Connemara Pony Spring Festival Mar.’09


Stallion Parade 


Thursday, Meeting of Overseas Societies, Photo Exhibition

Photographer John Petch received a books as a token of appreciation from society President Dermot Power
John Petch receives books as a token of appreciation from President Dermot Power
Karen Holloway, Tasmania,has 7 Connemaras on Flinders Is and Stallion Homevale Fiddlesticks, with Gemma Murphy at photo exhibition
Karen Holloway from Tasmania where she keeps 7 Connemaras. Gemma Murphy on right.

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       

Patrick McGrath with Lucky rebel by Currachmore Cashel X Lucky Mavourneen
Patrick McGrath with Lucky rebel by Currachmore Cashel X Lucky Mavourneen

The visitors were not disappointed as they viewed an impressive collection of over 30 young colts

Rose Fitzgerald's Ceidire by Clonberne Boy X Acce Ladyrose
Rose Fitzgerald’s Ceidire by Clonberne Boy X Acce Ladyrose
Skahana Skylark by Robe EarlXCaperann Lady with Gabriel Murphy
Skahana Skylark by Robe Earl-Caperann Lady, with Gabriel Murphy

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.   

Lungeing 3yr.old June Shadow by Glencarig Lexus-Blackwook Noella, Ann O'Brien Conroy
Lungeing 3yr.old June Shadow by Glencarig Lexus-Blackwook Noella, Ann O’Brien Conroy

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.

Philip Scott showing pony in-hand
Philip Scott showing pony in-hand
Philip Scott demonstrates the art of showing a pony in-hand for Pony Club members
Philip Scott demonstrates the art of showing-in-hand to local Pony Club members

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.

Farrier Martin Payne with Canal Beauty and filly foal
Farrier Martin Payne with Canal Beauty and filly foal

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.  

Farrier Martin Payne gave a most informative session on the care of the hoof and especially on the needs of the growing foal.  “If your foal stands with front toes slightly outward-facing don’t worry as this will ensure straightness at maturity”.  Demonstrating the model growth plates to his audience he explained that “a lot can be done to help correct deformity if it’s treated at an early age”. farrier-martin-payne-demonstrating-growth-plate So call your farrier in good time.  Model pony mare Canal Beauty (Monaghanstown Fred X Bunowen Beauty) and her early foal by Skousbou Morning Rock stood to attention for owners Bridget and Peter Lee even when the rain, which had stayed away all afternoon, made another unwelcome visit towards the ending of the session. 

Driving first class in Clifden
Driving first class in Clifden

A Nutrition Workshop with Catherine Rudenko rounded off the day.