Oughterard Show 2013 Click on pic. to enlarge
Niamh’s Weblog, feeling totally ‘blogged out’ after all the activity of Dublin and Clifden, planned but a short visit to Oughterard to keep the camera in tune.
I hoped to record the Cannon Ball Champion for the 2013 Ridden Final and to snap the Show’s Connemara In-Hand Champion and Reserve. Ridden and Working Hunter classes had taken place at the Saturday Show and one young Cannon Ball contestant, which had been the Side-saddle Winner and the Reserve Ridden Pony Champion on Saturday, was Susan Denham’s home-bred Bertraboy Heaven (Silver Heaven X Maolíosa), with rider Alicia Devlin Byrne.
Changes had taken place in Oughterard and the Cannon Ball is still sponsored by Powers Quarry but the upper age limit of 18 has now been shifted to 25 and the number of fences had increased to 8. The format has evolved too and the Championship has an A category for younger ponies up to 6 years, and ponies 7 and over go in Category B where fences are higher. In earlier days this blogger remembers all of the contestants parading (or sometimes cavorting) along behind a pipe band to start the All Ireland Registered Ridden Connemara Pony Championship. This commotion drew spectators from all over the show-grounds and gave a certain ambiance of colour and pageantry to the proceedings.
Oh well, enough already, I’m sure you’re saying, now give us some results. The A. Winner was the Kilkenny combination of Mayfly Green Peter by Ballinaboy Tom out of Mayfly Brigette, ridden and jumped expertly by young Christine O’Donnell. Green Peter is just 13.2 hh. and (despite his name) is a striking almost-black colour. He is, at age six already a Grade A showjumper and won a recent Working Hunter Championship.
Blue Rosette winner in this Category was Ben Bán Playboy with Aaron Quinn.
The B. category Winner and the eventual Supreme Ridden Champion was the amazing Blackwood Fernando (Ferdia X Dancing Queen) with Alicia Devlin Byrne, a team which has now won the Cannon Ball Trophy on four occasions, in 2007, ’08, ’11 and now in 2013. Aaron Quinn was again in the ribbons in this Category when he was awarded another Blue Rosette with Derrygimlagh Atlantic Storm
In-Hand: The Junior Champion which came from the 3yr old Mares Class, was Sean Dunne’s Garryhinch Vanilla by Monaghanstown Boy X Banks Vanilla. Like her dam, Banks Vanilla, which Sean Dunne imported from Denmark some years ago, Garryhinch Vanilla has become a serial In-Hand winner, (and Banks Vanilla won the Oughterard Championship two years ago before going to England and becoming a top Riding Pony there.)
The Banks family of ponies were to the fore again when a full-brother to Banks Vanilla, Banks Timber (Teglestrup Duke X Banks Square Do Do) won the Stallion Class, with Bartley Conroy’s Conteponi Cashel in 2nd place (Janus X Tolka Bridge). Banks Timber was rated Champion Pony of the Show and Joe Burke happily carried home the Tommy Welby Trophy.