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.
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.