussing M&M judges (and not just these I may add) made this comment: “A big worry is that M&M judges seem to think that you need a different type of pony to do ridden classes….. they should be judged against the breed standard in whatever sphere they are competing.” Further in the article, in talking of “type” he stated “it is impossible to replicate the environment that made these ponies what they are today, but all we can do is to run our ponies as near that ideal as possible.” Does this ring a bell somewhere within our own ponies and type!

On another page talking about the Exmoor pony – M&M judges were not familiar with them, and one comment made was that the Exmoor was at the bottom of the line because “it didn’t move like a Welsh” – this further enhances our need to ensure our judges have the right credentials! A very special thanks to “Native Pony” for their support to all the native Pony breeds both within and outside of the British Isles.

The 2008 spring festival in England saw a Connemara pony winning the Connemara/New Forest novice championship, and the overall workers’ champion was a Connemara pony.

And finally – if you can get a copy of “Native Pony” June/July edition, turn to page 16 and read “Natives can do Dressage”. It is a delightful article and once again tells the story “anything you can do, I can do better”. The 16 year old Connemara mare – Corellian Asset (Spinway Comet – Hungry Hall Beret) has progressed from unaffiliated dressage through to her current level of “advanced medium”. Now that is an achievement! Asset’s owner/rider Samantha Gee tells the story of Asset’s training and need for a different approach to her training and how she adopted normal training to meet the physical and mental attributes of this wonderful pony. The usual Connemara nature was always there asking “why?” Then replying “OK, if that is what you want, explain it and we will get on with it!” It is the old story – the Connemara will do and can do almost anything – but you must explain to them why!

Well that brings us to the end of what is really the first issue of the new publication to promote the Connemara pony. Several societies have indicated that a long newsletter and certainly one with photographs tends to clog some computers and so I find that I have to précis some reports and leave out photos. But do not despair and do not stop sending the reports and photos, because I am using these articles to send to the now increasing equine magazines that are asking for material. “The Native Pony”, “Horse and Hound”, “Irish Horse and Pony” and the “Irish Field” are some to whom I have sent articles that you have forwarded to me.

Thank you to those who have provided material. It has been beautiful to sit and read and transcribe to this publication.

As Tuula said in her last report to you, I can only continue to promote IF I have your support, your input with material, and really good stories on performance – whatever the field – so that I can get the national and international equine magazines to print the word on our ponies. YOU PROVIDE – I WILL PUSH – THE MAGAZINES WILL PUBLISH!

I DO MISS SEEING YOU ALL – REGARDS TO EACH AND EVERY ONE! John Tennant
Down Under!

Newsletter May 2008

SIMPLY THE BEST
An Rugha Is Fearr

TO ALL ICCPS SOCIETIES, MEMBERS AND FRIENDS

You would all now have received a copy of the ICCPS Minutes from the Clifden meeting 27th March 2008. In the minutes you will have read that the meeting asked if I would accept the role of oo-ordinator for the promotion of the Connemara pony world wide. I resigned as chair as I was no longer able to stand the travel to and from Ireland, BUT, I can sit here at the computer, ask questions, badger people to send material, write to magazines and ask for their help etc. so I have accepted the role as asked.

Sorry about that! This then is the first of what I hope will be many newsletters, all heaped with material that will indicate just how wonderfully versatile our pony is! As stated above it is “SIMPLY THE BEST”!

This letter is an asking paper NOT really a newsletter – yet!!! What I will desperately need now is vast and regular items of interest regarding the Connemara pony from your neck of the woods.

Can your society please provide for me, as soon as possible, the name, e-mail address, postal address etc. of the person who acts as your publicity officer (or similar role)? I would like to have prepared for me, on a quarterly basis, a report on your society, performance activities, results of major shows in your country, items on specific stallions and mares that you feel have played an important role in the development of the Connemara in your area, notes of how you see younger stallions and mares in your society will affect your country’s development, and even articles on personnel who have and who are playing a developmental role for the pony at home. In particularly, those ponies – stallions and mares – that have and are indicating a definite performance propensity need to be recognised and reported upon! With the address as asked for I will be able to make regular contact with your representative!

I would also like someone in your areas to pen specific articles of approx 1000 – 1500 words with perhaps one photo, again of specific ponies, developments at home etc. The reason is that I already have one international pony magazine indicating that they will accept good articles for printing in their publications.

