Performance Ponies

Adelaide International Horse Trials Connemaras Do It Again!

feldaleI 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 Down Under, July 2011

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.

ICCPS_down_under_july_2011_img_0Manola 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!!!

ICCPS_down_under_july_2011_img_1Another 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!

Swedish News, June 2010

Dressage

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.

Eventing

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.

Showing

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

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.

Dressage

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

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

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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

http://ashbrookstud.ie/park-benjamin-shines-in-finland/

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Winter News from Australia, 2010

CONNEMARA PONY NEWS FROM DOWN UNDER WINTER EDITION 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!

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Canadian Battle of the Breeds 2010

The team members this year were l to r: Chris Knox (K.F. Hobby), Phil Knox (K.F. Felicity), Morganne Shearer (BM Rory O’Sullivan), Ailsa Antialla, (Celtic Fyre) aka Dances with Doris

The team members this year were l to r: Chris Knox (K.F. Hobby), Phil Knox (K.F. Felicity), Morganne Shearer (BM Rory O’Sullivan), Ailsa Antialla, (Celtic Fyre) aka Dances with Doris

This year there were 12 breeds competing. The first event is always compulsory skills. Chris rode a nice test, and we all thought she was marked very harshly. Phil drove a superb test with Flicka and had the highest score of the whole event. When the scores were combined, we placed 2nd in the class.

The jumping in the afternoon was “interesting”. There were many upsets with one mule refusing to go anywhere near even the first jump, and a very small girl on a shetland taking a tumble. Ailsa had an excellent round on Fyre and opted for the jeopardy fence. Unfortunately she had a refusal which knocked 100 points from her score. 13 year old Morganne also had a very good round on Rory. There was a mis- understanding about the time allowed for taking the jeopardy fence, and she failed to take this jump. We ended up with 5th ribbon.

The obstacle driving on Friday morning is always a crowd pleaser as they think up such difficult things. Phil and Chris were at a disadvantage with a 4-wheel cart when a nasty back-up was added to the course. Both had good solid rounds, and we placed 5th in this event. I must say that the standard of driving has greatly improved over the last few years as it used to be an accident waiting to happen with untrained animals.

Barrel racing is always late on Friday in the sand ring, with a big crowd sitting in the stands and on the grass bank. Morganne had an excellent run on Rory, and Ailsa and Fyre were fantastic! The top 6 teams go into a run-off and we had our best ever finish with a 2nd. Well done Morganne and Ailsa – your practice paid off!

The trail class on Saturday is always a matter of luck, and is completely unpredictable. At this point the three contending breeds were Morgan, Quarter Horse and us. Unfortunately the normally very quiet and obedient Flicka was having an “off” day and they also missed completing the jeopardy obstacle by one second. Morganne and Rory made up for it with an excellent round which put our team in 6th place when the scores were combined.

The final result was Morgans 1st, Q.H’s 2nd and we were 3rd. Not a bad result at all and we were very close to being 2nd.

The amount of time and effort (not to mention cost) put in by our team members cannot be under- estimated, and they are surely deserving of our thanks. The exposure we receive at this event is fantastic and benefits all our breeders.