Roundstone Champions Show ’09

In a summer that never was, Sunday the 13th of September proved a lucky exception to the ‘rule’ that in 2009 all Shows should take place in wet and muddy fields.  At Roundstone Champion of Champions Show the sun glistened on burnished silky pony coats

Roundstone harbour and Twelve Bens
Roundstone harbour and Twelve Bens

and both ponies and people were in the highest good spirits.  It was the ultimate ‘pet day’ of our long-awaited Indian summer. Pony quality was of the best as only the winners of classes throughout the season were eligible to compete.   In the early youngstock Classes  Peter Molloy was three times a winner with three of ‘supermare’ Jennifer Rose’s offspring:

Dooneen Alice with Peter Molloy
Dooneen Alice with Peter Molloy

First Dooneen Hazel Rebel by Hazy Match took his yearling colt Championship;  then the three year old filly Championship went to Dooneen Stephanie Rose by Laerkens Cascade Dawn,  and to complete the trio of wins, Dooneen Alice by Hazy Match came on stage to take the 3rd Championship,  in the 4 – 6 year old Mare Class. The dam of these three ponies and many others bred by the Molloy family, is a medium- sized dun 24 yr.old with breeding from Mervyn Kingsmill, Abbeyleix Cyprus, Carna Dolly and Dangan Dun

Letterdyfe Rachel Rose with Cailin Conneely
Letterdyfe Rachel Rose with Cailin Conneely

Another beauty, the Reserve Junior Champion, was Cailín Conneely’s yearling filly Letterdyfe Rachel Rose by Frederiksminde Hazy Match out of Letterdyfe Rose.  In the back-breeding here we find Tully Grey, Abbeyleix Owen, Callowfeenish Dolly 2nd Cloonisle Cashel and Boden Park Finnard.   The Junior Championship returned to East Galway with Ciaran McGrath’s two yr. old colt whose quality and bone impressed the Judges.  This was Glencarrig Romeo by Bunowen BobbyFairyhill Helen (Loobeen Larry).  {Bunowen Bobby’s pedigree includes such well-respected names as Cuchulainn, Silver Fort, Glencarrig Lexus and Coosheen Breeze}. Kieran had obviously seen Romeo’s potential when he liked the look of him as a 2-month old foal out in the field at breeder Padraig Curran’s Moycullen base and bought him there and then.

Glencarrig Romeo with Kieran McGrath and son Evan
Glencarrig Romeo with Kieran McGrath and son Evan
Special guest Enda Kenny Leader Fine Gael with Kieran McGrath and sons Dean & Evan
Special guest Enda Kenny Leader Fine Gael with Kieran McGrath and sons Dean & Evan

Being awarded the Murty McGrath cup must have been especially sweet for Murty’s son and his family as his father Murty was one of Galway’s early breeders of quality Connemaras in the mid-decades of the last century.

Enda Kenny opens the Champion of Champions Show at Roundstone
Enda Kenny opens the Champion of Champions Show at Roundstone

Enda Kenny, the Leader of Fine Gael was on hand as a special guest to present the Junior Champion Trophy, which he did with grace and good humour,  joking about using his Roundstone Bodhrán –  presented to him by Show Chairman Paddy McDonagh (Yank) – to call the government benches to order in the Dáil chamber!!!!.

  Judges Jane Darragh and Michael Western – from Counties Kilkenny and Down respectively- had a tough decision-making day as row upon row of qualified Connemaras, all winners, came before them in the following stallion, foal and mare classes.  The Champion 2 yr old filly award went to Damian Gorham’s Doonhill Queen (Currachmore Cashel – Connemara Lady) bred by the owner. (sorry to say no pic).

Monaghanstown Shannon with Pat & Mary Rabbitt
Monaghanstown Shannon with Pat & Mary Rabbitt

Pat and Mary Rabbitt’s athletic filly foal Monaghanstown Shannon by Linsfort Barney out of their own Monaghanstown Sheeba was the Judges’ choice for Foal Champion.

