SPIDDAL SHOW ‘IO Click Here For Gallery photos or see Sidebar
Twelve miles west of Galway, at Taispeántas Chois Fharraige, or Spiddal Show, a whole world of Gaeltacht language and tradition is awaiting you. The Hurling Final is loudly broadcast on Radio throughout the afternoon – in excited, enthusiastic Gaeilge – as Tipperary beats Kilkenny. The Show Schedule and Program is ‘as Gaeilge’ (with short English notes); Irish is spoken naturally by the Cois Fharraige families competing and spectating at this rural get-together of peoples from all over Connemara where even Galway city visitors are not excluded !. The venue, the original Coláiste Chonnacht, where Irish courses have been organised for exactly 100 years, was originally the Landlord’s House ‘An Teach Mór’ (the Big House) in the old days and the old walled-garden makes for a ready-made secure showing ring today.
Your weblog arrived late, missing earlier Classes but just in time for the Junior Championship. The 3yr old stallion Rathlacken Cascade (Laerkens Cascade Dawn – Prospect Cloud), winner of the 2-3 yr. old Stallion Class, was the choice here of Judges Nicola Musgrave and Niamh Melody and took the tricolour sash and substantial prize (Spiddal excells in generous awards with Trophies, Crystal, Feed for all Class winners etc.). Rathlacken Cascade was bred by his owner Sean Bourke in Co.Mayo, where Sean has been breeding Connemaras for some years now and keeps a herd of 20 mares and young stock at his farm near Ballina. Rathlacken Cascade, a consistent prizewinner as a foal, returned to the show-ring this season and has been lightly shown with some success.
Junior Reserve was the 2yr old Letterdyfe Rachel Rose (Hazy Match – Letterdyfe Rose, shown by Martina Conneely. This Ballyconneely bred pony is no stranger to the ribbons as she has been in the top three in most of her outings this year with a Red rosette from Westport Show earlier in the season.
The blog snapped Caroline Lydon’s Golden Mariah (Lehenagh Lad – Scully) which had earlier taken the Yearling Filly Class.
Lucky Molly (Smokey Idea – Lucky Mavourneen) was the winner of the 3yr old Mare Class for owner/breeder Sinéad McGrath, and while there is no photo here Lucky Molly has featured before at Shows in previous pages of this Weblog.
The Confined Class for mares of all ages resident in the area went to a Cois Fharraige (the coastline) man Colm Connolly with his good broodmare, the 13yr old Connemara Rose (Rynn Richard – Cailín Alainn). She has been placed 2nd at Clifden and among her seven foals were the stallions Spiddal Wills Boy and Knockadoe Dancer. In the Mares 13 and over she was 3rd.
There were twelve mares in the 4-6 year old class and the Red rosette was won by Katie and Amy Curran’s Glencarrig Rose (Coosheen Stormboy – April Rose) with her foal at foot, another star performer for breeder Gearóid Curran. Taking the blue ribbon was Sean King’s homebred Ballindoon Sparrow Princess.(Corrib Prince – Frosty Sparrow)
Another pair who frequently top the line, Joe Burke with Manninard Sprigeen (Tulira Roebuck – Tara the IV) were called in to prime position once again, ahead of a line of previous Champions, Prima Donnas all, in the very strong Class for Mares between the ages of 7 and 10.
Runner-up slot here was filled by Sinead McGrath’s Lucky Hazel (Mac Owen – Lucky Anna)
Coral Misty Jane (Cloonisle Cashel – Coral Misty), Jane Andrew’s lovely mare, stood top of the line of good mares with handler Tom Conneely in the Class for Senior Mares, 13yrs and over.
Second in line for the Blue was Sean O’Cualáin’s Mountain Tingo (Canal Cormac – Knockabout Lady) shown by Mary O’Connell.
The winning Filly Foal was Tequilla Vinura by Kilmore Diamond out of Laura and Roger Brady’s lovely broodmare, Vinura Lola who is by Drymills Bridge Boy and a consistent Show winner herself.
The Champion Foal was the Colt Foal winner, Alice Garveys River Lad (Glencarrig Lexus – Hazy Lady)
Show Supreme Champion was Stallion Class winner, Mountain Cascade (Laerkens Cascade Dawn – Mountain Lady), who has been a consistent Show winner this season for his owners Joanne and Jarlath Grogan. Manninard Sprigeen was Reserve Supreme. The Supreme photo was kindly supplied by Aine Ni Dhroighneai, Show Commentator who has some excellent Show photos available.
Ridden Classes. After seeing the very well-supported Ridden Connemara classes at the recent Clifden and Oughterard Shows (see pictures in this Weblog) It was rather a let- down to see no actual specific Connemara Ridden Classes at Spiddal Show. There was a mixed Lead rein, a mixed Ridden for riders under 18 and a Coloured Ridden Class. Full Stop.!
The Red rosette in the under 18 class was won by young David Connolly on his attractive 4yr old mare Rosswood Little Lady ( Knockillaree Tomas – Misty Ross) bred by his parents Mary and John Connolly of Rosscahill. David is only 11 but already he rides like a pro.
and he loved the fine Cup he was presented with at Spiddal. His sister Aoife was placed 4th in the same class with Ciara’s Andy
Another Connemara in the Lead rein Class caught the eye of this Weblog. This was the 20 year old gelding Robedulla (Mervyn Pookaun – Black River Beauty) a lively performer, who had made a name for himself winning many Working Hunter and Ridden Classes with various young riders 10 to 12 year ago Robedulla had been bought as a foal by his owner Declan Daly who held on to him all these years and this elderly pony now carries Declan’s little daughter, 4 ½ year old Síofra, in a Lead Rein class.
Taispeántas an Spidéal still runs many of the Farm and Home Industries type of competitions, as did the early Shows in Connemara in the first half of the twentieth century.
You can admire Crafts, Garden Produce, Art, Baking, Flowers, Photography, Butter and Jam making and there are sections for children and teenagers with large numbers of entries in all sections.
You can view Sheep classes and buy some laying hens, and of course have a look at the Dog show, or even jump in the wedding-bedecked Landau and go off and get married !
Unfortunately the rain (and wind)arrived to cut short some of the planned activities, It also put an end to the Blog’s picture taking. Be sure you get to the Champion of Champions Show in Roundstone next Sunday the 12th. Photos © Niamhs Weblog.