View Gallery Spiddal 2016
The Connemara Pony and Agricultural Show at Spiddal is always a very sociable affair. It is a gathering, where the Irish language is used as the ‘Lingua Franca’ of the entire occasion, from Schedules and Catalogues printed in Irish, to all announcements, notices and labels ‘as Gaeilge’ also. In 2010 Niamh’s Weblog paid a visit to this same Taispeántas Chois Fharraige when spoken Irish was heard as well and it was so good to hear it again.
One difference. The high-excitement of All-Ireland Hurling Match (Tipperary and Kilkenny yet again) from Croke Park, was loudly broadcast back then, outdoors on Radio na Gaeltachta, as Gaeilge, which lent a special quality to the proceedings not quite matched by to-days TV in a room in a College building.
These old College buildings also contained all sorts of Agricultural and Artistic produce entered in competition by both adults and ‘páistí’ alike. There is a host of Childrens Corner competitions and Teen talent is also catered for.
So not only are the Connemara Ponies judged on the day but you have Sheep, Dogs, Woodturning, Flowers, Fruit, Vegetables, Turf, Art, Photography, Baking, Gardening, Homecrafts and many child-centred craft competitions judged too. Bouncy Castles and large inflated Playballs were there for the kids also.
And the day was wonderfully dry and balmy. In the old walled garden the Ponies are judged. The Junior Championship Cup went to the Three Year old Mare, Moorland Champagne (Moorland Snowy River X Silver Queen), bred and owned by Cathy and Martin Snow Coyne, Letterfrack, and a winner at Oughterard Fair Day two weeks previously. Cathy snow kindly provided the photo. The 5 Young stock Classes were followed by 5 more Mare Classes.
Michael Conroy with his 4 year old Addrigoole Sirona (Currachmore Cashel X Bluebell) was the Judges’ choice in the well-filled Class for Mare 4 – 6 Years Old and took the prizewinners Cup and Galway Crystal home to Cashel in Connemara.
Loughconn Daisy (I Love You Melody X Loughill Molly) the 7 year old mare bred and owned by Tom Clancy of Moycullen, received the very generous Spiddal prizes – which included a Cup, Crystal, and money in all classes – when she won the Mare 7 – 12 Year Old Class. Judges Noel Sweeney and Sean Dunne then continued judging without a break. They found their best Over 13 Mare winner in Mary Tierney’s Tegan (Slisneoir X Nessa) from Oughterard.
Tegan was looking very well at 20 years of age and with her 14th foal at foot.
The Mare not Exceeding 138cm. Class winner was Dave Sheedy’s 5 year old Forest Horizon (Fiona’s Man X Forest Sunlight), hailing from Ennis, Co. Clare. Pic 10 Group In the Foal classes, the Fillies, as usual, far outnumbered the Colts in the Foal Classses. It was interesting to see that both Class winners were by the same stallion, the 2015 Clifden winner.
The lively Colt Foal Class winner, (as yet unnamed) was by Drumbad Fletcher Moss X Rathcoona Mist, and is owned by Moycullen’s Padraig Keady.
The Foal Championship went to the Filly Foal winner, Gaoth Mhara Maye (Drumbad Fletcher Moss X Hanna’s Dam).
In the Open Stallion Class, with 7 entries, you had strong contenders for the Spiddal awards. The Judges took time to make their ultimate decision which finally favoured Bernard Keaney’s Murvey Rocco (Glencarrig Knight X Murvey Rita) over
another consistent Show Ring winner, Máirtín Nee’s Doonreaghan Marty (Coolillaun Cushlaun X Doonreaghan Star) shown by Noel Nee, in Reserve.
Spiddal Show Champion was Murvey Rocco and Loughconn Daisy stood Reserve.
Two Ridden Classes followed and due to recent heavy rain the going was soft to rather sodden in parts! The Lead Rein winnings went to Oughterard’s Deirdre Geoghegan with her home-bred Canrower Winnie and her immaculately turned-out young rider.
In the Open Ridden Class, 8 young riders performed for the Judges and Aoife Connolly with Rosswood Little Lady was called in First with
Dean McGrath and Little May in Reserve followed by Saoirse Tierney and Honeyhill Beacon in 3rd and the smaller chestnut pony Jessie’s Girl with Aoife Maloney taking the 4th spot.