In the first RDS page I have information and pictures of the In-hand and the Performacnce Championships. The Ridden Connemaras are in a separate page, see under Part 2. Please forgive lack of names for pictures and please drop me a line if you know identies. Niamh. email@example.com
Perform Champs at RDS 2009
The second Connemara Performance Hunter Championship was a larger and more elaborate double-class event than its predecessor last year at this venue. One difference was that this year qualifiers were held during July in various centres around the country and attracted many Eventing and Show jumping ponies.
However, only about half of the entries in each 18 strong class made it into the Catalogue which was disappointing both for competitors and for spectators who did not find their way to the hidey-hole ‘Start Lists’ office behind the Anglesea stand. It suggests that some qualifiers ran too late in July for results to get to the RDS.
The course in Ring 1 on Wednesday morning was amazing; it was inventive, imaginative, challenging, spookey and very different from a traditional Working.Hunter track. The improved drainage in the Ring was a bonus too.
All ponies performed before Irish Judge .Mary McCann and M.Sharpley from England, and the three phases of the competition Riding, Jumping, and Showing In-hand flowed simultaneously and efficiently in the large Ring 2.
Most of the Connemara ponies and riders were well prepared for the Jumping as they had experienced the cross-country Qualifier tracks and all got around the course.
Particularly fluent was the winner of the older pony Class (age 8 and up) the brilliant and experienced French- born Eventing pony Iratu Varagnac (Abbeyleix Fionn – Siobhán)- Siobhán traces back to Tulira Rocket of Showjumping fame. The 13 year old gelding, (who came to the Co. Kerry Moffatt family via France and England), and rider Katie Moffatt proved to be a winning combination and the pair have also been recently selected for the Irish Pony Eventing high performance squad.
The blue rosette for 2nd went to Melanie Young aboard Newtown Westie (Westside Mirah – Derrymore Lass)
In the younger pony competition (5 to 7 yrs old) it was Co. Down’s Rachel Suffern and her 7 yr. old gelding Annagh Storm (Ashfield Festy – Caltra Lass) who gained the highest winning marks, with Comical Con (Crusheen Comet – Crusheen Connie) in 2nd place for Katie Lyons
It was a great shame that the RDS this year ran only two In-hand Connemara Classes, a general filly/mare class with 8 entries and the usual Stallion class with 9 stallions entered, athough not all entries appeared on the day. This potential showcase for the breed at this prestigious Show was done and dusted by 10 am. well before the crowds arrived. Last year there were four In-hand Classes but insufficient entries this year obviously led to down-sizing. Performance classes for Connemaras have become extremely popular and Dublin gave a tremendous boost to our native pony this year when the interest and enthusiasm from the huge crowd watching the Hunter classes was palpable. That is all well and good but the breeding stock, the backbone of the future performance pony, should be treated with the greatest respect.
Showing opportunities for ponies encourages breeder/owners to try to produce the best for the Showring, that is, ponies true to type, with sound movement and good conformation. The RDS has been, and should continue to be, an important national shop-window for the breed. The bottom line however is money. Currently it is simply too costly for most (small farmers) outside Dublin to pay travel and entry fees, plus accommodation in the capital. The €253 entry fee per class is simply too much in recessionary times especially compared with the average entry fee of €10 to €15 for provincial Shows. The winning In-hand mare with her foal hailed from Dundalk; this was Francis O’Reilly’s 13 yr.old Glenmore Kelly’s Owen (Abbeyleix Owen – Gentian Gold. The 11 yr.old stallion Knockillaree Tomás (Calla Boy – Annaghdown Dusty) was produced and shown professionally and in top condition by owner Roger Joyce who added a Dublin 1st to the many prizes, both in-hand and ridden that this pony has earned over the past couple of years. He also won the Reserve Championship.
Reserve Stallion class winner wasRobbie and Barbara Fallon’s 6 yr. old Cashelbay Cruise (I Love You Melody –Coosheen Pheasant), a full brother to performance stallion Cashelbay Prince.
If you are still interested, you can see some of the Ridden Ponies in Part 2 under Pages, or Click on https://ardcru.wordpress.com/dublin-rds-connemaras-part-1/dublin-connemara-ridden-classes-09-part-2/