Ridden Classes, Midlands ’14
The Ridden Connemara Classes have now become so popular that the large entries in these Classes at the Midland Breeders Show required Judge Bill Bourns to plan her course of action. This she wisely did by deciding to call in to the Ring just half of each Class to show their paces together and singly, followed by the second half and again all together, and she also kept notes on each pony. Twenty plus ponies cantering and galloping together at speed around a Show- ring is not an desirable scenario at the best of times. Even in the 4-5 yr old Ridden Class, which you might expect to be rather restricted, they were all there in Mullingar, about 25 of them. The only problem is that this dividing of Classes required a lot of waiting around on the part of competitors but fortunately the day was mainly dry with a nice fresh July breeze and luckily there were only Four Classes to get through and the real rain held off. The Champion and Reserve from these Classes were both actually owned and ridden by the same rider;
Lakeside Misty, in her first year under saddle, struck gold in the Class for Ridden Mares- which fielded 21 Connemara ponies- when she won this competitive Class, leaving former Clifden Ridden Champion, Niamh Melody’s Nire Valley Belle, expertly ridden by Susasn Cleary, to collect the Blue Ribbon. It was also Lakeside Misty who was finally selected to wear the Champions rug and sash.
Much to the Murphy sisters delight, Grace had won the early Ridden Class for young ponies with her recent purchase, the in-form Rostullis Village Lady, also got the nod as Reserve Champion. Rostullis Village Lady was ridden in the Championship by Grace’s sister Lorna who had taken the day off from what must have been hectic preparations at Willie Mullin’s Yard, preparing to bring a herd –and- a -half of potential winners to the Galway Races the day after Mullingar. Actually one of his horses won the first Race of the Galway Festival and was led in by Lorna. You might call it ‘a fistful of firsts’.
The International Qualifier Class for riders Under 16 went to Galway’s David Connolly riding the family favourite home-bred Rosswood Little Lady, who has been having a good winning season so far this year.
The equivalent Over 16 Qualifier Class for the Performance Connemara Championships -which will be held this year on August 17th at Duffy’s Equestrian Centre in Claregalway – went to Mayo lady Lizzie Naughton riding Padraig Cahill’s 7yr old gelding, Rathmoy Dhuine Uasal. (In English noble or good person) in this 25 strong Class. This pony has been clocking up Show-jumping points and has done some Hunter Trials. It is hoped to see them all at Claregalway on Sun 17 August, just a few days before the start of the Clifden Festival.