Kingstown Dana, winner of the 8 to 9 year old mare class at Clifden, was also awarded the prestigous Supreme Championship of the Show on August 21st this year. She is pictured here with her filly foal relaxing at home at Glenbrikeen Farm outside Clifden with her owner / breeders Joe and Malachy Gorham.
Dana is by Monaghanstown Prince out of Kingstown Silver and her owners remind her of her exciting day out when she won quite a few trophies
including the Jan Harald Koelichen Cup, the French Society Championship trophy and the Val Moran Memorial Cup and the RDS medallion as well as a number of crystal vases.
The first Connemara Pony Show took place in Roundstone in 1924 not long after the founding of the Connemara Pony Breeders Society in the previous year, so the Roundstone venue is a fitting one for this grand finale of the season’s Pony showing community in Connemara. A gloomy wet start to the day did nothing to diminish the enthusiasm of the organisers, Paddy ‘Yank’ McDonagh and his dedicated team. and they ran this third Champion of Champions Show with energy and efficiency. The specially constructed Showring on the slopes of Errisbeg mountain, overlooking the glorious scenery of the Roundstone area, was the setting for a display of the best examples of the breed in Ireland.
The occasion also served to honour a renowned pony man and current Show President, John Luskin of Cong – a multiple winner with his own stallions in the nineteen seventies and a past President of the Breeders Society from 1998 to 2002 – with a medal presentation. .
The medal was presented by another former President of the Society, Eamon Hannan. John continues to enjoy breeding and showing his Connemara ponies
An Claiomh Solais, Frank Joyce’s 2 year old colt by Rynn Richard -Mandy, is a grandson of Ardravinna Andy. His owner received the All Ireland Murty McGrath Cup.
The All Ireland Foal Championship went to the Colt Foal Champion, by Coosheen Stormboy out of April Dawn Lady. Damian Gorham had two Colt foals in this Championship and he is from Bunowen, Ballyconneely.
The Champion Three Year old Colt was John Joe Lee’s Bawn Dusty by Shannon Prince – Polly Pocket. John Joe’s son Patrick had received the premier prize at Spiddal Show a week earlier and was happy to add to his laurels with the Roundstone victory.
Ronan F. Mullen’s Lakeside Lass was the All Ireland Champion of the 7 to 12 yr. old Mares with foal. She is by Streamstown Larry out of Hilltop and Streamstown Larry is by Mervyn Kingsmill
Cathal Mullen’s Independent by Murphy Rebel – Gurteen
Star was second placed mare in the 7 to 12 Yrs class.
Grange Ruby Surf by Grange Bobbing Sparrow ex Kilkerrin Surf, has had a star studded career in her six year old life.
She was judged Champion Mare 4 to 6 years old at Roundstone, having won Show Supreme at the July Show, and taken the Championship at Dublin in 2007. She is a regular winner at Connemara Shows. Bred by Lady Maria Levigne in Co. Wexford she has belonged to Padraig and Nicola Heanue for the past 4 years.
The Reserve Supreme Champion, was the Champion Mare over 20 years, and was won by Beatrice Murphy’s Lakeside Lady by Abbeyleix Dolphin – Kit’s Bay, bred by Kay Maloney ( this owner and pony have already made an appearance in the Cashel Show Post back in August.) She is a 21 year old mare, is flanked by Beatrice, daughter Grace and Show Chairman, Paddy McDonagh
And now, roll of drums!!, the All Ireland Supreme Champion, Currachmore Cashel, unbeaten this year and winner of numerous Championships, shown by Joe Burke from Carrowbrowne outside Galway for his father Eamon. Winner of the Champion Stallion class, he is bred by his owner and is by Rosenharley Rowley out of Tolka Bridge. (Elsewhere seen in this blog as Dublin and Clifden Winner)
Supreme and Reserve photos by Tom Broderick
We cannot say goodbye to the Championship Show without mentioning the overseas Judges, Scotland’s Stephen Strang and Hubert Laurent from France who judged with precision all through a very wet morning and somewhat brighter afternoon.