The other very important point is that I will act for Ruth Rogers in the development of articles for “An Capaillín”. This will save Ruth from continually having to badger groups for material for her publication. I have been badgering people within the Connemara world for many years now so it will be nothing new and your group will have to expect continuous e-mails if your “An Capaillín” -articles are not received by due dates! Advanced warning with come at regular intervals. I would expect that a number of articles that are penned for national magazines would also fit the bill for “An Capaillín”.

A final request is can you supply the names and addresses of magazines in your country that publishes horse and pony publications so that contact can be made with them to try to have a continual Connemara feature in them!

This then is, for your society, the sorry story, as you will have again to put up with paper work from the nuisance down under, but all sent in the good spirit of promoting our wonderful pony!

I would like to have the first real newsletter with heaps of articles from around the societies available for mailing by the end of July. So please pressure someone to get cracking!

I would like to have contacts with all publicity/promotions officers from each group by the end of May, please! Contact can them be made, articles firmed and regular contacts established. I need names, addresses soon!!!

All big asks, but I know that you all love your ponies, want to see them accepted world wide as the wonderful pony that they are so I am sure that we can all work for the ponies and find the time to put thoughts together and from this give members world wide a broader knowledge of what is happening on the giant screen.

Oh yes! Could all pieces of news be in “Word” so that, with my poor computer skills, I can transfer them to a newsletter or send them off to a magazine!

Good to be able to make contact with you all again! John Tennant, ICCPS

Newletter February 2008

TO ALL ICCPS SOCIETIES, MEMBERS AND FRIENDS. Welcome to Newsletter No. 2 – 2008 season. A final edition.

It is with a great deal of reluctance and considerable sadness that I indicate that this newsletter will be my last to you as chair of the ICCPS, and as the Australian delegate to the ICCPS.

As you are aware, I was not able to get to Clifden last year because of the aortic heart valve replacement operation that I had and the effects thereof that lasted until early August… Whilst all is working correctly now, I find that I have lost some of the zip and I feel that the old body would not be happy with the extremely long flights to get to Clifden; the work load whilst there and then the flight home again.

I have indicated to the executive board that I will not attend Clifden this year and I have tendered my resignation from the ICCPS Chair. I feel that with my 77th birthday coming up a little later this year, I would be wise now to think more of my future health.

I indicate to you that I have enjoyed working with and for you all within the ICCPS organisation. It has been extremely rewarding to be able to be part of a system wherein the problems of the Connemara pony world wide have been able to be addresses so fully, thoughtfully and debated and finally solved to the benefit of our pony, not just in Ireland, nor the EU, but world wide. I am, and will be eternally grateful for the contacts made in the past 15 years of attending Clifden; the friendships that have developed and knowledge of both ponies and personnel are very dear to me and I shall mist this very much.

In all probability it was, and is now time, for a new approach through the Chair to those areas that I see as the future role of the ICCPS. That is to closely follow the constitution of the ICCPS and move forward strongly to develop, maintain and promote this wonderful pony on a worldwide basis.

The CPBSA will not nominate for the ICCPS executive board this year and unfortunately the Southern Hemisphere will have no presence on the executive.

I have indicated to the chair of the CPBS and to the present executive board of the ICCPS that I would still like to have some involvement in the work of the ICCPS and I offer myself to assist in any area that members feel that I may be able to continue my support for our wonderful pony. I sincerely hope that I will be able to maintain my e-mail contacts with the many wonderful people whose addresses fill my mail box. I would dearly love to receive mails from you all as to events, breeding concepts, internal and external problems, all of which will still be in my mind, and, if I can be of assistance, then I would consider it an honour to be of assistance. Your newsletters etc. will and would still be a delight to receive in the future as has occurred in the past!

Now to business.

AGENDA ITEMS: Susan has been her usual busy self and you all have received by now the agenda for Clifden in meeting in exactly 30 days time. If you have not already done so – PLEASE advise Susan of your delegate’s names and PLEASE brief them on your organisation’s response to each item on the agenda.

SUBSCRIPTIONS: Please check to ensure that your society’s financial dues to the ICCPS have been made paid and that your organisation is financial and that your vote is acceptable during the Clifden meeting. You may want your delegate to pay dues prior to the Clifden meeting and Padraic will be at hand to allow this to be effected.

