Ponies to watch ’14. Dressage, Jumping, In-Hand

Blackwood Dancer, Alanna, Clifden Spring Festival ’14


Alana Cazabon Sullivan from Cleggan in Connemara and her Connemara gelding Blackwood Dancer (Ferdia X Dancing Queen) has qualified for this year’s European Championships at the end of July in Millstreet Co. Cork.   P. S  However circumstances dictated a last minute change of plan and he did not appear at this year’s Europeans.  Hope to see him at next year’s Europeans.

Blackwood Dancer, Alana Cazabon Sullivan

‘Dancer’ has been a consistent top Dressage partner for Alana both in Ireland and in Britain during the past two years.  He has been Dressage Ireland Connemara Pony of the Year each year this pair have been competing.  Alana’s mother Siobhan and grandmother Judy have been stalwart supporters in all Dressage related activities in the cleggan area of Connemara for some years now.

Although he is not by any means a Connemara pony it’s not possible to omit Alana’s other ride, Dancer’s stable mate for the past six months.  Shermeers Hof Arendsoog is a Welsh pony bred in the Netherlands and this 12 year old 147 cms.  pony stallion has competed in Dressage both in Europe and in Britain for a number of years.

Shermeere Hof Arendsoog, Alana Cazabon.Sullivan '14
Shermeere Hof Arendsoog, Alana Cazabon.Sullivan ’14

Fourteen year old Alana and ‘Ari’ have been working together since November last and although not a Connemara pony he is now a full-time resident in Cleggan Connemara, an adopted son so to speak, in the Connemara pony herd!    Highlight so far this year was at the Dressage Masters in Hickstead where they won the FEI Pony Team and Individual Test competitions and got the highest score of all the Pony, Junior and Young Riders to clinch the Under 21 Championship. They also scored over 71% in the Medium Championship, a personal best at that level for both pony and rider.  See them both at the Millstreet European Pony Championships which run at this County Cork venue from Tuesday 29 July to Sunday 3 August.



Newtown Molls Pride, Mikaela Weld, 2013
Newtown Molls Pride, Mikaela Weld, 2013


Newtown Molls Pride is by Fredericksminde Hazy Match X Newtown Moll.  Eight years ago he was bought as a foal by Cashel’s Máirtín Nee from his breeder Peter Kyne of Moycullen.  He sired 15 progeny before Connemara pony producer Emily McCann purchased him from Mairtin Nee, took him back  to Co. Wicklow and produces him there as a performance pony.

Newtown Molls Pride, Mikaela Weld
Newtown Molls Pride, Mikaela Weld


Niamh’s Weblog  spotted this 145cms. Class 1 Stallion for the first time at the Finals of the International Connemara Performance Championships at the Parks, Moycullen, Co. Galway  in Sept. 2013 where he excelled with rider Mikaela Weld and won both the

Newtown Molls Pride, Triple Sash winner ICCPA Championships
Newtown Molls Pride, Triple Sash winner ICCPA Championships

under 16 Working Hunter Supreme Championship and the Stallion Working Hunter Supreme  Championship and Mikaela also took the Leading Rider Under 16 Award.
This year he has been Show-jumped to Grade A. by Mikey Pender and has been winning Workers with Allyssa O’Neill.  They travelled to Chesire County Show in June where they landed the Ponies UK  Working Hunter Supreme Championship Qualifier to Horse of the Year Show.  They also carried home the UK Winter Classic Working Hunter Qualifier for 2015.   Moll’s Pride was the winner of the RDS Equitation Qualifier in Cavan with Mikey Pender and his owner/producer Emily McCann rode him to qualify for the Connemara Performance Hunter at the RDS in August.  Back to show-jumping again where Mikey Pender won two Show-jumping Leagues at 1.20 metres this season.

Newtown Molls Pride, Alyssa O'Neill 2014 pic.Deborah McCann
Newtown Molls Pride, Alyssa O’Neill 2014. pic.Deborah McCann

This pony is ‘bred in the purple’ as far as performance is concerned as he traces back to Tully Grey, the amazing 138cms. Connemara stallion who won every show- jump competition he entered in the 1960’s and 1970’s with the Harold family of Longford and who sired Hazy Dawn, the grandsire of Newtown Moll’s Pride.  Marble, Abbeyleix Fionn, Kimble and Carna Dun are also in the bloodlines, so if genes account for anything, they are there in spades, and Newtown Moll herself, if she understood, could be justly proud!  You have the opportunity to see him give a jumping demonstration with Jason Foley at the Europeans in Millstreet on Thurs 31 July at the revised time of 4.pm.in the Main International Arena.


Carrowkeel Star, Fiona Grimes, Roundstone '14
Carrowkeel Star, Fiona Grimes

Carrowkeel Star by Currachmore Cashel X Lishín Star, is a seven year old mare bred and owned by Mayo couple Fiona and Tomás Grimes.  With a calm and very biddable temperament she has bred 3 foals but was never shown until this season. This year Fiona and Tomás decided to take her to Balmoral Show in Belfast last May, where her dam Lishín Star (Glencarrig Prince X Dunlewy Lishín Liath) had been judged Connemara Champion in 2013.  Now it was Carrowkeel Star’s first ever Show and to the delight of her owners, she followed in her dam’s footsteps, winning the Connemara Show Champion Award again.

At Galway County Show Star was judged Champion Mare of the Show and she won her Mare Class at Claddaghduff and Roundstone Shows also.

Victors run-up the village, Roundstone
Victors run-up the village, Roundstone
Equifestival '14
Equifestival ’14

But Tomás and Fiona were really bowled over at Equifestival 2014 in Cavan where Carrowkeel Star – who was a New Year’s Day Filly foal seven years ago, took every possible honour available to a Connemara Mare at the Show.

Winner 4yr + Connemara;  Winner 4yr + Mountain & Moorland; Supreme Champion  Mountain & Moorland;  Supreme Champion Connemara;  Supreme Champion in-hand, all at Equifestival 2014.

Equifestival Ribbons, June '14
Equifestival Ribbons, June ’14

As Tomás describes it  “Carrowkeel Star represented the Connemara Pony Breed with pride and distinction today, when going up against the Supreme Champions of all the other types and breeds of horses and ponys, she was judged (by all the judges of the show!!) the Supreme Champion of them all at Equifestival 2014.   Fiona resembled a Xmas Tree at the end of the Show!!! Decorated in all the sashes and rosettes”.

All 2013 photos are © Niamh’s Weblog.    Books at http://www.marne.ie



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