Clooneile Cashel with Joe Burke
Clooneile Cashel with Joe Burke

Only five of the listed nine stallions turned up for the Stallion championship and this award was won by Eamon Burke’s half-brother to Currachmore Cashel.  Clooneile Cashel by Cloonisle Cashel is also out of the Burke’s mature mare Tolka Bridge and he was expertly shown by Joe Burke; He has Bridge Boy, Queen of Diamonds and Clonkeehan Auratum in his back-breeding.

Cashelbay Cruise and Robbie Fallon
Cashelbay Cruise and Robbie Fallon

Cashelbay Cruise by I Love You Melody, Robbie and Barbara Fallon’s stallion from their good mare Coosheen Pheasant, equalled his Dublin placing by taking Reserve.

Foreglos Lass with Noel Brett
Foreglos Lass with Noel Brett

In the 7 – 12 years Mare Class, more than 13 red-ribbon mares contested the Championship and the winner here was Noel Brett’s Foreglos Lass (Wings of Victory-Foreglos Matchmaker).  Again in the Class for mares over 13 yrs., a collection of premium mares, all well-known regular show-ring winners, paraded serenely around, perhaps feeling at home being  in their own original environment of mountains, sea and rocky hills.

Glenmore Kellys Owen with Judge Jane Darragh and Deirdre O'Reilly
Glenmore Kellys Owen with Judge Jane Darragh and Deirdre O’Reilly

The Dublin Connemara Champion Mare, Frances and Deirdre O’ Reilly’s Glenmore Kelly’s Owen by Abbeyleix Owen out of Gentian Gold, again took the Honours under the wide blue Roundstone sky and the win must have made the long journey from Dundalk with mare and foal seem a worthwhile expedition for her owners.

Glencarrig Biscuit and Grace Murphy
Glencarrig Biscuit and Grace Murphy

The Champion gelding was alone in his class, and no wonder there was no competition as he had won no less than 15 gelding classes this season.  The gelding Smokey Biscuit is by Glencarrig Prince and out of Smokey Star and is a regular winner of ridden, jumping, and dressage classes also with his owner Grace Murphy of Galway.

Gleann Rua Godiva with Seamus Keady
Gleann Rua Godiva with Seamus Keady

In the Bay Mare Class the winner was a striking black-beauty  full of presence, although some would question the colour coding (do a few brown hairs make a black pony a bay pony)?  as she is registered as bay.  The nine year old Gleann Rua Godiva (Westside Mirah – Moonlight) comes from dark bay and black parents and her breeding.goes back to Tulira Mairtín and Carna Dun.

Glencarrig Romeo Supreme, with Kieran McGrath
Glencarrig Romeo Supreme, with Kieran McGrath

And so to the Supreme Championship:  Glencarrig Romeo, the Junior Champion, was again declared winner alright, only this time he was to wear the supreme Champion of Champions sash.

Supreme connections. Kieran's wife Rosaleen and daughter Carla on left. R.Sponsor Eddie Crotty with Cup
Supreme connections. Kieran’s wife Rosaleen and daughter Carla on left. R. Sponsor Eddie Crotty with Cup

Reserve Supreme was Peter Molloy’s Dooneen Alice. Show day ended with the traditional parade of Champions up the main street, a fitting end to Roundstone’s  Championship Show.

Roisin Mannion, tara Lally & Grainne King bought books at the Show
Roisin Mannion, Tara Lally & Grainne King bought books at the Show

/For more Show Pics. go to  “Pics. of Roundstone Champs 09” under PAGES  in Sidebar.

Last item on the agenda for the blog was a visit to one of Roundstone’s beautiful beaches where an evening swim in the cool clear sea was pure bliss.

Evening at Gurteen Beach, Roundstone
Evening at Gurteen Beach, Roundstone

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