REQUESTS FOR REPORT AS TO STALLIONS APPROVED FOR AI: Earlier this year there was an urgent request for each society to advise Susan as to what stallions in your society are approved for AI usage; chilled or frozen and if approved for overseas transport. This is a request from many groups outside of the EU community and the availability of semen for groups such as New Zealand, Australia. The USA and Canada could have a marked result on the genetic stability of the herd in general. If not as yet completed PLEASE let Susan have it as a matter of urgency if you have not already done this! The executive board wants to have a complete paper of AI stallions available for presentation to the meeting.

PROMOTION OF THE CONNEMARA PONY WORLDWIDE: Item 7 on the agenda is, I believe, long overdue. We had taken seven years finalising rules and the constitution requirement of development, maintenance and promotion. Fostering the breed has not been given the importance that it certainly requires. The rules debate is, I trust now completed and individual variances that any specific group may have is now to be taken up with the mother society. The way is now very clearly open to the mission statement being given full and urgent attention; for the funds accumulated in the ICCPS bank facilities to be wisely utilised and perhaps in this 2008 ICCPS meeting firm steps will be taken in these matters.

I have indicate my thoughts to the executive council and to the chair of the CPBS and I have suggested that greater use be made of the Video/DVD systems to educate classifiers, members and enthusiasts and have these packages presented in a format that can be used to promote and educate the general public. This vital task of the ICCPS is now in the courts of all societies. Please give it thought and attention this year in Clifden.

I have said to the executive board that I have felt that since Clifden last year when the rules debate was finalised (perhaps not happily to all societies) that there has been a decided slackening of responses to mails, requests, ideas etc. Is it perhaps that the work of the past seven years has hidden from many of us the objectives as to why this organisation was designed? Initially yes, it was to ensure that the EU requirements were satisfactorily put into place, but as the meetings developed, some people with considerable forethought saw the opportunity to use this loose formation of Connemara pony societies as the window to in fact develop, promote, and preserve the Connemara pony as a distinctive breed internationally.

It would be criminal if the ICCPS as a world organisation with interests in 16 countries, having finalised and accepted a set of stud book rules under which Connemara ponies can be registered and transferred world wide, did not now ensure that the pony that they have fought to preserve within their organisations fell by the wayside, because of the lack of continuing development and promotion.

This may sound a little harsh, but as a parting wish I fervently ask that all societies now look to the future and ensure that the close co-operation that has developed between all societies is maintained and strengthened so that the Connemara pony is recognised world wide as the unique pony we claim it to be.

I again thank each society, all members and the many dear friends that I seem to have accumulated in the past 15 years for the wonderful friendships gained; for all of your great contributions to the development of the ICCPS; for the wonderful support that each and every one gave to me as chair of your organisation and for the continuing involvement in issues that have allowed me to bow out knowing that the future of the Connemara pony, worldwide, is sound, that it is stable and that the unique qualities of this wonderful pony will continue to be seen and sought after well into the future generations.

Thank you all!

John Tennant Chair (just), ICCPS 2008

Newsletter December 2007

TO ALL ICCPS SOCIETIES, MEMBERS AND FRIENDS. Welcome to newsletter no. 2 for 2007 – 2008 season.On behalf of the executive board of the ICCPS I would like to wish each and every member of the international groups of Connemara Pony lovers the happiest Christmas possible and that the year 2008 will not only be prosperous but will bring those things to you and your families that you privately wish to happen. In these wishes I hope that we do not forget the very reason for this period each year! From comments in our local newspapers this week when children were asked what Christmas was about not one mentioned that it was the birth day of Christ but that it was simply when Santa came; when we have a holiday, and when presents are given out!

The newspapers and TV news from around the world still show us that climate change must be challenged by all countries. Massive snow falls, blizzards, floods, depletion of the Arctic and Antarctic plateaus, and down here, a continuing devastating drought and so on. For a few days then perhaps let us remember, enjoy our families and the ponies and look to 2008 for some changes that can and will count!

In looking back over this year and past years at what has been achieved or not achieved I think that the best possible result on the stud book rules has been reached. I have been corrected in saying that the new 2007 rules have been accepted by all groups. I still believe that this is correct, and, whilst some EU groups have varied these rules to suit individual needs, the basic rules as debated for so long remain just that – a standard set of rules has been agreed and variations are allowed for EU groups so long as the EU principles are adhered to. We still of course have the “outsiders” who are working to their own programs based on the 1998 rules with the possible change over in later years when and if a change is seen as appropriate.

