New Zealand Connemara ponies

Time to introduce some sunny New Zealand Connemara Pony Breeding to the Weblog   

Ingrid de Hoedt, New Zealand Breeder              

Ingrid and family


A visit to the home of Ingrid de Hoedt about 50 miles south of Auckland near a town called Pukekohe, is an experience to savour.  This Irish native – a medical doctor – and her Kiwi husband Ross head up a lively household – “chaotic but good craic”as she herself described her home- comprising three children, Tadhg, Fionn and daughter Cianneth and their visiting Irish Aunt Rose.     Three dogs, including a kindly Irish Wolfhound named Saoirse, at least 1 cat and sundry equines make up the animal menagerie.      

Fillies at play


The horses include a part-bred Shire that Ingrid hunts, a Bush- pony with her half-Arab filly foal and two Connemara fillies, plus a mare which was away with her foal being ‘AI ed’. at the Cambridge centre. You might wonder, as I did, about Bush ponies.      

Bush pony and her half-arab foal


Bush ponies run semi-wild in the Northern part of North Island and are regularly rounded-up and corralled by their Maoiri minders to sell on. The fine looking dark brown or black Bush Pony mare with her half-Arab foal is about 14 hands high.     Ingrid, a General Practitioner in Pukekohe, had travelled to Ireland some years ago with the intention of purchasing some Connemara ponies as she always admired their native bone and substance. She almost bought a stallion but was deterred by the high asking price, the cost of transport and especially by New Zealand’s strict import regulations. She later learned a lot about the ponies from meeting Sue Clarke of Australia’s Glenormiston Stud  and  purchased 2 fillies from her in 2008.        

Rahaniska and Banrion snatch some rich grazing


These two strong yearling fillies, a bay and a buckskin coming 2yrs, were overjoyed at being released, for picture taking,  into the extra rich grass of the resting paddock. Although now twenty years in New Zealand Ingrid still treasures her Irish heritage and loves to give her Connemara ponies Gaelic names.     The dun/buckskin filly is Glenormiston Banríon (Queen) by Glenormiston Celtic Prince and out of Glenormiston Brigid.    Tulira Mairtin, Finola of Leam, Castle Dame, Oxenholm Godot all appear in her bloodlines.   

Glenormiston Banrion, rising 2


Glenormiston Rahaniska, yearling filly


The bay yearling filly in these pictures is by (Castle Baron X Glenormiston Rosslea)  and is named Glenormiston  Rahaniska, ( Rath an Uisce = the gift of water)  Island King, Tooreen Laddie, Abbeyleix Cypress are in the back pedigree.        Ingrid’s  absent 4 yr old mare Mungala Tuar Ceatha (Rainbow) had her first offspring just before Christmas, a colt foal by Mungala Emerald Isle which is appropriately named An Céad Ceann (the 1st One).   

 P.S. A week after our visit the disastrous Christchurch earthquake struck.  Ingrid immediately set to fundraising for the thousands of families left homeless and had already accepted two evacuated people into her family home.  Her email ends with a “lán grá agus beannacht libh” .(love and blessings) and “be sure to tell any locals coming out for the Rugby World cup that there is a bed for them in our house”.    

Anne Lindesay, Connemara Pony breeder                For Books information visit  WWW.MARNE.IE   

Glenormiston Rowan


Anne Lindesay of Kerri Kerri in New Zealand’s North Island had reached the mature  age of 80 years before she developed an interest in and love of the Connemara pony.  But then Anne Lindesay is not your average octogenarian.  It was a unique pleasure to meet this gracious, elegant and fit looking lady, now 89, who, four years earlier had imported a Connemara stallion from Australia, Glenormiston Rowan (Castle Baron – Glenormiston Rosmara), to serve her three Connemara mares, a grey and two dark bays.        

Bunratty Shannon's Way, or 'Poppy'


Pictured here are Bunratty Shannon’s Way (Ganty Champ X Canningvale Della ) and Charlotte of Takou Bay (Ganty Champ X Ridgeway Patience)    

Charlotte of Takou Bay and foal by Rowan


She had  rescued these mares some years previously   when the Connemara Society of New Zealand were looking for homes for a herd of ponies and she had stepped in and taken three of them.    

