For the 2nd year running the Clifden October Sales ran over 5 days, mainly to accommodate the large numbers of foals coming on the market in the past couple of years. The first two days are given over to Colts, Geldings and Riding ponies on the Thursday and Fillies and Mares on the Friday. For the final three days only Foals are listed with a sprinkling of Brood Mares. Altogether an amazing number of over 700 foals were put through the Ring by a team of auctioneers working at a speedy pace throughout the long days of selling. While breeders have got used to recession style prices it is still disheartening to sell an animal you have bred, nurtured and produced for sale at the current prices and many ponies remained unsold, perhaps as much as 35% of the total. As it can cost up to €1,000 just to produce a mare and her foal up to weaning level, you can understand the disappointment for the small breeder.
Day 1 Thursday, Colts, Geldings
The top price bid of €7,200 had to be that for the well related Class 1 Registered 7 yr.old stallion Kirrin Malachi (Coral Dun – Tawin Bridge). As that great old mare Tolka Bridge is the dam of Tawin Bridge, that links him to two stallions which are prolific Show ring winners and household names in Connemara circles, ie.Currachmore Cashel and Cloon-Eile Cashel. His owner, well-known breeder Eamonn Burke had sent Kirrin Malachi to Paula McPherson’s yard in England for 3 years where he became a proficient Ridden and in-hand Show Ring Champion as well as covering selected mares. Malachi is now back in Galway and as his owner is overstocked with this particular bloodline, hence the sale.
The best sellers among the younger geldings seemed to be those which had been backed, ridden and had clocked up some useful experience. The 4 yr old Toorboy Frankie (Anbally Frankie – Toorboy Moss) was one of those, jumping at training shows and being well brought-on and was sold for €3,250 Euro. This gelding was dun which was an added advantage as it was the dun ponies which created the greatest stir among buyers. A black 3 yr.old Corrib Prince gelding, out of Cailin Cullen was a 13.2 (which had qualified for both the Clifden and South Mayo loose jumping finals), and he was bid to €3,000 but went home unsold.
Luke Egan was loading up to go home having turned down the €3,000 offered for Western Mel (Creemully Western Melody – Western Princess) a 3 yr.old class 1 gelding, backed and ridden, with prize-winning parents, the sire is a Grade A show-jumper and Dressage Champion
Co. Cork’s Jo Wilkinson was selling Duntally Lexus (Glencarrig Lexus – Maumeen Jess) for the Duntally Connemara Stud in Macroom but this 7 yr.old gentle 13.2 an experienced child’s riding pony was only bid to €1,250 in the Ring. Of course the dogs in the street know that in normal times these ponies would have made substantially more.
Maximus (Granahan Champ – Failte) a 15 hh. 4yr.old grey/dun, broken and ridden, made €2,700 for Clare man Donncha Curtin.(No height issue here); This was also the price paid for a 4 yr old dark bay 14 h.h.which had been schooled cross-country, show-jumped and recently gained his first SJAI points. Anything over €2,000 might be considered a fair price in the present circumstances but the majority of vendors were dismayed by the bids below €1,000 offered for a good many ponies;
Mayo’s Padraig Cafferty sold a couple of geldings for fairly decent prices approaching €2,000 but was expecting more for the 4 yr.old 14.1h.h. Duskey (Tempo Active Atlas – Dotto), riding nicely and jumping a cross pole.
Dick Turpin (Bobby Joe – Loughconeera Gaoth Anoir) the 3yr old gelding14.2hh. only backed two weeks ago, riding quietly in the ring for Darren Walsh, made E.1,150 Buyers Buyers however were in their element. Cathy Heanue from Westport was very pleased with her €1,200 purchase of the 2yr old Main Man Bob (Bunowen Bobby – Laragan Thyme), and she looks forward to bringing- on the gelding at a later date.
English visitor Sarah Baker and her son Sam were inspecting a Glencarrig Prince 5yr old 13.2hh.gelding out of Starlit (Ashfield Festy) and watching him jump in the sand arena in his calm sure-footed way, he seemed an attractive proposition especially since Westport’s Owen Hallinan has given this pony cross-country experience also.
For MORE SALES INFO : Part rwo, See Sidebar on left under ‘Pages’, see ‘Sales, 4 Days, Oct 09 under Clifden Mart Oct Sales 09 or click on https://ardcru.wordpress.com/clifden-mart-oct-sales-09/sales-days-2345-clifden-oct-09/
Footnote: On a general note concerning the 3yr.old’s on offer with riding and jumping experience, Connemara judge and experienced teacher and pony producer Judy Cazabon had this to say. “Why ? broken, ridden and jumping at only 3 years of age?. While it’s OK to have a pony backed and ridden-on lightly at this age, the Connemara’s growth and development is a gradual process and certainly hard work and serious jumping should not begin until the animal has reached a mature four. The over-working of young Connemaras can cause permanent damage to the limbs and can amount to cruelty and should not be tolerated.”