Connemaras to watch.


Winning in 2011 in Ireland with Raphael Lee

Ü    News     from Alan Diamond  re.  Menlo Boy – formerly owned by Liam Diamond of Diamonds of Renvyle  who features below in this Post.   Won the Swedish Pony Derby 1.15 metre competition on Friday 15th June 2012. Menlo Boy was ridden by Swedish rider Evelina Lindh.   He really was “ONE TO WATCH”.


Keltic O Se & Vanessa Robb

Finally now is a fine pic. I received some time ago taken at the same Show in New Zealand.  Keltic O’Se, Vanessa Robb’s Stallion, was the Supreme.  Sorry for previous omission.  (Scroll down to bottom of page to visit family and ponies at home)

5 yr. old Glenford Pakie 136cms.


Glenford Pakie.   Seen jumping at the recent Clifden Sales, Lot 127, the 134cms bay gelding, Glenford Pakie, a 5yr. old by Robe Earl X Genford Little Lady ;  he  was a joy to watch loose – jumping, in the rather cramped confines of the Mart arena.  With  minimum  encouragement from his owner/breeder Aine O’ Callaghan, he was quietlyand expertly jumping a pole that was  gradually raised to a metre,  then calmly went back to nibbling the edging grass.   He has done some show-jumping and this pic. is courtesy of Aine.   He was sold to a Co. Galway family for E2,000.  Watch out for him.

Aughnanure Leo.       

Winning Millstreet Championship, Aughnanure Leo and Tom Tyrell

Another rising star      in the Show-jumping arenas this past season has been the novice five yr.old Class One Connemara Stallion, Aughnanure Leo (Knockillaree Tomas – Tawin Gemville).  Bred by Lee Hurney just outside Oughterard and owned by his trainer Roger Joyce of Knockillaree Riding Centre and Stud, he is by Roger’s prolific prizewinning Stallion, Knockillaree Tomas.      The breeding is pure native pony with only a trace of Arab and Thoroughbred in the mix, yet this Connemara has already jumped streets ahead of ponies bred purely for show-jumping from generations of top show-jumping bloodlines.  After winning a number of Finals at heights of 80cms, 90cms, and 1metre with his Oughterard rider Tom Tyrell, the pair qualified for the Natrional Pony Discovery Finals at the Millstreet International Show in Co. Cork.  When they won this Contest and also the overall Championship at Millstreet, his connections were mightily pleased.  Roger describes him as having “super scope and huge potential and his temperament is second to none.”  Great to see a young Connemara pony making it at such a high level, a fine advertisement for the breed.      (Article spotted by Niamhs Weblog in the September Oughterard Newsletter.  Excuse poor photo reproduction.

A French Two Year old Champion Connemara.  

Vitamine Family Supreme Champ. 2011

Pascal Wandon of the Family Stud in France sent some recent news from France. His two year old filly Vitamine Family (Ardmore Royal Oak x Poesie Melody) was Supreme National Champion at Pompadour in France this year.  Isabelle and Pascal, based in Normandie, where they currently have five Connemara ponies, have previously won with this filly in both Foal and Yearling classes. From Hubert Laurent of Melody Stud they developed their passion for the Connemara.   Isabelle confirms that with this prestigious win of Vitamine Family, the female line of Carrabaun Cracker, had produced it’s eighth National Champion in France.   On both the sire and dam’s side, the antecedents were all champions in their day.   Isabelle goes through the pedigree: “Her maternal grandmother is Equinoxe Melody (2 times Supreme Champion at the French National and mother of the stallion I Love You Melody.   

Her paternal grandfather is Village Boy – Her maternal grandfather was Imperator Melody, son of Idénoir and Silver Sparrow (Clifden Supreme Champion 1985)

– Her great grandmother Carrabaun Cracker has twice won the Supreme National Championship in 1984 and 1987.    Her mother Poesie Melody was Reserve Junior Champion at the National in 2006 and the first french female from 4 to 10 years in French National 2008,2009,2010 .     Her father Ardmore Royal Oak was the National Reserve Supreme Champion Connemara in 2005.”   and she also carries the bloodlines of Abbeyleix Owen, Murphy Rebel and Coral Prince.   My thanks to the Wandon family for researching all this breeding and Showing information.

.Menlo Boy by Castlestrange Fionn – Festy Lady.  Click on image to enlarge

Menlo Boy With Talitha Diamond

It was just a year and a half ago when Renvyle’s Liam Diamond spotted this stallion show-jumping with his owners, Ray Lee and his family from Headford, Co. Galway. The then eight year old grey by Castlestrange Fionn-Festy Lady showed a tremendous jump and was making his mark having achieved Grade A Status.  But Menlo Boy at that stage was not registered in the Connemara.Pony Stud Book.   Liam, having a special interest in the Performance Connemara, bought the pony, had him upgraded to Class 1 status and registered, then left him with the Lee family to be competed by young Jessica Lee while he guided the stallion’s career from then on.   Although bred by John Conneely from Oughterard his breeding was mainly Carna- based where Pat Mulkerrin of Callowfeenish bred Festy Lady who traces back to Cuach na Coille. Menlo Boy’s breeding is chiefly native pony with the usual mixture of a ‘smidgen’ of Arab and a fair amount of Thoroughbred. His grandsire is Abbeyleix Fionn and his dam is by Ashfield Festy.

Menlo Boy at Clifden 2010 with Jesica Lee

Menlo Boy had a good year in 2010 with nine wins on the Galway show-jumping circuit, winning both winter and summer Leagues at 1.10 and 1.20 metres at O’Briens Equestrian Centre near Athenry and in October he took a third at Millstreet in the 1.20.metres. At the Puissance in Clifden in August ’10 he had reached the final round at 1.55 metres when he tipped a block on the wall. (Google Menlo Boy and you can watch this performance on U Tube and on the Diamond site)

This year with younger brother, 14 year old Raphael Lee, on board he cleared 1.50 metres to take the 148cms Open Puissance at Headford Gymkhana in June, winning the best Connemara Pony section in the process. As if that wasn’t enough the pair also won the Open Section.   At Louisburg Show he showed the same brilliant form to take the Open Championship. More recently they enjoyed a win in the 1.10 metres in the 148cm Open Championship at Loughrea.

Winning this year with Raphael Lee

In the Loughrea showgrounds – in a strong field of 25 – they had 2 clear rounds before a jump-off against the clock to finally beat off Dublin qualifier My Dancer and a host of other top circuit performers.

Menlo Boy has also qualified for the High Performance Championship at Clifden this year. So all family members at Diamond’s Equestrian Centre in nearby Renvyle will have a special reason to look forward to an exciting Clifden  next month.

One thought on “Connemaras to watch.

  1. Shannon Comet – Connemara Pony
    Sire – Laerkens Cascade Dawn
    Dam – Shannon Misty.

    Bred by Gerard Kelly Ballinrobe Co. Mayo
    Bought as a 3 year old by Diamonds Equestrian Centre Renvyle at Headford sales and professionally trained and was then sold to Italy in 2010. Now after numerious wins , he won the Italian Pony Event Champion as a 6 year old.


Comments are closed.