Anne driving a Welsh pony


 The intrepid Anne helped break and bring on these unhandled mares herself, and being a keen equestrienne, she rode and drove them until a recent accident – not connected with horses but with an errant hoover-flex – resulted in a hip-replacement operation.  Still in recovery she has her daughter Claire to help out and the accomplished horsewoman, Lada from Chezcslovakia to work with the ponies. Yet, in spite of her setback Anne very kindly invited  Niamh’s weblog to come and view her Connemaras.. This lady had a background in horses going back to her childhood in England and when she met and married her Kiwi husband, they settled outside Kerri Kerri on an 80 acre farm raising cattle, some sheep and breeding warm-blood horses which they showed and hunted locally.    

Claire, Anne and Lada


 But for the past eight years Connemaras are the only equines grazing the lush green Lindesay pastures.  Said grazing must be watched and curtailed year round with electric fencing but in general the Connemara breed seems to have adapted well to the semi-tropical climate prevalent in these parts.    

Glenormiston Rowan shown by Lada Myslikova


Each of the rescue mares has produced fine foals by Rowan who has an illustrious pedigree which includes the Village line and goes back to Village Star, Dun Aengus, Carna Bobby and Lavally Rebel.     

Rowan and Lada herding stock


Lada herself schools and uses the stallion regularly as a “stock horse” working with the cattle. He has also taken a first rosette on the two occasions he has been shown.     

Thornwood Cinnamon with Anne


The 4yr old dun filly, Cinnamon, out of the grey Poppy, has also been backed and lightly ridden by Lada and apparently has the makings of a top brood mare and riding pony with her equable temperament and classic conformation.     

The dark bay (pic above with foal) Charlotte of Takou Bay by Ganty Champ with her very visible branding, is Anne’s favourite riding pony and her owner is looking forward to riding her again in the near future. The three gelding youngsters by Rowan, a yearling, a two and a three yr. old will also receive good handling and management under the caring eye of this extraordinary lady.    

Kohata Harvest Moon with Vanessa on board


Vanessa Robb and Connemara ponies     

 With a population similar to Ireland – circa four million – New Zealand’s two Islands comprise an area over three times the size of our small Island..  Most Connemara ponies were introduced to New Zealand from Australia   But in 1978   Chiltern Sunsilk was imported from Britain and the Irish bred mare Windward arrived soon after.  In 1989 Galway’s Tom McNamara imported the sire Ganty Champ from Ireland so many of the early foals carried these lines.  Their stud book now contains the names of 122 mares and 22 stallions, with currently 7 sires standing at stud.  Niamh’s Weblog was ‘down under’ visiting family and naively hoped to catch some Connemaras at an Agricultural Show, but alas this was not to be.  Breeders are thin on the ground in this beautiful country and huge distances often separate them, so showing their ponies is not an easy option for breeders there.    I was lucky enough to get some contact numbers in the Auckland area where we were based, from the Secretary of the New Zealand Society, Vanessa Robb, herself a Connemara pony owner of fairly recent vintage. She had bought her first horse at age thirteen and is an accomplished rider, having ridden endurance, side-saddle, ‘ribbon-games’ and her specialty,  Medieval Games.     

Keltic O Se


She purchased her first Connemaras from her breeder friend, the late Karen Garner, over 4 years ago and now has 7 which include the 13yr old Australian – bred stallion Keltic O Sé by Glenormiston Jasper – Leitrim Ardán;  We see two mares both in foal to Paddy (as he is known to his friends)     

Rimrock Aurora, yearling filly


The mares are the 5yr.old grey Kohatu Harvest Moon (Lonsdale Moon – Waterfall Moycullen) and her yearling daughter Rimrock Aurora also by Celtic O Sé       

Kaheen my sweet diamond


These 2      

plus a three yr. old  buckskin (dun) filly. Kahean my sweet diamond (Green Hills Trooper Thomas – Glenormiston Diamonds Forever,) made up the growing Robb herd on our visit. All have good old-stock Native breeding with a touch of Thoroughbred and Arab blood.  There are two other mares which were not at home when we called.     


