Ardrahan winner July ’08

Emers Boy and Christopher Scott
Emers Boy and Christopher Scott

Emer’s boy and Christopher Scott recently won the Novice 153cms. Working Hunter Competition at Ardrahan Show. This Connemara gelding who is by Westside Fred out of Hazlewood Rose is a promising newcomer on the scene this year, having gained some showjumping points before competing in Working Hunter . classes.   He is a Mayo-bred pony, owned by Padraic Cafferty of Swinford, and the Scott family describe him as gentle, very sweet and uncomplicated

P.S. Oughterard, August 30th.   At the Connemara International Championships in Oughterard  he delighted all his connections by winning the Champions sash in the under 16 Ridden Connemara Championship and taking the third prize in the under 16 Working Hunter Championship, and missed the Supreme by one point when ridden by sister Philippa.  A really great result for a newcomer pony.

First Day at a Show

Aughnakeeragh Paddy is still only a five year old, but he behaved very well for his young rider


Aughnakeeragh Paddy and Michelle Martin
Aughnakeeragh Paddy and Michelle Martin


Michelle Martin at Ardrahan Show and took the third Rosette in the Connemara Ridden Class for riders under 16.  Michelle is looking forward to having a great time on this handsome gelding who is by Moy Hazy Cove out of Sheeba’s Lady and since the family bought him in from Donegal eight months ago, she has been working hard with him, mainly on the flat so far.  We wish the duo the very best of luck.








Moorland Snowy River July ’08

Moorland Snowy River
Moorland Snowy River

This fine young stallion has once again appeared in the results news this June after a year’s break when he was not produced in public as his owners Cathy Snow and husband Martin Coyne gave him time to mature. Having been successfully shown as a yearling, a two and a three year old, he was back in the limelight again when he won the Stallion class at Galway County Show as a five year old.  Bred by his owners, he is by Laerkens Cascade Dawn and is out of their home bred mare Easter Trixie, herself no stranger to Show Ring ribbons as she has twice been a winner at Clifden.  The breeding lines of both sire and dam contain many of the breeding greats in the Connemara world. Laerkens Cascade Dawn’s pedigree traces back to such as Coosheen Finn, Kimble, Queen of Diamonds, Lavally Rebel and Dale Haze, while Easter Trixie goes back to Killyreagh Kim, Carna Bobby, Cashel Kate, Clonkeehan Auratum, Inver Rebel and the Windy line of mares. He has inherited the substance, good bone and movement of many of these antecedents.

Already his own progeny are showing form. One of his filly foals gained a unique double in 2007 by winning both the Foal Championship at Clifden and being judged All Ireland Foal Champion at Portadown. This year’s foals are, to date, unbeaten in the Show Ring and yet another filly has qualified for this years All Ireland.

Temperament in a stallion is of the utmost importance and Snowy River is described by owner Cathy as ‘wonderful’ the calmest, most gentle pony, even quieter than some of the mares on the farm.

Keenly competitive

Circle T Robbie Keen, so called because he was born on the day that Robbie Keane scored an important goal for Ireland in the World Cup. Circle T robbie KeenOwner Tom McGuinness included prefix Circle T, the brand logo of his Horseware Ireland Co.   Whatever about the spelling, Robbie Keen is actually a keenly competitive pony for his sixteen year old rider Avril Breen of Kildare who has already picked up quite a few prizes with this six year old Thunder Bay gelding out of Silver Chase, in his first season.
Having qualified for both the Powers Quarry Cannon Ball Championship and the International Performance Championship, this duo will have a busy two days in Oughterard at the end of August. Although the pony is new to the Showing scene, they have already taken Working Hunter and Ridden ribbons, and have been placed as Reserve Connemara Champion, at both the Tipperary IPS Spring Show and

A Death in the Family July ’08

Silver Fort and colt foal Rocky
Silver Fort and colt foal Rocky

A sad piece of news reached our ears a few weeks ago. There was a death in the pony family of well known breeders, the Gorhams of Kingstown Connemara Ponies outside Clifden. Their oldest mare, Silver Fort, bought by Joe Gorham at the Fair in the Clifden Showgrounds in 1983, was put to sleep at the age of 34, having suffered a stroke while out grazing the land with a granddaughter and two great granddaughters for company as well as her small Welsh pony friend, Maria’s ‘Pumpkin’.

Maria is Malachy and Jane Gorham’s 5-year-old daughter who is ‘mad about the ponies’ and since the death of Silver Fort (and her daughter Kingstown Silver, who pre-deceased her, looks for them in the stars every clear night and decides which star is which pony before she is tucked up in bed.

