Oughterard 09


Fresh breezes and sunshine helped to raise spirits and to partially dry out the rain-sodden ground for the International Connemara Pony Performance Championships on the last Saturday of August at Oughterard.  This is the day, when finalists from all over Ireland plus those from the U.K. arrive to compete their Connemaras against the best of the breed in both working Hunter and Ridden contests.

Visiting U.K ponies and riders with Judges Sarah Hodgkins and Michael Sharply
Visiting U.K ponies and riders with Judges Sarah Hodgkins and Michael Sharply

It is the highlight of the year for many proud owners and riders with the chance to win one of the day’s Five Championships and maybe even the Supreme.     But Oughterard is not only about competition and winning. Brit team According to British Connemara Society Council member Peter Fitzsimons- who runs eight qualifiers in the U.K- “the Show has a special atmosphere, it’s a friendly place to come to” and he has enjoyed bringing qualified ponies across from England for the last four years. He comments on the markedly improved standard of riding now at Oughterard,

Mr. What wins the Ridden Championship, riders over 16 for Lizzy Maher
Mr. What wins the Ridden Championship, riders over 16 for Lizzy Maher

especially in the Senior ridden Section where Elizabeth Maher’s Mister What (Village King-Meadow Harp) won his first accolade of the day.

Bred by Leslie Lyons between Oughterard and Maam Cross and with back breeding carrying both beauty and performance from Village Belle and Carna Dun,  he is ‘a gentleman’ with temperament second to none, and he and Lizzy have also enjoyed Cross-country and hunting.

Western Congress and Lizzy Naughton Reserve Ridden Champions over 16
Western Congress, 2nd in over 16 Ridden Champs.with Lizzy Naughton

The Deirdre Scott owned Western Congress was Reserve Ridden Champion over 16 with Lizzy Naughton.

Ceide Rose and Clare Brown Ridden Champions under 16
Ceide Rose and Clare Brown Ridden Champions under 16

The Junior (under 16) Ridden Champion in a class of 22 ponies was Nicola Brown’s  Balmoral qualified Céide Rose (Jacks Promise –Rusheen Leag) with Clare Brown  (this pair were last year’s WH. Champions)

Blackwood Fernando (Ferdia – Dancing Queen) was Reserve with rider Alicia Devlin Byrne.

Blackwood Fernando and Alicia Devlin Byrne, under 16 Reserve Ridden Champs.
Blackwood Fernando and Alicia Devlin Byrne, under 16 Reserve Ridden Champs.
Mr what jumps to another Championship
Mr what jumps to another Championship

More was to come for Lizzy Maher and Mister What  when the pair next won the Senior Working Hunter Championship in a field of twelve finalists.  Coincidentally this pair were runners-up in both their Ridden and Working Hunter championships last year.  The jumping track, partly through the woods was a course, which one Judge Pat Byrne astutely described as “one where good riding is necessary as the course is tight; the rider needs to plan the ride carefully and give the pony every help in the deep and holding ground”.

Cashel Bay Benny jumps clear with Emily McCann and takes Reserve
Cashel Bay Benny jumps clear with Emily McCann and takes Reserve

The Reserve to Mr What in this Senior competition was a small but strong dun, show-jumping Connemara named Cashel Bay Benny (Castleside JJ – Gowla Julia).  Breeders Brendan and Mary Coyne of Cashel and owner Liam Whooten happily met at Oughterard to applaud Benny’s success with Kildare rider Emily McCann.

Claremount Lad was U.16 Working Hunter Champion with Adrienne Copithorne
Claremount Lad was U.16 Working Hunter Champion with Adrienne Copithorne

Claremont Lad (Glanns Owen – Annies Honey) with rider Adrienne Copithorne took the Junior Working Hunter Championship home to Cork for owner Kate Fell.

Reserve U 16 WH Champions Tulira Katie Daly and Elaine Creaven
Reserve U 16 WH Champions Tulira Katie Daly and Elaine Creaven

Anne Hemphill’s Tulira Katie Daly (New Beginnings – Tulira Mary Claire) was Reserve with Elaine Creaven (also Junior Leading Rider of the show)

Gleann Rua Native and Sarah Sinnott, Ridden Stallion Champions
Gleann Rua Native and Sarah Sinnott, Ridden Stallion Champions

The Champion Ridden Stallion, Sarah Sinnott’s Gleann Rua Native(Westside Fred – Moonlight) made it a double act (as in Dublin) when his older

Gleann Rua Maxwell, Reserve Champ.Ridden Stallion with Lorna Murphy
Gleann Rua Maxwell, Reserve Champ.Ridden Stallion with Lorna Murphy

full-brother Gleann Rua Maxwell with Lorna Murphy (Oughterard Supreme in ’07) again took Reserve.

Finally the Oughterard Supreme Championship was on the cards, and Mr What and rider again rose to the occasion to take the Michael Dillon Trophy for Supreme Champion.

Mr what Supreme Champ.and Lizzy Maher receive Ml. dillon trophy from Pat Dillon
Mr what Supreme Champ.and Lizzy Maher receive Ml. dillon trophy from Pat Dillon

The Cup, presented by his son Pat, commemorates one of East Galway’s all- round horsemen who kept show-jumping ponies for his children and boarded horses for hunting and trekking all his life.  Two Derby competitions completed the day’s events which ended in brilliant sunshine.

7 a break Ought 09 017
Time for a BREAK --------Then see Sundays pictures below
Nicola Phelan on Mr what receives the Cannon Ball Trophy from Ml. Power
Nicola Phelan on Mr what receives the Cannon Ball Trophy from Ml. Power

Sunday, dull and uncompromisingly wet, saw the Final of the Powers Quarry Cannon Ball Trophy competition, and twenty two young riders bravely piloted their mounts expertly through the ever-increasing mud to perform a showing and jumping round. Pic  The pony chosen to receive the prestigious Cannon Ball Trophy was again Mister What, and this time ridden by under 18 rider Nicola Phelan, at only her second Show with this outstanding  performer.

Tulira Katie Daly & Blackwood Fernando.
Tulira Katie Daly & Blackwood Fernando.

2nd and 3rd place went to Tulira Katie Daly and Blackwood Fernando.

Supreme Performance Connemara Pony Oughterard 2009
Supreme Performance Connemara Pony Oughterard 2009

And here’s Mister What again in Saturday Sunshine.

FOR MORE OUGHTERARD PICS. GO TO  “Performance pics. Oughterard ’09”  under PAGES in Sidebar

Junior Champion Canal Princess with Padraig Hynes
Junior Champion Canal Princess with Padraig Hynes

On Sunday, even in the rain, the In-Hand ponies looked a picture.  Junior Champion was Padraig Hynes’ compact dun Yearling Filly Canal Princess (Hazy Match – Castle Countess).  She takes her colour from her dam who won the championship at clifden in 2001.

Supreme Champ. in-hand. Lakeside Lassie with Ronan Francis Mullen
Supreme Champ. in-hand. Lakeside Lassie with Ronan Francis Mullen

The Supreme Champion had won the Class for Mares 5 – 10 yrs. old without foal at foot; she was Ronan Francis Mullen’s Lakeside Lassie (Streamstown Larry – Hilltop)  {Photo kindly supplied by Ruth Rogers}  The Junior champion Canal Princess was Reserve Supreme.

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