We are all aware just how long this task has taken to reach a climax. It all began way back in the late 1980s and then the draft set of stud book rules was produced by the CPBS in 1998, agreed to; was brought back to meetings for further variations annually until 2007 when the rules were finally set as the standard stud book rules.

The database project has been a long time coming to fruition – but – it is hoped, it too, will be able to be finalised in 2008 and thus provide a ready reference to those seeking to find the breeding lines etc that they wish to follow or research!

Standardisation of judges and inspectors has also been an agenda item for some time and has not as yet been finalised. A standardised veterinary inspection document is now used by all societies. Movement of ponies from and into any stud book society world wide is now recognised.

The Feely report has strongly indicated to all groups the deterioration of the genetic basis of the Connemara Pony herd with all societies being made aware of need to maintain those basic qualities of type, height and breed to ensure a strengthening of the genetic base worldwide.

It is an unquestionable statement that almost all of the work of the ICCPS since its inception in 1999 has been focused on producing a set of rules acceptable to all. I believe that this was the original role of the ICCPS -“a standardised set of rules to suit EU Council demands”. Subsequent to that function, it was wisely decided to develop an organisation that was to develop, maintain, support, promote and coordinate a system whereby the Connemara Pony could be developed as a distinctive breed worldwide.

With the obvious primary function of standardised rules being acceptance in 2007, I feel that the roles of the ICCPS must now change to encompass the wider requirements of the mission statement. I have drafted a proposal along these lines and sent it to the executive board for thought and comment. You will also find that an article on possible future roles of the ICCPS will appear in the 2007 edition of “An Capaillín”.

There are a number of areas in which the ICCPS can now move to comply with the mission statement of development, promotion, support and co-ordination of the rules for registration as laid down by the mother society. It must ensure that the data base is finalised and available for all; that a standard system of inspections for all ponies worldwide is devised and accepted; the standardised training for all inspectors and classifiers to ensure that type and other areas of uniqueness of the pony is achieved; and the development of a worldwide promotion program and, I would hope, a register of performance ponies and their progenies is produced, updated regularly and available through the website to ensure that those who are looking for that unique performance quality can find the right types.

The register would show the names of those ponies that are competing – in what field of competition – performance details, the sire and dams of these ponies, and, as part of the register, both dams and sires listed and this list to then become the basis from which breeders and owners of performance ponies can refer to in their selection processes. This program could be further extended to provide a premium list of sires and dams.

These then are just my personal visions for the future of the ICCPS. I would ask that you think about them, please also see that these areas are discussed within your society and your delegates for 2008 are aware of your ideas. WHY? It is my intention, when drafting an agenda for 2008 to seek approval from the executive board, and your groups, to have these concepts as the basis of that agenda. A new start and role for the ICCPS and what the constitution requires.

Whilst on 2008 agenda – remember that the ICCPS meeting will be held on 27 March 2008. In a conversation with Tom MacLochlainn this week we briefly looked at what that week’s program could encompass – Thursday ICCPS Annual and technical meetings; Friday – inspection; Sat- Sun – festival activities – show jumping, free jumping, dressage, harness etc. Monday – further inspections. Remember this is very much a reminder so that you can begin to think about travel, accommodation etc. The CPBS has already forwarded a program of the Connemara festival for this period – 27 march – 2nd April 2008. If you do not have a copy for your members please contact the CPBS office ASAP.

I have received from several sources, comments as to the cost and presentation of the new Inspection DVD released in Clifden this year. I have spoken to Tom and it appears that there was some wire crossing in relation to the cost of the DVD. The cost of the unit was and is 20 euros, With copies still available at the CPBS office. The DVD has, it seems, been well accepted throughout Ireland and other areas.

I hope that all societies have forwarded their article for inclusion in “An Capaillín”. What a wonderful idea if the ICCPS could give this publication greater support, both in content and financial support, to ensure that our mission statement was able to be further promoted through this source!

The afternoon coffee has just arrived – the Australia – New Zealand cricket match is now on TV so I again wish you all a very Merry Christmas, a Joyous and prosperous New Year and a wonderful crop of beautiful Connemara foals come your spring. (Just to crow a little – the Aussie team has just won the three match series!)

John Tennant Chair, ICCPS