Click on picture to enlarge. If you spot errors please let me know, they will be corrected There was a sunny mid-morning Wednesday start for the Connemara Performance Hunter Championships, the seventh year for this very successful Connemara pony challenge which started off as a single Connemara Working Hunter competition back in 2008.
The farming theme which gives this track its unique colour and character was in place from year two (all farm animals have survived the 6 years including the large cow!) The division into two Championship Classes, for younger and for older ponies, began in the second year.
All Connemara riiders competing at Dublin are familiar with the rules and guidelines as they have had to qualify at venues throughout Ireland. It’s a Derby style course, which is a cross between Working Hunter and Hunter Trials obstacles. It has a unique marking system with 300 points to aim for. Points are given for the Jumping phase out of 190, where rhythm and fluency, rider technique and harmony of rider with the pony all count for extra points. The Flat work phase can yield up to 90 points and the In-hand Conformation Inspection phase is worth another 30 points. The Winner this year, Josie Jump by Currachmore Cashel was bred by Martin Burke of Corrundulla near Galway, and he was sold as a ridden pony to Jason Higgins as a 5 yr old in 2012 at the Clifden Mart. Twelve weeks later he was winning the RDS Cup for the Junior Performance Hunter. Wexford horseman J.J. Bowe then purchased him and Jason again jumped him to victory at Dublin 2013 and Josie Jump had his third consecutive win this year.
In the Reserve Champion’s slot was Lucy Kelly’s Monivea Boy ( sorry no pic.yet) and
3rd was Joan Dahill’s Glencairn Ivy by Andy’s Pride ridden by Pauline Dahill who had won the Clifden’s Green Working Hunter final last year. Next day this combination went on to win the Riding Class on Thursday, for young Connemara ponies.
The second Championship Class also had an entry of 16 more mature ponies, aged from 8 to15 years, and was jumped over a more demanding course. Bernie Whyte’s 8yr old gelding Ardagh Bobby by Glenayre Mystical Bobby was ridden to victory by her son, 14 year old Thomas, to take the Winners purse and RDS Perpetual Cup back to County Longford.
Reserve was Phyllis Jones’ Rocky Cashel by Currachmore Cashel ridden by Antonia de Burgh. So the renowned stallion Currachmore Cashel had sired the Champion in the Young Ponies Class and the Reserve Champion in the Older Ponies Class. p.s. this weblog again missed the first Class so Josie Jump pic.dates from RDS 2013.
Pics © Niamh’s Weblog
In the Gallery below see more photos;