Cashel Show Click on picture to enlarge
The Show is held on a headland known as Emlagh surrounded on three sides by the azure blue seas of Cloonisle Bay and with Cashel Hill as backdrop. This area has long been a centre for true-to-type Connemara Ponies.and the Cloonisle Prefix of the late Owen Reilly is commemorated by a Show trophy in his name. The blog last visited Cashel Show four years ago on a grey windy day but the first Sunday of August this year was exceptionally fine, with soft white clouds sailing by. The hillside Ring runs quite steeply down to the sea and it takes a handler in top condition to run a pony up past the judge and down again the other side. Judge Eddie Madden had a prime viewing spot on the hilltop with spectacular sea views all around and spectators were seated behind him on high with the same stunning vistas.
Then there were the ponies. Well-groomed and conditioned, their silky manes and tails gleaming in the sunlight, like true native ponies they made short- work of the hilly landscape. The Blog unfortunately missed seeing the Young-stock but got a few photos of the Championship. The Junior Championship was awarded to Pat O’Neill’s 2yr. old bay colt Illaunurra Bay (Castleside JJ Junior X Illaunurra Heather).
The Three Year old Filly winner was judged Reserve Junior Champion and gave Caroline Lydon her first ribbons of the day with her Currachmore Cashel filly Nόinín Cashel out of Silver Pearl.
The Young Handler (aged 10 to 15 years), has become a popular and well-supported Class in recent Connemara show catalogues there were 7 smartly turned-out entries on show. Young Enda Conneely, now an adept Handler, showed Glenellen’s Fancy (Blue Smokie X Fancy Phyllis) to stand top of the line as he had done at Roundstone some weeks previously.
Jane Andrews of Charlesland Stud presented him with her especially impressive cup – as Jane believes that the young handlers of today deserve every encouragement to show their ponies correctly and with attention to detail. 2nd was Jack Keaney with Murvey Hannah (Coolillaun Cushlawn X Sweet Ferdia, and this pair also picked up the Blue rosette in the Class for 4 yr. old Mares.
The Four Year Old Mare Class with 5 ponies in competition was won by Joe Burke’s Kilconly Dream Girl (Currachmore Cashel X Dream Lass). As entries are taken on the day at Cashel it is not always possible to give result details correctly. So please excuse the resulting gaps and errors.
Five ponies circled the ring in the 5 – 9 Year old Mare with Foal Class.
Peter Keane received the Peter Weissman Memorial Cup to carry back to Galway with his prize-winning mare Kiltullagh Lass by Gloves Bobby out of White Rose. Second in line for the Blue rosette was Maeve Conneely with Noel Noonan’s Riona Og by Currachmore Cashel X Lough Fadda Girl.
Caroline Lydon was again in the ribbons in the 5 – 9 Year Old Mare without Foal Class when she took her 3rd Red Rosette of the day with her prolific winner Fuinseog (Currachmore Cashel X Feenish Lady. It was Alaoise Halpins) who stood second in line here with the runner-up, 5yr old Kilrock Cashel (Coolough Cashel X Kilcrest Cashel).
There were yet again 5 mares in the ring for the Ten to Nineteen Year old Mare Class This seemed the average figure for most of these Classes at Cashel. The fact that nearby Carraroe was staging its Show the following day, Bank Holiday Monday, probably reduced numbers somewhat at Cashel this year. Cathriona O’Toole left the Ring happy as her Buttermilk Melody (Robin Hood X Crumpaun Rose) was the Judge’s choice to take the Mary Worley Cup back home to Clifden. Young Lisa Worley was glad to present her grandmother’s trophy. Cathriona’s Clifden neighbour Olivia Staunton received the 2nd prize in this Class with Clochanard Ophelia ( Village Boy X Hillside Heather).
The best pony in the Senior Mares Class for the over 20’s went once more to Molly Malone (Loobeen Larry X Gortroomagh Molly) with young Maria Gorham in charge as was the case recently in Claddaghduff. Lehenagh Lady wasn’t far behind with Gracie McDonagh.
Gracie McDonagh showed her Lehenagh Lady, now at 27 years of age, the last of the Killyreagh Kim mares. Lehenagh Lady is out of Persil and was bought as a foal by her present owners. She also took home a Rosette from the Class for Young Handlers earlier in the day.
The winner of the Filly Foal Class (in which there were 6 entries) and the Foal Champion was Patrick Heanue’s Derrylough Nellie by Starsky X Derrylough Heather. The Colt foal win went to Damian Gorham’s Currachmore Cashel’s offspring Doonhill Prince who is out of Dawn April Lady.
Seven lively Stallions finally entered the Ring, which suddenly appeared to shrink in size as they made their presence felt.
The Jackie Naughton Memorial Trophy went to one of the “stallions of the moment”, Gurteen Cathal (Coral Dun X Gurteen Star) Kevin Bolger’s 13 year old recently ‘reclaimed’ stallion which he bought back from a Northern owner this Spring, a move which proved a winner for Kevin as this stallion, bred by his cousin Cathal Mullen in Roundstone, has swept the boards this season. Sid Worley’s Ballinvella Prince (Mervyn Pookaun X Doon Fairy) another mature sire with substance, took 2nd place for the Show’s hard working Treasurer.
Supreme Champion was Gurteen Cathai. and I am grateful to Ruth rogers who supplied this photo.
Reserve Supreme was Kilconly Dream Girl. I am grateful to Olwen Kelly for the Reserve photo.
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