Lecture on Thoroughbred influence
The final event of the day on Saturday was a presentation given by well-known Judge and seasoned Connemara Pony expert Elizabeth Petch, Lib as she is generally known, is the author of the History of the Breeders Society and her topic in this first ‘Bartley O’Sullivan Lecture’ was ‘The Thoroughbred Influence on the Connemara Pony’.
She went back to the years preceeding the foundation of the Society in 1923, to the introduction of the T.B. stallion ‘Watchspring’ to Connemara in the 1890’s. He covered many native pony mares and was said to be the sire in 1919 of the famous jumper ‘The Nuggett’ who jumped to fame in England and in three consecutive years in the early 1930’s was Stone Wall Jumping Champion of Britain and jumped 7’2” at Olympia. He stood 15 h.h and his dam was a native mare. Lib had many marvellous pictures on screen, including some of the T.B’s of that time and of ‘Little Model’ Dressage Champion by ‘Little Heaven’ whose dam also was a Connemara mare. There was the equally famous ‘Dundrum’ by the Society owned stallion Little Heaven who, at 15 h.h out of a Connemara mare, jumped incredibly high to beat the best horses in Ireland and England with Tommy Wade in the 1950’s and ‘60’s.
But enough from me; suffice it to say that Thoroughbred blood runs in the majority of modern day Connemara ponies and was responsible for contributing to the quality, speed and jumping ability of today’s pony. This finely researched lecture, you will be glad to hear, will shortly be published as a pamphlet. Coming up, we hope, will be a future session on the introduction of Arab and other blood, including Irish Draught.
Stallion Parade and Dressage, Sunday
A very graceful dressage display to music took place in the interval during the Stallion Parade;
this was Mary Mitchell on her 7yr old homebred all-rounder stallion Creemully Western Melody.(I Love You Melody X Creemully Heather) This performance pony demonstrates the versatility of the Connemara with a performance record in International Showjumping, Dressage and Working Hunter.
I hope these stallion photos speak for themselves.