Knockdoe Walnut, (see more in the Park Ponies post in February.)She is a lovely example of a Connemara pony and now alive and well at the great old age of 37, (is this a record?). Knockdoe Walnut is a 138cms. pony with good bone, a pretty head and a sweet nature which makes her very popular with children.
She is by Marble (by Rebel Wind X Callowfeenish Dolly 2nd) and is out of Walnut Brown (by Clonjoy X Derry Glen Rebel.)
Knockdoe Walnut is the last surviving mare of the original Connemara Park ponies, who were placed in the National Park at Letterfrack in Connemara. She is also the last of the original Phoenix Park ponies. The four Phoenix Park Connemara fillies were presented by the Connemara Society to the then President Erskine Childers at Arus an Uachtarain in the Phoenix Park in Dublin in 1974. President Childers died suddenly shortly afterwards and the ponies were dispersed to a variety of centres around Ireland until they were rehomed in Connemara in the newly opened National Park in 1979.
She was taken to Shows in her younger days by her Park minders and usually came home with rosettes.
Knockdoe Walnut was bred near Claregalway by James Healy and had several foals including one filly Park Maeve, by Loobeen Larry who grew quite tall although Walnut was a relatively small pony. Park Maeve’s daughter, Park Stephanie by Abbeyleix Owen is currently used at Errislannon Riding Centre in Connemara as a ‘school mistress’ pony as she was gifted to Stephanie Brooks on leaving the Park after many years of service as a pony custodian. (This pony appears in the August Post ‘posing’ as a creel-carrying pony in the Working Ponies display. Requisitioned at short notice, that morning was the first time she had seen or carried creels, so with her docile nature – like her grandam Knockdoe Walnut – Park Stephanie is much loved by the Pony Club children at Errislannon). Walnut also foaled a gelding son Park Peppermint by Murphy Rebel. There was also a gelding, Park Owen Ri in 1991, Where are they now, I wonder?
Baby Perry aged 37.
It was nice to hear another story of a very old mare, a family favourite. From Nicky Crosby of Ballinasloe came this interesting email about the family’s 37 year old Connemara mare: “Something that may or may not be of interest to you: Baby Perry Reg 5587 Dun Connemara, Born 1972 has only 2 weeks ago passed away. She was a great age at 37 and served all of our family well.
Baby Perry was by Rebel Wind ex Star of Tully she was a trooper of a pony and loved a good gallop in the fog! She won at Spiddal and in Working Hunter and Connemara classes in the 80’s and 90’s. She was also used as one of our riding school ponies. Perry was the last of our “old” stock and will be sadly missed ”.
If you own or know of another Connemara as old as these two, I would love you to get in touch, with something about the pony and a picture or two. www.marne.ie