Cars, trailers and lorries lined the roads around the town when what seemed like the largest crowd ever filled the Sales ring and yard at the Clifden Mart October Connemara Pony Sales. Passing through we paid a visit. On the 3rd day of this 4 Day marketing bandwagon, the sun shone and the day was mild, and the pens were thronged with this year’s crop of foals and some mares too. Outside on the road, almost every county in Ireland was seen on vehicle number plates. Lots of sellers, breeders, lookers-on and assorted pony persons met up with the usual old friends, and there wasn’t room to move – never mind swing a cat – around the ringside. And there were some buyers there too, but not enough (in this viewer’s opinion) to raise the bidding to any respectable level.
Apart from a few exceptions the bids were not great as the gavel-wielding auctioneer above the Sales ring went a-mile-a-minute through these assorted confused young colts and fillies, with some going at knockdown prices of a few hundred Euro – to good homes, one would hope. There were some good prices paid too and prices were better than I had expected. I have just seen todays ‘Connacht Tribune’ which has an excellent Sales report. Broken and ridden ponies on Day 1 sold well with 29 of these fetching between é2,400 and é5,250. and on sunday an in-foal mare was purchased for é6,000. so prices are coming back again. I unfortunately have only one example to show as time was limited.
The 4 yr. old mare pictured here looked set to achieve a four figure sum. I haven’t yet managed to find out her story. At Shows Lankill Lexi has never been out of the first three. She was bred by Owen Hughes and her owner Charlie Hughes from Westport had her looking wonderful. Her breeding is Glencarrig Lexus X Rathlacken Saoirse and Village Boy is in the pedigree. So too is Village Grey, Coosheen Finn, Ashfield Bobby Sparrow and Laerkens Cascade Dawn.
This was the final of four annual Sales held by Connemara Pony Sales at this Clifden mart. Last year a 5 person delegation arrived by appointment from South Korea and purchased Connemara ponies, 27 mares, 2 ridden ponies and a Class 1 Stallion.
All the mares have since foaled safely and it is expected that more Korean buyers will arrive to buy more mares in the next month or so. It is good to see this market expanding with the new popularity of the pony in South Korea.
And of course it was Hallowe’en and the wayside witches seen on the outskirts of Letterfrack seemed to have crashed bang-on into telegraph poles looking like they were in flight from the joy, the lights and the music of Letterfrack Sea Week festivities.
All photos © Niamh’s Weblog