Midland Connemara Pony Breeders Show July 26 ’09
As a Connemara Show it was a feast for all Connemara pony afficionados with 24 In-Hand and 9 Performance Classes. Entries were phenomenal in the majority of classes with double the numbers of last year’s entries in the Performance section alone. Katie Miller, Sarah’s daughter, was very pleased with the increased numbers in the Sarah Millar Future Performance Connemara Pony competition this year, 18 had entered.
The late Sarah Millar was always interested in providing competition to suit the younger pony and this competition in her memory, “aims to promote the production of quality Connemara Performance ponies by evaluating and recognising up and coming talent.” Consisting of a Dressage Test , judged by Ninnie Odenrick, to start, testing obedience and movement, followed by a Working Hunter Round over a Derby style course including a bank, it is rounded off by the conformation, movement and presentation section. Ponies must be between 4 – 8 yrs. old and riders under 18 and they are assessed by 3 Judges on the day. presentation The prestigious Sarah Miller Cup was presented this year by Countess April Merveldt, well known Connemara judge and breeder, and the winner was Cloragh April Jewel (Ashfield Hunters Jewel X Milford Ladybird) ridden to victory by Wicklow’s Joanna Tottenham, who-during one of the day’s torrential pelting showers- happily accepted her trophy.
Jack Bolger, Wicklow, rode Peadar Murphy’s stallion Springfield Shadow (Innellan Kestrel X Meavis).into Reserve position.
The 4 hour drive from Tyrone must have seemed worthwhile for sisters, Amy and Hannah Whittle as they came 3rd and 4th respectively in the Sarah Miller competition on their ponies Ashfield Jack Sparrow (Wings of Victory X Dooneen May Lady) and Ashfield Troubadour (Troubadour X Ashfield Blue Moll)
The ridden Judge, Heather Wright, chose the under 16 Class winner, Blackwood Fernando (Ferdia X Dancing Queen), ridden to perfection by Alicia Devlin Byrne, to receive the Ann Madden Championship Trophy.This pair also won the under 16 Working Hunter and picked up a 2nd in the Open Performance Working Hunter class under Judge Denise Norton.
The under 16 Ridden Class runner-up, Cock Robin (Robin Hood X Apple Blossom)and rider Michelle Mallon were awarded Reserve Ridden Cock Robin also came 3rd, ridden by Susan Anderson, in the over 16 Riding section and this pair next went on to take the Ridden Gelding qualifier. The Eamon McElwee owned gelding, who has Abbeyleix Owen and Westside Fred in his back breeding, also qualified for the Oughterard Powers Quarry Championship with Michelle Mallon. A first, second and third plus two qualifiers. Not a bad days work!.
The over 16 Ridden winner was Elizabeth Maher’s Mr. What (Village King X Meadow Harp), winner at Oughterard and Clifden last year.
The prolific winning pair, Tulira Katie Daly (New Beginnings X Tulira Mary Claire) and Elaine Creaven were on top form to take the Open Performance Class from runner up Blackwood Fernando and Alicia Devlin Byrne.
These two combinations are seldom out of the top two Connemara Performance placings and it was Fernando and Alicia who won the under 16 Working Hunter class on this occasion, making it two 1st and a 2nd for this competitive duo. The winner of the over 16 Working Hunter Oughterard qualifier was Pamela Lydon’s Acton Rolo (Field of Dreams X Hazy Lee) rider Orlaith O’Reilly.