Silver Fort in 07 aged 33 with friend Pumpkin
Silver Fort in 07 aged 33 with friend Pumpkin

Silver Fort (by Rory Ruadh out of Fort Hazel) reached a record age and her progeny hold a record also for the number of wins at Clifden where eighteen of them have been winners. She herself was a prolific winner in the Show rings in her day and she also produced numerous foals, most of whom were colts and only two were fillies. Their current resident stallion, Kingstown Fionn, is her grandson and the Gorham family have some of the fourth generation of this amazing brood mare in their possession today.

This pony spent her early life in Dublin where she was the only Connemara pony born in the Phoenix Park when the then President, Erskine Childers, had requested that a herd of Connemara pony mares should graze the parkland of Arus an Uachtarain. These ponies were later returned to the National Park in Letterfrack after the early death in office of President Childers. The Phoenix Park foal was to become the much loved and long lived pony favourite of the Gorham family for many years to come.

She is pictured (top) with her colt foal Rocky, later a prize winning Stallion who won both the Clifden Junior and Supreme Championships in 1991, and as an elderly grandmother with pal Pumpkin in 2007 

Extended family:

Kingstown Starlet and filly foal by Moy Hazy Cove
Kingstown Starlet and filly foal by Moy Hazy Cove

 Nine year old Kingstown Starlet is out of Kingstown Silver, a daughter of Cuchulainn and Silver Fort and Starlet’s foal by Moy Hazy Cove is a great grandaughter of of the old matriarch. 


 This filly foal,Kingstown Lass, is also another great grandaughter, whose Sire is Kingstown Fionn. 

Kingstown Lass with dam Lemonfield Lass
Kingstown Lass with dam Lemonfield Lass

 Her six year old dam, Lemonfield Lass, is by Moy Hazy Cove ex Tuam Lass and is a Clifden prizewinner having come 2nd in ’07 and 1st in ’08.  It’s good to see the Silver Fort line carried on into the 4th generation.



Gleann Rua Maxwell and Tulira Katie Daly June ’08

Gleann Rua Maxwell  photo Enda Noone
Gleann Rua Maxwell photo Enda Noone

This mature stallion, Gleann Rua Maxwell, has been in his rider’s family since he was born to their good mare Moonlight. He is by Westside Fred and rider Lorna Murphy’s mother Beatrice is the breeder.
Lorna and Maxwell have had a really good season last year and this year to date, and he rose to the occasion at Galway County Show when he was judged Connemara Performance Champion.
Last year he had performed flawlessly in the Ring at the Oughterard Performance Connemara Championships, winning both the ridden Stallion class and taking the highest award, the Supreme Championship.Champion Pony airborne at Oughterard
Maxwell is no stranger to the Oughterard Showgrounds as he had been placed top of the line with younger sister Grace in the All Ireland Connemara Pony Ridden Championship some years ago. Lorna takes him hunting during the winter with the Galway Blazers and he is a master cross-country pony.


A mare who is doing very well this year is Tulira Katie Daly and rider Elaine Craven. She comes from Lady Anne Hemphill’s famous Tulira Stud in East Galway and is by New Beginnings out of Tulira Mary Claire. At the recent Galway County Show, she won both her Ridden and Working Hunter Connemara Classes for riders under 16 and was awarded the Consistent working hunter and ridden winnerReserve Supreme Performance Connemara Rosette. She had also won the red in both these classes at the Dartfield IPS Show in late May,

Katie Daly has often been in the ribbons with other young riders in the past, most notably with Sorcha North when the Supreme ‘Gowla it’s Kool’ Performance Championship came the way of this intrepid pair at Oughterard in August of 2003.
More recently she was successfully competed by Vicki Gallagher. A top all rounder, she has evented and hunter trialled also.   With sorcha North in 03

Elaine Creaven she came 2nd in the newly introduced Connemara Working Hunter Class at the RDS, Ireland’s premier Horse Show, jumping a stylish clear on a rain-sodden course which included a fixed bank.  She was one of 20 Connemara ponies chosen on their recent performance to enter this competition.  She came 3rd the following day in the large and highly contested under 16 Ridden Class.  Congratulations are due to Elaine and this14 year old mare who have won practically every Working Hunter Class they have entered this season.  Another Working Hunter Championship at Clifden was the icing on the cake for this pair.

On August 6th with Next came Oughterard:  Tulira Katie Daly photo Enda NooneThe International Connemara Performance Championships saw this pony win the Junior Derby Class and come 2nd in the Ridden Championship on day one and 2nd in the Powers Quarry Cannon Ball championship on the Sunday of the Show in classes with top class performers all round.  Pic by Enda Noone