Connacht Spring Show 2014 Click on pic. to enlarge. For Books go to http://www.marne.ie
.Ballinrobe Racecourse in Mayo is set just outside the town in the legendary Plain of Moytura which stretches over many miles of deep, level, fertile, farmland, right to the waters of Loughs Corrib and Mask. Three thousand years ago Moytura was the site of the first great recorded battle in Irish history when the Fir Bolgs and the Tuatha De Danann, fought a fierce battle lasting 4 days for possession of the territory. Happily the scene could not have been more peaceful when the 3rd annual 2 Day Connacht Spring Show was held under a mesmerising wide sky of painterly clouds and sunshine at the Racecourse last weekend.
As well as Connemara Ridden and In-Hand Classes, there was a variety of Welsh pony and IPS Classes on the day. Shown here is 8 year old Abigail Quin on her Welsh Section A, Rhosbren Annerch or Anna for short.
The Ridden Connemara Championship went to a 7 year old young mare on only her 2nd outing this season. At Clifden last year she had won her In-Hand class and this year is her first under saddle. Lakeside Misty by Ross Castle Fred was expertly ridden by her owner/trainer, Grace Murphy to win the Senior Class as well as her In-Hand Class. The pair had, just a few days earlier, carried off a 2nd prize at the recent Balmoral Show Ridden class.
Reserve was the winner of the U16 Ridden class, Cahir Heather by Robe Earl, a lovely compact 138cms Connemara adeptly ridden by local girl Alison McGreal. The dam of this 7yr old mare is Caperann Cara.
The Champion In-Hand pony was the winner of the 4-6 Class, the Geoffrey Heanue bred and owned 4yr old Derrylough April by Castlestrange Fionn ex Starlight Butterfly who is by Coosheen Thyme. According to Judge Jimmy Canavan, this mare has everything you want to see in a Connemara. With her depth of girth and great middle section to carry a foal, she will excell as a broodmare. Her step and ground covering movement will give her the scope to be a good performance pony also. He believes Derrylough April is a really good specimen, a model for the breed.
Foxford Candy by Earl of Newbridge, winner of her Mare Class, was chosen with her filly foal, a Class winner also, to take the Reserve Champion’s Sash. She is out of Danesfort Dunphy and foal is by Clonberne Boy. Cathleen Cunny is the owner/breeder of Foxford Candy.
Niamh’s Weblog missed quite a few of the earlier Classes including the Junior Championship which was won by Raymond Conneely’s Bell Squire,the 2yr old Colt by the owner’s own Bay Shadow out of Bell supreme. However we have a picture of the winner of the Stallion Class. This was Padraig Gannon’s 8 year old Cornarone Hazy Lad by Fredericksminde Hazy Match X Atlantic Colettte by Slisneoir.
A welcome returned equine emigrant, the well known Castleside JJ (Westside Mirah X Errislannon Hollyhock by Cuchulainn) has been bought back back to his original home with his original owners Michael and his son Jack Rabbette of Castlebar. The 20 year old stallion had spent the past 10 years in Sweden with Christine Blad where he sired many progeny and competed successfully in 1.20 metre jumping. He had been bought as a foal by Jack and was a prolific winner in hand, loose jumping and under saddle. Prior to his Swedish sojourn Castleside JJ had won the Millstreet Discovery, he has bred Clifden and HOYS winners and All- Ireland Champion of Champions and is a now grand-sire of Clifden winners. He is at stud to a limited number of mares, preferably those with a performance background.
Pictured below are photos of other ponies in the ribbons at the Show. All Photos © Niamh’s weblog