Clifden ’15 Day 1,2


Green Working Hunter  and some Rdden Connemaras

Weather was cool but pleasant with some sunshine for the Green Working Hunter Class and two youngstock Loose- jumping competitions on Wednesday at the Clifden Showgrounds

Carnakilly Finn Green WH Champ'15, Lisa Hockley
Carnakilly Finn Green WH Champ’15, Lisa Hockley

The Green WH Championship ran especially smoothly over a flower bedecked course of natural looking fences suitable to beginner  ponies who had qualified for Clifden at recent summer shows. All 10 entrants turned up with the majority performing capably over the fences and in flatwork, judged by Tony Ennis and Philippa Scott and ably abetted by scribe and organiser Denise Norton who originally came up with the idea of this Class to provide competition suitable to the young 4 year old Connemara pony. The ponies were shown in hand also and, differing from the conventional Working Hunter format, were ridden and assessed for rideability and temperament by the Ride Judge, young Philippa Scott, who calmly and skilfully managed her 10 young charges. Marks were totted and in the final roundup it was County Derry’s Jackie Hockley, an annual Clifden Show supporter, who gained the top score for her home-bred stallion Carnakilly Finn by Dexter Leam Pondi, skillfully piloted to success Jackie’s sister  Lisa Hockley.

.Jordan's Clydabbey and Taylor Deane
.Jordan’s Clydabbey and Taylor Deane

On Thursday of Show week the In Hand and later Ridden Classes had a wet start. Competitor numbers were strong, entries were bigger than ever and despite the interminably wet morning most turned up and did their display in the Rings, all ponies beautifully turned out, shining and manicured. This blog snapped a few Connemaras when the rain eased off, including some winners of Ridden Classes. Class C for ponies aged 4-5 years had the largest entry of any of the Ridden Classes which must be a good omen for the future of the performance Connemara. Of the over 20 ponies which entered Ring 2,  judges Catherine Angel and Deborah Gregson, felt obliged, timewise, to ask the back line to leave the Ring before they did their individual show,

 Roo Bella, Sylvia Henry
Roo Bella, Sylvia Henry

which is so disappointing for the riders involved. It’s simply a matter of the ticking clock. It was Taylor Deane who happily took the top prize of €100 back to Co. Carlow with the family owned Jordan’s Clydabbey by Coral King.. Blackwoodland Quince was in Blue rosette position with rider Antonia de Burgh.  In Class D for ponies 6-8 years,one of the bigger classes, Laura McWeeney’s lovely mare Roo Bella  a former Dublin and Balmoral Champion by Coolin America,, was again ridden into first place by her regular rider Sylvia Henry, ahead of Bally G. Ash and Jenny Lindsay.

Carrowkeel Jack, Lucy Glynn
Carrowkeel Jack, Lucy Glynn

.Eleven ponies and their under 16 riders came into the increasingly muddy ring for class E.where the first prize was awarded to Lucy Glynn riding Carrowkeel Jack (Clonberne Boy for Co. Cork owners Heather and Ruth Good).

Melodys Moment, Ciara Connolly. Teach Mor Knight, Charlotte Smiley
Melodys Moment, Ciara Connolly. Teach Mor Knight, Charlotte Smiley

Ruth Good herself rode the gelding to victory in the following class F for riders 16 – 20, but was later disallowed under a rule preventing a winning pony from taking another 1st at the Show. Thus the original 2nd placed pony moved up the line, this was Michael and Mary Connolly’s mare Melody’s Moment (I Love You Melody), ridden by daughter Ciara Connolly with Teach Mor Knight and Charlotte Smiley moving into 2nd place..

Creganna Dandini, M. Hardiman. Rocky Cashel, Antonia de Burgh
Creganna Dandini, M. Hardiman. Rocky Cashel, Antonia de Burgh

In Class G, 17 ponies for riders aged 21 and over entered thde now increasingly squelchy Ring, demonstrating the increasing interest in the pony as the equine of choice for this more mature riding age group. Marjorie Hardiman’s home-bred gelding Creganna Dandini (Cashelbay Prince),with perpormance blood in his veins, was the judge’s choice in this competitive class of many high quality ridden Connemaras winners. Kildare’s Antonia de Burgh riding Phyllis Jones Rocky Cashel by Currachmore Cashel, was once again in Ribbon position, this time with a Blue.

Bertraboy Heaven, Alicia Devlin Byrne
Bertraboy Heaven, Alicia Devlin Byrne

The Side-saddle trophy once again this year went back to Dublin with Susan Denham’s Bertraghboy Heaven (Silver Heaven) and rider Alicia Devlin Byrne

Cashelbay Rocket and Michael Harty
Cashelb Rocket and Michael Harty

Seven of the 10 Ridden stallions entered in class H appeared, two of the seven subsequently showed some giddy stallion behaviour and left the ring. The home-bred Cashelbay Rocket by Cashelbay Cruise with Michael Harty on board was top of the line with the all-round performer, the Breton bred Plume de Kezeg (Janus) in reserve with rider Pauline Dahill.

Ridden Champ and ; Reserve
Ridden Champ and ; Reserve

At the end of a misty drizzly afternoon, it was sunshine all round for Barbara and Robbie Fallon as their stallion Cashelbay Rocket was chosen as Ridden Champions while the Reserve pony was also by another home-bred of theirs, the famed all-rounder Cashelbay Prince, the sire of Creganna Dandini who stood Reserve Ridden Champion.. © Niamhs  Weblog

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