Roundstone All Ireland Champion of Champions Show 2013 Please Click on pic. to enlarge
The eighth Champion of Champions Show at Roundstone was one of the last Shows of the Season. It was neither a kind day nor a soft day for competitors or indeed for spectators who hurridly scattered for shelter on a few occasions.
However the combination of heavy showers and gale force winds, with occasional welcome bursts of sunshine, did not deter Judges Davina Davern and Mick Collins from their unenviable task of deciding which of the ponies coming before them should take the Champion’s accolade in each Class. The difficulty was that they were all First prize winners from this year’s Shows.
The Blogs sad story is that Junior Classes were missed and the 1st picture available is that of the Junior Champion.
Sean Dunne (despite all weather warnings) had travelled from Co. Offaly and was amply rewarded when he won the Three Year Old Filly Class with his home-bred Garryhinch Vanilla by Monaghanstown Boy out of Banks Vanilla. This young beauty went on to win the Junior Championship and later took Reserve Supreme.
Leitrim breeder James Mc Weeney had brought the 5yr old Addrigoole Annabel from Ballinamore for the Four to Six Year Old Mare Class and was pleased to be moved up the line from an original 4th placing to take the Champions Sash. The mare belongs to his daughter Laura and was bred by Galway’s Kevin Leonard. Addrigoole Annabel is by Castleside Carrig X Addigroole Heather.
Dangan Memory by Castle Strange Fionn is a 10 year old mare whose dam was the late Paddy Carr’s Dangan Molly.
She belongs to Michael Rabbette of Castlebar whose son James showed her to win the Seven to Twelve Mares Class, which was filled with 12 entries and – like the previous Class – showed very few foals- at- foot, something which has been very common at Shows this Summer.
The poor market for young stock, which is the root cause of this current situation, may well improve in the longer term when the foal scarcity sets in.
The Thirteen Years and Over Mare Class took place during a squally, rainy spell but the sunshine blazed forth from a rainbow for a picture of the winners, captured by Tom Broderick, who kindly sent on this photo. It shows Sinead Lusby’s 19 yr. old Lucky Anna with her foal. Lucky Anna is by Westside Mirah out of Lucky Lia.
In the Class for Stallions four Years and Over Gurteen Cathal was moved up to the top of the line to become All-Ireland Champion Stallion from the initial call-in at about 5th place of 9 entries. The 11 year old was bred locally by Cathal Mullen and sold on as a youngster to a North of Ireland breeder (he has 14 progeny from that time), but was brought back to Connemara by Cathal’s first cousin, Kevin Bolger early this year, and has been a frequent winner this season, including taking Supreme at Clifden. For Kevin today it recalls the memorable days when his late father Bobby, and indeed his grandfather Jack Bolger before him, produced multiple show-ring winners. Gurteen Cathal is by Coral Dun X Gurteen Star. 2nd was Bartley Conroy’s Contepomi Cashel.
Not forgetting the foals, the Champion foal came from the Filly Foal ranks. Castleside Ella Bella is a well grown daughter of Castleside Carrig and Castleside Shell. She is owned by her breeder Michael Rabbette and is shown with James Rabbette. A cool steel grey beauty, she was later judged All-Ireland Champion Foal.
The Colt Foal winner was the quality bay Ballafadda Paddy owned and bred by Gerry King of Ballyconneely. There were 14 foals in all on the ground between these 2 foal Classes with fillies as usual predominating.
The All Ireland Open Youth Class which has become a very popular class at Connemara Shows in the past couple of years, had a disappointing entry of only 4 young Handlers with ponies. Perhaps the dire weather forecast had kept some away. But all four candidates in Roundstone were good at the job. Best liked by the Judges was young Breeder/Owner Jack Keaney from Murvey, Roundstone, who managed the 4yr old Sweet Hannah with skill. Sweet Hannah is by Coolillsun Cushlawn out of Sweet Ferdia.
The all-Ireland Bay Mare class, which is now a popular class in many shows, had a small entry on the field also. Johnny Conneely showed last year’s winner, the four yr. old D’arcy Eileen’s Janice by Janus and Eileen’s Pet, breeder Noel Noonan. But the Judges this year plumped for Castle Scarlet (Fredericksminde Hazy Match X Village Girl, bred by Henry O’Toole and shown by Kieran McGrath for Ballinclough Connemara Ponies in Waterford.
The All Ireland Supreme Champion was the Stallion class winner, Gurteen Cathal who took home the Champions Sash and Rosettes plus the Mickey and Mary McDonagh Cup, and the €2,000 prize money generously sponsored again this year by Noel and Kate Noonan of Manor Farm Connemaras. The Reserve, the Junior Champion, Garryhinch Vanilla also received a liberal purse of €500 from the Sponors.
As usual the Show Committee with Chairperson Brian Mullen and Vice-Chair and Show Founder Paddy Yank McDonagh, did an excellent job in unkind weather conditions. The Show Sponsors Land Rover Jeep had gone home and it was time to run the parade through the village and close up shop for another year. May we all be together again this time next year. DV.