Banks Vanilla, Olympia Qualifier 2012
**** News on the CPBS Christmas Newsletter. Four other Connemara Ponies are billed to take part in M & M at Olympia. Niamh’s Weblog would like to wish each of them every enjoyment and success. They are Walstead Cartier, Braemar Be Lucky, Galloon Rollover and Ridgeweay Silver Trinket. The Pony showing seasons 2010 and ’11 were stellar showing years on the Irish Connemara showing circuit for Banks Vanilla (Teglstrup Duke – Squares DoDo), a strikingly beautiful 7 year old mare which Sean Dunne had purchased from her breeder Jytte Bank Mikklesen while on a judging assignment in Denmark in 2007. The Offaly breeder and judge describes Vanilla as “the best mare I’ve ever owned ” and she went on to win numerous accolades throughout Ireland during the next couple of years. These included half a dozen Supreme Championships, including the Midland Breeders show on two occasions; Ballinalee and Oughterard were also victories for her and this unstoppable pony emerged as the judges’ final choice of all Ireland Broodmare Champion at the Midland Breeders Show at Annagharvey in 2010
A noted Connemara pony enthusiast Noel Noonan of Ardbear in Clifden then purchased Banks Vanilla in Oct. 2011 and he and his family at Manor Connemara Ponies prepared her to compete across the water in 2012 as a Ridden Connemara in England in the capable hands of a young experienced pony rider and producer Sam Roberts. An outstsanding showing season followed , making showing headlines when this pair won all around them and finally took the most prestigous award of all at the Horse of the Year show in early October, becoming the winners of the mixed Connemara/New Forest Pony of the Year class which had 23 ponies competing. Noel found it totally unbelievable to see their Novice pony taking 1st place in the final line-up with mainly Open ponies. Vanilla with rider Sam also carried away the season’s ‘consistent achievement award’ and subsequently qualified for the spectacular pre-Christmas Olympia 6 day Show, commencing this year on Sunday 16th. At Olympia there is only one single class combining all native breeds, with 40 ponies entered, being held there on the final day, the 23rd. It has to be one of the most competitive showing classes in existance.! Best of luck there to Banks Vanilla and all her connections. After yhis eventful season Noel says she will be retired to brood mare duties back home.
Her family connections who have taken ribbons in Irish Show rings this year include a daughter Garryhinch Vanilla by Monaghanstown Boy who won her 2yr old Filly Class at Clifden this year and also took home the Reserve Junior Champion Sash.
Banks Timber, a full brother to Banks Vanilla belongs to Westmeath’s Seamus Hynds and the 4yr old colt was shown by Joe Burke to come 2nd in the 4-6 year old Stallion Class at Clifden.
Another outstanding Manor Farm pony to make a name for herself in Irish showing circles is Roscon Windy Lady a six year old by Laerkens Cascade Dawn X Winnie (by Windys Boy). Her breeding traces back to Dale Haze, Mervyn Kingsmill and Ashfield Festy. Bred by PJ Watson in Athlone she had Show-ring successes with Henrietta Knight in the U.K. for a few months before coming back to the Noonan family in Clifden where she was to continue her winning In-Hand ways. Two years in a row, in ’10 and ’11 saw her win her Mare Class at Clifden. Another extremely competitive Class at the end of the ’10 season saw Rosscom Windy Lady emerge as an all- Ireland Mare Champion at the Roundstone Champion of Champions Show. She has successfully bred 2 foals and this summer Noel sent her to well-known Connemara pony Producer Vanessa Compton in England to be covered by a former HOYS winner, the Henry O’Toole bred Castle Comet. While there Vanessa decided to show her at the prestigious British Connemara Pony Society In-Hand Show where Rosscon Windy Lady proceeded to sweep the boards winning not alone the Brood Mare Championship but also the Cluggan Cup and the Supreme In-Hand Championship. She is now back, hopefully in foal, to spend a quieter hotliday at home in Connemara where she will shortly be joined by former grazing- coimpanion, Banks Vanilla.
All photos © Niamh’s Weblog. Books information @ www.marne.ie