Ridden Connemara Ponies
Judges Clare Dew, Madeleine Beckman and nineteen young Connemara ponies with their riders and grooms, had an 8am start in ring 2 on Thursday but Niamh’s Weblog must confess to not having viewed this early Class. I will now fast-forward to Class 76 when seven powerful Connemara pony stallions entered Ring 2.
Called in to receive the Red Rosette was John Murray’s Plume de Kezeg, the 11yr.old Breton-bred sire by Janus who has distinguished himself in both Ridden and Working Hunter Classes at Clifden, Cork, Oughterard, the RDS and many other Show. He is currently ridden by Sadhbh Kelleher and they were also chosen by the Judges as this year’s RDS Connemara Ridden Champion. The Reserve Champion too came from the Ridden Stallion class.
This Co. Mayo stallion Carracanada River by Templebready Fear Bui was ridden by his owner Kirstin MacDonagh – who had jumped him in the Performance Hunter the previous day. Kirsten was also the owner of the former top Show jumper Ross Loobeen, the sire of Carracanada River’s Dam so she ‘knew the family’ pretty well.
Now back to square 1 and Class 73. The Class winner in the 4 and 5 yr. old Ridden ponies was Glencairn Ivy by Andy’Pride, a 4yr. old mare which was bred by Joan Dahill in Co. Waterford and has been schooled and advanced by Joan’s daughter- rider Pauline Dahill. This combination had taken the laurels in the Green Working Hunter Final at Clifden Connemara Pony Show almost one year ago.
Laura McWeeney’s Roo Bella by Coolin America, won her ridden class at Balmoral in 2013 (where this pic. comes from) and got the nod for 2nd place in this Dublin Class of 19 young ponies.
Class 74 was for riders under 17 and Patrice Byrne’s Glencroft Aruba by Patty’s Bastian, ridden by Emma Byrne was the Red ribbon choice of the Judges. Marina Wrays Gardenvale Girl by Monaghanstown Fionn was next called in and rider Chloe McArthur happily accepted her Blue rosette. These younger riders had chosen outfits a cut above the rest in various shades of tweed jackets and colourful hair ribbons, whereas the older riders favoured mainly brown or greenish tweed and plain ties. Anyway all combinations were beautifully turned- out and much ‘coat whitener’ was obviously used before the Show. Naturally some ponies were spooked by the atmosphere and Ladies Day crowds, Pumch and Judy noises, and the large surrounding stands and buildings, which is never ‘pony friendly’
Class 75 had 18 ponies entered and all rider riders were over 17 years. The winner which was bred by Orla and Michael Igoe, Kippure Norma is a 10 year old mare by Troubador and was ably ridden by Debbie Boylan Whyte.
She was followed into 2nd place by Ruth Good’s Carrowkeel Jack by Clonberne Boy ridden by Heather Murray Good. Congratulations to all of these winners.
Editors note. Connemara Pony Showing as it now stands – versus the ‘faults system’ of competition jumping – is very much a question of a judges’ personal opinion and ability to differentiate between many similar white ponies coming before them in a class; is it really wise for a commentator to name names as each pony comes before a Judge? Many Judges may then recognise and be influenced by the names and showing records of many owners and ponies. Agricultural Shows have traditionally been run on the basis that Judges do not know the animals that come before them and are thus free to evaluate what they see on the day. Knowing that the current ethos of the RDS is to keep ‘mere spectators’ happy and the patter and the music going at all costs, it might be of more value to aid judges by supplying a scribe who will jot down judging comments- favourable or unfavourable- on each animal. These notes can then be consulted by judges before their final selection. PS Many owners I know will agree with this! Pictures, except Roo Bella, © Niamh’s Weblog
More Ridden Connemara photos