Sunny spells and showers were the order of the day at Clifden’s 85th Connemara Pony Show on Thurs 20th August; but the wet spells were not enough to spoil the enjoyment of the huge crowd who filled the Showgrounds to view large numbers of the most beautiful Connemara Ponies in Ireland today. From yearling colts and fillies up through the age groups to mature stallions and older mares and this year’s new foal arrivals, the two Rings kept the fans fully occupied, and trying to keep a watch simultaneously on both the Ridden and In-hand Rings was a pleasant diversion. Claddaghduff’s Peter Molloy had the day’s first winner with his yearling colt, Dooneen Hazy Rebel by Frederiksminde Hazy Match out of their well known brood-mare Jennifer Rose.
The yearling filly, Mary Rabbitt’s Grange Gráinne Surf (Monaghanstown Boy – Grange Garnet Surf) was picked from a huge entry of youngsters to accept the Red rosette from Judge Sean Dunne.
Roundstone’s Cailín Conneely had a field day, taking both the 2yr.old Colt Class with the fine looking Letterdyfe Rira (Currachmore Cashel – Letterdyfe Ruby) and the 2yr.old Filly Class with his filly Glencarrig Rose Marie (Glencarrig Prince – April Rose). The pair of ponies were quite a black and white symphony.
Applause broke out along the ringside when John McLoughlin’s young mare Gentle Kate (I Love You Melody – Gentle Wren) led by Geoffrey Heanue, was called in first in the 3yr old Class. John in his younger years was a regular Clifden and Dublin winner with his mares and the prefix Gentle is especially appropriate for this gentleman.
The 3 yr old stallions followed, full of fire and excitement and the winner here was the stunning Anbally Cloud (Anbally Frankie – Fairy Hill Lass) bred near Tuam by his owner Billy Woods.
Junior Champion was Letterdyfe Rira and Reserve Junior was Gentle Kate
Next in were the big boys, the stallions 4yrs.and over, and the crowd increased around the Ring to watch the difficult judging job presented by 20 magnificent stallions. Currachmore Cashel (Rosenharley Rowley – Tolca Bridge) a veteran now of many major Championships, was the judge’s choice once more this year to head the great line-up with Galway’s Joe Burke. The 9 yr old was bred by his owner Eamonn Burke .
In 2nd place was Inverin man Sean Faherty’s Inverin Rocky (Monaghanstown Pat – Callowfeenish Mist) a 7 yr old bred by John Mulkerrins of Carna.
The 9yr.old Linsfort Barney (Kingstown boy – Inishowen Rosie) a previous winner of this class at Clifden, took the third place with owner Joe McNamara of Clifden. He was bred by Donegal’s John Lynch.
Then it was time for the mature mares, many with foals. One of these winners was Martin Feeney’s home bred 9 yr. old former Galway Show winner Danesfield Heather (Moy Hazy Cove – Danesfield Rose)pic
Another mare who won her 10 – 15 yr.class was Foreglass Lass (Wings of Victory – Foreglass Matchmaker, she belongs to Noel Brett of Mayo. The older Mares Class went to Gearoid Curran’ s 16 yr old April Rose (Streamstown Larry – Errisbeg Rose)
The progeny Class went to Currachmore Cashel whose competing offspring won or were well placed in their Classes, and the stallion was at last awarded the Supreme Championship, much to the joy of Joe Burke and his father Eamonn. Reserve Supreme was Gearoid Curran’s April Rose.
It took 3 or 4 people to carry the many Trophies home that evening to the delighted Burke family. Is this a record ?