A LOOK AT SOME CLASSES IN BALLINALEE
With very large mare and filly classes, the In-Hand Ring at Ballinalee was the venue to spot the best and most beautiful representatives of the breed’s matriarchs and young stock in the country. Equine Queen of the Show with foal at foot had to be Banks Vanilla (Tegistrup Duke X Squares DoDo), Sean Dunne’s 7yr old Danish bred mare which he first spotted and purchased when judging Connemara ponies in Denmark in 2006. She was bred by Danish breeder J.Mikkelsen. With bloodlines back to Carna Bobby, Carna Dun, Marble, Callowfeenish Dolly and Inver Rebel – bone, conformation, quality and type are all there in spades – while from five Show outings this year she has already won three championships. Sean says she has “matured greatly over the past couple of years and is the best broodmare I’ve ever had”: and he has owned some good ones, notably Kilbracken Queen. For 28 years Sean has been producing and showing ponies, and was the first family member in three generations of Clydesdale farm-horse owners to convert to Connemara ponies. The Garryhinch stud had another winner in the 2 yr. old filly class, this was Dunne’s homebred Garryhinch Swallow (Monaghanstown Boy X Coosheen Cuckoo) who also scooped Junior Champion.
Patrick Conneely had travelled from the far west of Connemara to win the young Stallion class with the Currachmore Cashel sired Errismore Rocky out of Gold Label – bred by Ann Conroy – and also took the Reserve Stallion Champion’s sash back to Ballyconneely.
Champion mature Stallion was Spiddal Wills Boy (Spiddal Playboy X Connemara Rose) bred by William Connolly and now owned by Longford’s Colm McGrath. This stallion was also the Reserve Surpeme.Champion of the Show.
In the Class for geldings 4yrs. and over, Ernie Somerville’s Thunder Breeze (Robe thunder X Gallowstown Breeze) bred by Thomas Mitchell was the winner.
Glenmore Kellys Owen (Abbeyleis Owen X Gentian Gold
) has been a good broodmare and prolific winner for the O’Reilly’s of Dundalk and she was placed top of the line again, against stiff opposition, in the 10 – 15 yr old Mare Class. This win qualifies the mare for the Midland All-Ireland Broodmare Championship at Annaharvey farm in July. Her previous wins included Dublin and Champion of Champions in Roundstone. Her breeder is Henry Kelly.
2nd in this Class was the mare who has twice won the Annarhavey Championship, the Bridget Snow-bred Moorland Lady Jane (Boden Park Finnard X Bright Star) owned by James Leahy, Co. Cavan.
Caereau Gold (Quilca Silver X Bold Flyer) with foal at foot, breeder John Sullivan, owner Athlone’s Liam McCormack, was the winner in the Class for Mares 16 yrs old and over and
2nd for the blue rosette was Grace Murphy’s 23 yr.old Lakeside Lady (Abbeyleix Dolphin X Kits Bay) bred by K. Maloney.
In the Midland Mare and Foal Class, a Qualifier Ireland Broodmare Championship and one of the extra large classes of the day, it was Co.Westmeath’s Mary and Pat Rabbitte who took the honours with Monaghanstown Cailin (Glencarrig Prince X Monaghanstown Star) and her foal by Illaunurra Lad. Banks Vanilla (see above) was runner-up in this Class.
Heavy showers and occasional bright sunshine were the order of the day but all classes, including the Ridden classes down the hill continued non-stop and numbers were high in most classes, and were especially so in the Mare and Filly classes and much better than usual in the Ridden classes.
Regrettably the blog was unable to stay for the Young Stock Classes, but took a quick look at the very busy Ridden and Working Hunter Classes. Qualifying competitions for the Powers Quarry, Ridden Gelding Championships, and Oughterard International Performance were in full flight since mid-morning, in both rain and sunshine, and an early winner of the under 16 Ridden Qualifier Class was captured on camera.
This was Lucy Glynn, perhaps the youngest competitor in a large Class, on her mother Gill’s mare Glencarrig Síog (Glencarrig Prince X Glencree April Shadow) breeder Neill Deacy. Claire Devlin’s Blackwood Fernando (Ferdia x Dancing Queen) sped to victory in 2 Classes, both the Ridden and the Working Hunting qualifiers for Oughterard, with accomplished performer Alicia Devlin Byrne. Wexford’s Fergal Kavanagh who had bought a ‘batch’ of six colt foals in Clifden in 2000 had two of them here now registered Stallions competing both In-Hand and in Ridden Classes. His daughter Alanna Kavanagh rode Killacloran Fuinnseoig (Village boy X Lecarrow) – breeder Evelyn Nee – while Killacloran (Moy Hazy Cove X Castle Star), breeder Henry O’Toole, a recent Boswell Show winner, was ridden by Merryn Huntley-Jones.
See pics under ‘more pics. Ballinalee ’10’ under Pages in right Sidebar. Coming soon