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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.