Vanessa with baby Jessica, 6 months


Vanessa brought her sweet baby daughter, six month old Jessica, along when she invited us to see her ponies in rented paddocks on the outskirts of Auckland.  She then gave the recently backed Kohatu Harvest Moon (Holly) an outing in the arena to show off her fine paces.             

For Books, visit  WWW.MARNE.IE     Pics © Niamh’s Weblog      


 Tony and Bridget Turner, South Island Breeders     

Tony Turner is a past President of the New Zealand Connemara Pony Society and is currently the Treasurer.  He and his wife Bridget in South Island have kindly sent Niamh’s Weblog some pictures of their two most recent foals and info. on their breeding.     

1 Patty's Veuve Cosmic with Peadar Murphy, March '09 Clifden


They are the first progeny of a German / Irish Connemara stallion – who traces back to Mountain Lad, MacDara, Doon Paddy, Rebel, Carna Dun and Clonkeehan Auratum among others – to sire New Zealand foals using AI.  The sire of both foals  is Pattys Veuve Cosmic (Pattys Veuve Cliquet X Jacobsdal Blue Bell) shown here at Clifden Stallion Parade in March 2009 with handler Peadar Murphy who stands him in Ireland.      

Colt foal with Timaunga Tara


Tony outlines some of the difficulties in importing Old World blood.  “ Most stallions & mares to come to NZ came/come from Australia. However stallions, Chiltern Sunsilk was imported from GB in 1978 by Sir John Marshall and Ganty Champ from Eire in 1989 by Tom McNamara. The mare Windward (Ire) was imported in 1979 by Mrs Winnie Tatham.   The problem for Northern hemisphere stallion owners is the cost and the length of time involved with preparation of stallions so that semen meets NZ  MAF regulations which are different to any other country.   We are so grateful to Patty Schmidt for going the extra mile and giving us here in New Zealand this opportunity to import these bloodlines.   I think our two colts are the first progeny of Pattys Veuve Cosmic in the southern hemisphere.      

 Born 29th November 2010, Timaunga Kiwi Cosmic’s (palamino) dam, Timaunga Tara, is by Barwidgee Erriff (Connaught of Millfields (Ire) x Barwidgee Frederika (Aust) out of Ridgeway Dream (Blandings Bobby (Aust) x Blandings Juliet (Aust).  Dream’s pedigree goes back to Strongbow, Camlin Cilla, Bridgeboy and Island King.     

Colt foal with Timaunga Chortle


 Haven’t named the bay colt yet! He was born on 9th December 2010. His dam, Timaunga Chortle, is by Barwidgee Erriff out of Canningvale Bonnie Sue (Chiltern Sunsilk x Canningvale Bonnie Jean). Jean’s pedigree goes back to Strongbow, Camlin Cilla, Bridgeboy and Ardan.”           

  Tony and Bridget Turner

4 thoughts on “New Zealand Connemara ponies

  1. I wonder if you are the same Ingrid I met in Germany in 1981. My name is Sam and I used to be in love with a friend of yours, Fiona Garvey…ring a bell? If so, I’m so glad things have gone well for you. I see you’ve got a lovely family. The picture tells me it’s you, but then, some 30 years have gone by. God bless


  2. Hi Ingrid – trying to make contact with you so that we can add your email address to the PG DipMSM graduate database. Lovely to see a photo of you with your family all grown. Last time we met you were expecting one of the children, can’t remember if it might even have been the first one! Many moons ago. If you want to be added to the database, just flick me through an email at Many thanks.


  3. Love to read this blog :) . My special thanks are going to Bridgit and Tony who encouraged me to freeze my two stallions even for the use in NZ and Australia… it took us some time, many many month of making plans, but what a success! Cheerio from Germany, Patty from Pattys Connemaras


    1. Good for you Pati, taking the time, trouble and expense of getting Patti’s Veuve Cosmic breeding into the New Zealand Connemara herd. Great to hear from you. Best wishes, Niamh


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