This old retired mare, she will be 35 in Jan 09, is still hale and hearty in her home field near Moycullen west of Galway. She is the last of a line – the last of the Carna Bobby mares still living – and is owned by Judy Cazabon, now living in Cleggan, for whom she was a wedding present as a foal from James Regan of Moycullen.
Carna Bobby was aged 27 when he covered Rose’s dam Atlantic Shower who was by Mac Dara. Drimcong Rose (6375), was foaled in January 1974, and the breeding line traces back to Connemara Boy and of course to Cannon Ball on the sire’s side. (See below for info. on Carna Bobby)
She was backed by her owner as a three year old, only bucking her trainer off once!! and started work as a school pony aged 4. As Judy describes her “She then became the perfect school pony, going into beginner mode with a novice rider or experienced mode with the knowledgeable rider” She was a nice jumper and “you could put anyone on her” and she was always reliable and safe although retaining a tendency to play ‘hard to catch’ in the field but thankfully she finally stood still when the catcher persevered!!.
Drimcong Rose was a working pony in her owner’s Riding School for the best part of 24 years and rarely appeared in the show ring. But she had good looks, conformation and movement, qualities which led Connemara pony veteran breeder Bobby Bolger to describe her as ‘one of the top Carna Bobby mares’. He himself showed her twice in the late 80’s when she was 2nd in Clifden and then 1st at Oughterard in the 10yrs and over Class. Judy recalls showing her on several occasions and she was always in the top three. But work was her life, not showing, whether it was in Moycullen in the eighties or Cashel in the nineties and then on to the coastal fishing village of Cleggan where today the riding centre looks across the Atlantic inlet to Cleggan Hill. She had two foals by the small Thoroughbred stallion Speck and sadly she was never bred again as the world of work took over.
He is said to have been responsible for the most beautiful mares and also gave speed and athletic ability to his progeny, some of whose names may be familiar to you if you own a Connemara. Among the Stallion Sons are: The Admiral, Ballydonagh Bobby, Island King, Killyreaqgh Kim, Coosheen Finn, Ashfield Sparrow, Ashfield bobby Sparrow, Tantallon Bobby, Ballydonagh Bobby. Some of his daughters were Queen of Diamonds, Atlantic Mist, Silver Lining, Abbeyleix Holly, Gloves Misty, Cailin Ciuin, Rose of Barna. All of these ponies were winners in the Show Ring as was Carna Bobby himself, taking the Stallion Class in Clifden on three occasions, in 1949, ’51 and ’55.
For further information , if you go to my website at www.marne.ie ,Ardcru Books, you will read more in ‘A Way with Horses’ on the Bolger family and Carna Bobby.