LED CONNEMARAS, Day One Click on picture to enlarge. For Day 2Two Click Here
The In-Hand Connemara Pony Classes were the first to grace the manicured green lawn of Ring 2 on Day One at Dublin’s annual Horse and Pony extravaganza. On display were mares and stallions to impress the large crowd already gathered to admire the grace, beauty, strength and movement of our Native pony. Entries were up slightly from last year’s record low numbers and 18 Connmaras, divided into a mare and a stallion class, displayed their unique qualities.
Owner Cian Geoghegan was an early winner when his 7yr. old Coosheen Lisa (Coosheen Stormboy-Coosheen Linnet – in the capable hands of Gearoid Curran –topped the Class and carried the red rosette forward into the Championship class to accept the Michael O’Connell perpetual Trophy. Breeder Elizabeth Petch, who had Clifden wins with Coosheen Lisa’s forebears, Coosheen Finn and Village Belle, was delighted to witness her success in the Dublin Ring..
P.J. Burke from Oughterard, with his home-bred mare Creggrush Realta (Castlestrange Fionn-Cailín Dána) was runner-up in the Mare class.
All of the 8 stallions in their class made for an impressive display of power and strength and Judges Mrs. O.Haslett and Dr. O.Wedekind choose as their top stallion Merryn Huntley-Jones’ 9yr.old Killacloran (Moy Hazy Cove-Castle Star) bred by Henry O’Toole of Clifden and bought as a yearling at the Clifden Sales by his handler, Fergal Kavanagh. Killacloran also stood Reserve to Champion Coosheen Lisa.
Runner-up in the Stallion class was Jarlath Grogan’s Annaharvey winner Mountain Cascade (Laerkens Cascade Dawn-Mountain Lady)
Sadly there were no foals (bar one) or young-stock on view to impress the assembled spectators from home and overseas. (If you have the patience / interest, you might glance through the Blog’s Pages and comments from the ’09 Show)
PERFORMANCE CHAMPIONSHIPS, Day one
The Performance Hunter Championships commenced at 11.30, with a varied and spooky course of fences in Ring 2. The track eye-catcher fence had to be the tall evergreen broody-owl jump, (whose four big round eyes surveyed most of the Ring),. Many riders had competed with their ponies in one or more of seven demanding qualifiers around the country and 34 finalists were now at Ballsbridge to compete for the impressive prizes on offer thanks to Wm.Bird (Sales) Ltd., sponsors of all Connemara classes on Wednesday and Thursday.
All ponies were well-schooled and practised, even in the initial Class of young ponies, 5 – 7 years, and the packed-to-capacity seating held a captivated crowd round the Ring. Marks are allotted on a precise system for flatwork and halt(30%), jumping fluency (70%) and conformation (10%). The Championship went to a talented young Co.Galway rider Padraic Flanagan and the foot-perfect 7yr.old stallion, Young Walt (Castlestrange Fionn-Dangan Suzy). His owner / breeder, Galway’s Bertie O’Halloran, has brought his stallion up to a high performance-level under dedicated trainers Pascal and Claire Crawford of Corofin in Galway. His dam was bred by the late Paddy Carr and Dangan Suzy produced Young Walt in her first year with Bertie. Young Walt had Show-ring and Loose-jumping wins as a youngster.
A Grade B Show-jumper. this pony has done Dressage, has Evented and has even been driven in harness.and he has now gained a coveted RDS perpetual Trophy. “He will now be back in his field where he loves to gallop, for a break until Clifden and Oughterard later this month” “He will do anything he is asked and is so laid-back and adaptable”.says Bertie.
In second place was James Winterbotham’s Ciaróg (Mac Owen – Glasóg) ably piloted by Sally Goodbody.
Coming in a close third was Fiona Callaghan’s (Ashfield Troubadour (Troubadour-Asfield Blue Moll) with Amy Whittle..
The 2nd Performance Championship was run over a slightly modified and more challenging track for the ponies aged eight and over.
It was again Padraic Flanagan who took the Championship trophy, this time riding Robbie & Barbara Fallon’s home-bred Cashel Bay Prince (I Love You Melody – Cosheen Pheasant), a 9yr. old stallion who has done it all, again under the guidance of Pascal and Claire Crawford.
This Premier Stallion’ s C.V includes major wins at Cavan, Oughterard, Clifden.and the RDS and to boot he is a Grade A Show-jumper and has competed in Dressage, Working Hunter and Ridden Classes with success both here and in Britain. It was an amazing feat for Padraig Flanagan to complete a double on two stallions.
Katie Moffat with Jill Moffatt’s Iratu Varagnac (Abbeyleix Fionn-Siobhán) – last year’s champion – played bridesmaid to Cashel Bay Prince this year, having won last year’s Championship with her mother’s French-bred mare. In 3rd place was Amanda Dempsey,s Cloonisle Cashel Blue( Cloonisle Cashel-Goodbye My Love) and rider Clare Brown.
It must be said that the running of the two classes, each with three phases, ran ultra-efficiently and speedily and results were broadcast immediately on completion of both competitions.
For Part 2, Thurs.Ridden Classes Click on https://ardcru.wordpress.com/r-d-s-connemaras-2010/dublin-rds-10-part-2/
All photos © Niamh’s Weblog. WWW.MARNE.IE