CONNEMARA PONY SPRING FESTIVAL
Thursday, Meeting of Overseas Societies, Photo Exhibition
At the opening meeting of the four day Connemara Pony Spring Festival, overseas visitors representing the International daughter Societies discussed the operation of the Society data base. Later that evening the exhibition of John Petch’s evocative photos of ponies and owners at inspections 30 and 40 years ago proved a sociable opening to the Spring weekend. Many overseas breeders were happy to renew old friendships and to meet their Connemara counterparts in comfortable hotel surroundings. Pony enthusiasts had travelled from England, Sweden, France, Denmark, Finland, Tasmania and from the U.S. states of Virginia, Missouri, California, Florida and New York State to see the best of the breed in their home environment.
Friday, Connemara Colt Inspections
The visitors were not disappointed as they viewed an impressive collection of over 30 young colts
at the inspection next day. Three inspectors tested them individually for type, conformation, movement and athletic ability over a couple of small fences and they were then passed on to the vet who tested for soundness and measured the ponies.
The three Inspectors and vet, after a busy day at Clifden, are currently heading off to other inspection centre until finally about 125 three year old colts will have been inspected nationwide. Weather on Inspection day varied between sunshine and torrential showers as the mountains basking in warm spring sunshine quickly disappeared when dark clouds loomed overhead and opaque sheets of rain blotted out the Connemara peaks completely. Shelter was available for people but ponies were not so lucky!. All those with any energy left after a long day moved on to the Table Quiz table organised for that night.
Saturday, Demonstrations, Workshops and Connemara Pony Drive.
Saturday was a busy but instructive day of clinics and demonstrations with a nightime lecture.
In the morning Philip Scott was on hand wearing his judge’s hat to run a Judges Clinic. Judges and aspiring judges were invited to complete a questionnaire on four ponies presented before them in the ring. They marked on type, conformation, and movement and their marks and comments were then analysed by Philip aided by fellow judge Nicola Musgrave.
In the afternoon a Young Handlers course for local Pony Club members was run by this pair also where the young people were shown and practised the correct way to show and stand-up to a pony in hand.
A Nutrition Workshop with Catherine Rudenko rounded off the day.