Connemara Society Hall of Fame Awards 08

The Hall of Fame Awards for the year 2008 were presented at the Annual Social of the Connemara Pony Breeders Society on November 1st this year.  It was the 2nd year of these Awards which celebrated both long-standing Breeders and Performance Connemara Pony Owners  After dinner Tomás Mac Loclainn (representing President Dermot Power unavoidably absent) and Society Treasurer Gearóid Curran  presented the honours to the following: (see group picture)

Hall of Fame Awards
Hall of Fame Awards

Back L to R.: Philip Mc Manus, owner of Silver Shadow Grade A Showjumper.  Beatrice Murphy, Breeder/Owner of Performance Stallion Gleann Rua Maxwell.  Lady Anne Hemphill,  Breeder/Owner of Performance mare Tulira KatieDaly.  Bartley O’Maille with his brother Thomas have stood a stallion for the Society since 1979,  currently standing Moy Johnny’s Pride.  Peter Molloy, Lifelong Breeder of Dooneen Ponies.  Eamon Briscoe, Owner of Sillogue Darkie, Grade A Showjumper.  Michael Mitchell, Breeder of Western May by Moy Hazy Cove out of Western Lady    Bobby Bolger, Lifelong Breeder with Coral Prefix.   Front: Lorna Murphy, Pony Rider of Champion Stallion Maxwell.  Mary Mitchell, rider of Western May, Dressage Ireland National Connemara Champion 08.  Eamon Hannan, Breeder, Past President and long serving Council Member.  Lib Petch, Breeder, Judge, Writer on Connemara. Ponies   Mrs Michael Lenihan, her late husband was the Breeder of Silver Shadow.

Eamon Briscoe and son Eamon
Ciaran Briscoe and son Ciaran

Sillogue Darkie
Sillogue Darkie

Sillogue Darkie by Ard  Talisman – Coillchru Esmerelda                           Ciaran Briscoe writes  “Sillogue Darkie, owned, bred and trained by the Briscoe family from Co. Louth, ‘Darkie’ or ‘Sillogue’ as he is affectionately knlwn, is one of the highest profile performance ponies in Ireland today.  Still only 12 years old the registered gelding from the famous Grange Sands Sparrow lineage has been winning nationally and internationally on the Irish showjumping circuit since the age of seven. The Briscoe family, well known breeders of both Connemara ponies and pedigree Charolais cattle, have seen success in the form of numerous Grand Prix’s, National Championships and prestigious RDS championship victories.   Internationally, under the charge of now well known Irish young stars
David Blake, AlexBuller and Benedict Kuehnle, Sillogue Darkie had individual and Nations Cup wins in Belguim, Italy, France, England and Holland to his credit.  Sillogue Darkie, with recent rider Jessica Burke aboard, Jessica Burkewas a Carrying the same form into 2008 the pair dominated the Premier Pony League finishing far ahead of their rivals, with Grand Prix wins at Louth County Show, Ballymena and Mullingar.”

leading light on the Irish team that captured the Pony European Championships at Freudenberg, Germany.

Western May by Moy Hazy Cove – Western Lady 

Connemara Oiny Quadrille 08
Connemara Pony Quadrille 08

Ml and Mary Mitchellwith Gearoid Curran
Ml and Mary Mitchell with Gearoid Curran

a homebred mare who distinguished herself recently by winning the Connemara Performance Championship at the Dressage Championships in Necarne. This bay mare, only in her second year of Dressage, had also been a member of the Ireland Team-and the only pony- who competed against horses at the Home International Dressage Championships in the U.K. this year.

Dressage at Necarne 08
Dressage at Necarne 08

She is ‘an onward going pony and easy to work with’ and has been in the first three at most of the Dressage she atended, mainly in North Munster and Connacht.  Her full brother is the Show-jumper Western Haze

Western May has been Show-jumped successfully by Mary’s son Luke and they hope to continue with both the Show-jumping and the Dressage over the winter and on into next year.


Silver Shadow by Cloonisle Cashel – Poetic Moonlight.                                                      

 Bred by Michael Lenihan of Claregalway and owned by Galway Vet Philip McManus, this 10 year old stallion has scaled the heights of 148cms. Pony Show-jumping in a relatively short period of time.At Moorsele in Belgium and Aach in Germany Silver also jumped ‘wonderful clear rounds’.

Tom MacLochlainn Philip McManus gearoid Curran
Tom MacLochlainn Philip McManus gearoid Curran

 Both the sire and the dam have a good deal of Carna Bobby and a fair sprinkling of Clonkeehan Auratum in their pedigree, and the performance and quality genes are strong in Silver Shadow.  A late starter in Show-jumping as a six year old he was brought to grade A level  by Philip’s son John and since ‘07 has been competed Nationally and Internationally by 13 year old Michael Duffy, son of Paul Duffy Jun.and Kathryn.  The Duffy family have enjoyed travelling the country and abroad with Silver to many Shows this season, as they were focusing on the European Championships this year and  Michael and Silver were first reserve on the squad of  7.   For Michael the highlight of the year was to be a member of the Irish Pony team who came 2nd in the Nations Cup at Fontainbleu in April.

At Fontainbleau
At Fontainbleau;

They competed in many of the Pony Premier League qualifiers throughout Ireland, coming overall 3rd in this League.  Many of the fences were at the 1m.30 level and this pony always jumped clear. He has been mentioned as the next ‘Dexter’, this was a pure-bred French Connemara stallion, recently retired, who had reached the top in European Show-jumping circles.

With Team Trainer Ian Fearon
With Team Trainer Ian Fearon

Silver Shadow is described by Kathryn as ‘gentle as a bear with a wonderful temperament, honest as the day is long and very much part of the Duffy family’.  They have great hopes for him for next year.

For Other Award winning Performance Ponies, Gleann Rua Maxwell and Tulira Katie Daly, visit archive months July, August, September for pictures.

Other  Award Winners not present on the night were   John Luskin, Stephanie Brooks and Margo Dean’

Award winners Eamon Hannan and Philip McManus
Eamon Hannan and Philip McManus

More pics of Award recipients. Pics courtesy Tom Broderick and Eoin ODochartaigh                   

Elizabeth Petch
Elizabeth Petch

Award winner Bartley O'Maille
Award winner Bartley O Maille

Bobby Bolger and Brid with Award
Bobby Bolger and Brid with Award

Award winner Beatrice Murphy
Award winner Beatrice Murphy

Peter Molloy receives Award Gearoid Curran
Peter Molloy receives Award from Gearoid Curran

Lady Anne Hemphill receives Award from Tom MacLochlainn
Lady Anne Hemphill and Tom MacLochlainn


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