Claddaghduff Show 2013
In the far north west of Connemara, facing Omey Island, the small tucked- away village of Claddaghduff comes alive on Show Day. Omey Island can be reached at low tide on foot, or by by car, or preferably on the back of a Connemara pony, but on the last Sunday of June, the Show Field is the gathering place of many of the finest Connemaras of all ages Along with Sheep, Cattle, Dogs, even Llamas, and the biggest bouncy castle in the world, the Pony Classes ran throughout the day, from a wet and windy morning start until the last sheep trailer and horsebox left the field that evening. It was a well organised Show and results were immediately announced before the ponies left the Ring.
Judge Eddie Madden picked his Show Supreme Champion from the final Class of the day, for Stallions 4 years old and over. Kevin Bolger’s Gurteen Cathal, had taken the Reserve Championship two weeks earlier in Ballinalee. But this time it was the Bolger turn to carry home not one, but 4 large trophies, the O’Halloran Championship Cup, the Sweeney Cup for the Stallion Class and the Michael King perpetual cups, plus the Mikey Heffernan Cup for Best Turned out pony, alongside replicas and generous prize-money. Gurteen Cathal was bred by Kevin Bolger’s cousin Cathal Mullen and is by Coral Dun X Gurteen Star. This 12 year old has been in Northern Ireland for the past six years until Kevin bought him back again this Spring. The breeding goes back to Killyreagh Kim, Cuchulainn and Hazy Dawn and he is closely related to the late Bobby Bolger’s multiple Champion, Coral Misty. Coral Misty’s Comic is a half-brother.
Claddaghduff Reserve Championship went to the winner of the 4-6 year old Mare Class, Padraig Hynes’ Canal Laura. Canal Laura by Lecarrow King X Canal Linnett, has lots of Village breeding in her back pedigree and has a look of old Village Laura. Village Boy and Village Star also feature in the back breeding. The four year old Mare was at her first Show ever and showed plenty of sparkle, what with the loud public address and lots of activity all around her, but she will certainly live up to her family’s excellent Show ring reputation.
The Junior Championship and the John Kane perpetual Cup went to the winner of the 2yr. old filly Class. This was Padraig and Nicola Heanue’s Carragh May by Dooneen Just Joey X Kippure Scarlet.
Reserve Junior was the winner of the 3 year old Filly class, Caroline Lydon’s attractive Nόinín Cashel, becoming quite a Rosette filly since she had already won a week earlier at Corrandulla and was Reserve Champion there. Her breeding is Currrachmore Cashel and Silver Pearl. Back to the yearling classes.
Bell Squire has been in the first three each time he’s been shown this season and his owner Raymond Conneely was called in first this time to receive the Red Rosette in the Yearling Colt class. This son of Bay Shadow and Bell Supreme is already showing real quality.
The Yearling filly top pony was Glencarraig Dolly by Glencarrig Knight X Templebready Penny, led by Patrick Curran, another youngster getting used to wearing the Red Rosette.
James and Michael Rabbette were happy to take the Cloonan Perpetual Memorial Cup back to Castlebar with their strong 2Year old Colt with performance bloodlines. Castleside Magnum is by Castleside JJ Junior X Castleside Shell.
Kieran McGrath with Hazelrock Mandate (Castlestrange Fionn X Starlight Butterfly) won the Westside Mirah Perpetual Cup for best 3 Year old Colt.
The Young Handlers Class saw a bit of high drama when a sheep ran through the ranks of ponies, startling some of them.
This Class also saw yet another generation of the McGrath family step forth to accept the Buttermilk Lodge Cup when young Evan McGrath was judged best handler with his family’s Currachmore Cashel mare, Hazelrock Arís out of Hazelrock Rua.
Johnny Conneely with D’arcy Eileen’s Janice by Janus X Eileen’s Pet, received the Cáilín Dána Cup in the Bay Pony Class.
The following Mare Classes were well-filled with long lines of mainly white ponies, enough to perplex any Judge and many bystanders. There were 10 in the 7-11yr. old Mare Class when one of the few Mares with foal at foot caught the Judges eye and was soon moved into the top spot.
Peter Keane’s Kiltullagh Lass (Gloves Bobby X White Rose) had also won this Class at the recent Corrandulla Show.
The 12-19 year old Mare Class winner was Olivia Staunton with her Clochanard Ophelia (Village Boy X Hillside Heather) who took home the de Courcey Cup much to the delight of daughter Sadhbh.
The ladies got a look-in again in the 20yr old and over Class, when young Maria Gorham led her old friend Molly Malone into First place. Molly has old-time breeding also with Loobeen Larry as her sire and Gortroomagh as the dam. The late Joe Gorham would have felt a special joy to see his grand-daughter in the ring, a 3rd generation taking up the Connemara Pony baton.
My thanks to Photographer Tom Broderick who sent me the 6 Young stock pictures. For Claddaghduff Gallery Pics. Click Here