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A spacious new venue at the famous Ballybrit Racecourse – blessed by two fine dry Show Days – made for a busy and lively Show Weekend this year. Most of the main Racetrack grass parking areas were available to the Show Committee and much work as usual was put into preparing the Rings and Arenas, although the land lay-out led to an inevitable scattering of the Rings given over to Show-jumping and the splitting-up of Showing Classes, and to necessary trekking to- and- fro for competitors and spectators alike. Featured here is the final line-up in the 19 strong Open Ridden Connemara Class in which local girl Catherine Gorton was the winning choice for Judge Mary Moore. This 7yr old mare was bred by Margaret Gorton of Oughterard and is by Janus X Illaunurra Silver Shadow by Corcullen Silver Bell.
The Billy Horan Cup for the Junior Champion was presented to Patrick McGrath’s Smokey Queen, winner of the Three Year old Filly Class, by Geraldine Horan, daughter of the late Billy and his late wife Breda Horan, both dedicated promoters and breeders of the Connemara Pony for many years. Junior Champion Smokey Queen is by Lucky Rebel X Hazelwood Cloud and is yet another in a long line of the McGrath family’s Smokey breed.
Reserve Junior Champion, was Amy Curran’s homebred Yearling Filly Winner Glencarrig Countess by Glencarrig Knight X Glencarrig Princess. There are now quite a few generations of Curran Connemara pony back- breeding in the picture here and the sire and dam have both been prolific show-ring prize-winners.
The award for Champion Brood Mare of the Show was presented to Fiona Grimes for her home –bred 7yr old Carrowkeel Star by Currachmore Cashel X Lishín Star, fresh from her Championship win at Balmoral some weeks previously, an award carried home last year by her dam, Lishin Star
Earlier in the day Carrowkeel Star was the winner of one of the largest and most competitive Classes of Galway Show with 12 entries, that for Mares 7- 9 years. Fiona Grimes was presented with the Cup which was donated by the family of the late Eamonn Hannan, a former Galway Show Chairman for many years.
Reserve Mare Champion was Grace Murphy’s most recent acquisition “bought two months age from out of a field in County Clare”. Rostullis Village Lady is by True Commotion X Celtic Tulira Star and Tulira Roebuck and Village Grey feature in her impressive pedigree. She had caught the eye of Judge Sandra Bucknell who had earlier called her in for the Red Rosette in the class for Mares 4,5 and 6 year Old.
One of the most high profile Stallions this season, Drumbad Fletcher Moss by Fredericksminde Hazy Match X Robe Grey Abbey, is giving the Burke family from Castlegar in Galway a great run at the early Shows, having scooped the Stallion Class and Supreme Championship at Westport, the Stallion Class and Reserve Championship at Ballinalee and made it a Three in a Row (almost) at Galway County by being awarded both Champion Stallion and Supreme Champion Sashes yet again. Bred 10 years ago by Jim Ferguson of Drumbadreevagh, Co. Fermanagh, he has only been lightly shown as a 3year old before being acquired by Eamon Burke in January this year and produced and shown by his son Joe Burke.
Cornarone Hazy Lad is yet another son of Fredericksminde Hazy Match. The 8yr old Cornarone Hazy Lad, a frequent Stallion Class prizewinner, out of Atlantic Collette, was runner –up in the Galway County Stallion Class and also won the Reserve Supreme Award for his owner Padraig Gannon of Inverin in South Connemara. Breeder is Gerry Griffin, also of Inverin.
All in all, a successful Show and the minor inconveniences of the new venue will no doubt be remedied by the dedicated Committee for next year’s Galway County Show. Photos © Niamh’s Weblog. for Books, go to http://www.marne.ie