Training and Judges Assessment Day
The weather was in a somewhat cranky mood on Sunday last when the Connemara Pony and Rider Training Day was held at The Parks in Moycullen. Between a few mild dry patches, the heavy rain- showers bucketed down. This was no deterrent to the enthusiasts who turned up with ponies and their riders to learn the ropes of working Hunter and Riding Classes under the excellent tutelage of Denise Norton and Tony Ennis, both knowledgeable and experienced past-masters in all Equestrian skills.
Breeder and Judge Ciaran Curran was on hand to advise on the conformation of the Connemara pony while experienced IPS Judge and course-builder Pascal Crawford was there to pass on knowledge of Working Hunter courses and what judges hope to see in each performance. The format involved Flatwork tuition which was given by Denise Norton for pre-novice, novice and open Riding ponies and was held in a marked- out green -field site near the sand arena.
Jumping was mainly in the sand arena under the instruction of Tony Ennis with different height categories according to a pony’s age and experience.
The youngest pony there, and on his first day out ever, belongs to Emer McNamara who was on release for the day from the Breeders Society Office to ride out her 4 year old Prospect Harry for his very first public outing, while Sean O’Neill from East Galway was very pleased with the performance of his 6 year old mare Milly Fairyhill Girl. Liam Diamond, a great supporter of the young performance pony, had brought along 5 ponies to The Parks for the day. These were ridden and jumped by Liam’s
daughter Talitha and Spanish visitor Claudia Vallverdu.
Tony Ennis makes a point of including a list of 6 useful features for pupils to aim for, into his teaching session. these are
1. Control, 2. Rythym, 3. Balance, 4. Impulsion, 5. Harmony, and 6. Suppleness.
The Connemara Society had decided to hold a Judge’s Assessment to run in tandem with the Training Day and 22 aspiring Judges had travelled from various parts of the country to try their hand at judging and marking Working Hunter and Ridden Connemara ponies in competition. They were assessed by Mairead Ryan. As well as the Practical they were obliged to submit to an Oral on the topic also. Pic. courtesy of Carol O’Connor.Good luck to all of them. All other photos © Niamh’s Weblog.