Nor can we forget the announcer, the well known Show Commentator, Ado Kenny, who, although retired, is a fixture at these ‘Shows that I like’ in Connemara.
Supreme Champion trophy at the nternational Connemara Performance Championships went to Sarah Hodgkins’ Golden Island Star by Monaghanstown Fionn – Golden Girl ridden by Sonya Fitch Peyton from Oxfordfshire. This pair were multiple winners over the course of the two-day Show and won Champion Ridden Pony of the Show on Sunday. A great performance for this mare bred in Athlone by Jerry Galvin eight years ago, and ridden by Sonya for the past six months only.
The Junior category Working Hunter Championship was won by Ceide Rose by Jacks Promise-Rusheen Leagh,
Ceide Rose Junior Working Hunter Championridden by Clare Brown whose mother Nicola had bought her a a foal at Maam Cross Mart nine years ago. Ceide Rose was Reserve in both Ridden and Working Hunter Championship last year
Another English winner this year was Katherine Wilkinson’s Delmrose Applejack by village Canal Beau – Riversdale Rijoca. They were Senior Category Ridden Champions.
Mr. What by Village King-Meadow Harp, went clear in the Senior Working Hunter Championship to take the Reserve prize for rider/owner Elizabeth Lyons.
They were also awarded the Reserve Championship in the senior Ridden category. This great performance followed on their prestigous achievement at Clifden the previous week when they won the Ridden Championship
Killary Cashel won the Ridden Stallion Class for Aime Fitzsimons and was Stallion Champion.
Cloonbrooke Boy by Mac Owen – Carra Lass jumped clear for Edwina O’Connor
Jimmy Canavan did the honours as many former owners and winners of this imressive cup stepped up to be presented with a memento of their success at Oughterard, before the running of the competition on Sunday 31 August 2008. Jimmy, who was the inspiration twenty five years ago for the first competition gave a short account of each winner as old times were revisited and former participants met up with each other.
According to his rider, Fernando loves ‘to attack his fences’ and is a superb jumper. He showed this quality at the recent RDS Connemara Working Hunter Class – which selected 20 of the top Working Hunter Connemaras to perform at this first competition of its kind in the Ballsbridge Showgrounds – by winning this competition with Alicia.
The pair are no strangers to the Powers Quarry competition at Oughterard either as they took home the Cannon Ball trophy and associated prizes last year and again in 2008. Claire Devlin’s Blackwood Fernando is by a son of Murphy Rebel’s, Ferdia who traces back to Cannon Ball, no. I. in the Stud Book, and is out of Dancing Queen, he was bred by Patrick McManus. Formerly owned and successfully competed by Gill Glynn, The Devlin Byrne family are now the proud owners.
Tulira Katie Daly and Elaine Creaven, (having come 2nd in Dublin to Fernando), repeated this double again on the Sunday of Oughterard Show. A pair of great ponies matched by a pair of skilled riders.
Tulira Katie Daly was again in the picture at Oughterard.
On Saturday she came 2nd in the Ridden Championship for riders under 16 with Elaine Creaven and jumped clear in the Derby to win that class, having been unlucky enough to hit a fence in the earlier Working Hunter Championship.
Next day she had another 2nd in the prestigious Cannon Ball Powers Quarry Championship, just beaten by Wicklow’s Blackwood Fernando and Alicia Devlin Byrne
Oughterard Junior Champion and ReserveThe three year old pony mare Winner and Junior Champion at Oughterard was Peter Molloys much admired home-bred Dooneen Alice by Hazy Match – Jennifer Rose. This pony has been featured at Cashel Show some weeks ago and is indeed a prolific winner for the Molloy family of Claddaghduff, hitting the jackpot one more at Oughterard.
Pat O’Neill of Ballyconneely took the Reserve Championship with his two year old filly Illaunurra Heather, sire Silver Shadow, dam Illaunurra Mist. Pat and his wife Noeleen bred this pretty bay filly themselves at home in Bunowen and she is a firm favourite of their two small children, Maeve and Jack, who are used to having 5 or 6 ponies around them.