Select Sales Fri.28 Mar.
Click on pictures to enlarge
Finally, on the last Friday in March, a distinctly chilly grey day, 40 or so Connemara ponies from two earlier selection days in Athlone were gathered together at Duffy’s Equestrian Centre in Claregalway for a pre-Sale viewing. (See this Blog’s report on the first Selection Day in February) Google Niamh’s Weblog.
A hard-working committee had prepared well for this particular show-down and the indoor pony-pens sported photos and C.V’s to facilitate owner/potential buyer contact. The Catalogue contained recent Selection Days photos of all ponies with their breeding and Lot number. All information can be found online at http//cpesg
The main display areas outdoors were well chosen for the job in hand, with a variety of jumps manned by stewards in a large sand arena plus an optional jump out to grass and cross-country fences, and each pony had 15 minutes to show off their paces for prospective buyers. A smaller arena was used for closer inspection and checking of ponies and also accommodated Ridden ponies, while the 8 loose jumping 3 year olds were later viewed performing indoors.
MEP Marian Harkin and the Chairman of Horse Sport Ireland Dr. Pat Wall cut the opening ribbon and CPESG Committee Chairman Michael Flanagan welcomed all and explained the concept of the Elite Sales project, which basically seeks to find the best way to prepare and market the performing pony and to put these ideas into action with the Assessment Days leading to a Sale of the selected ponies.
The Video Auction
at the Ardilaun Hotel in Galway that night, where vendors dined at large circular tables, produced some good prices. All that was missing at the candlelit dinner in the lavish hotel ballroom were ball – gowns and dicky bows.! Each Lot was viewed in action on two large screens, with older ponies going first.
Initially when bids increased, vendors seemed disinclined to sell although these bids were higher than have been experienced at Sales in recent years. This reluctance may have been because owners expectations were high as the rigorous selection process had obliged them to really put work, money and training into their ponies for this special Performance Sale.
Sales then began to happen however and the CPESG Committee were satisfied when eventually 22 of the 43 entries changed hands and most of the ponies sold were destined for homes overseas.
Early on two ponies each made the best prices of the evening. One was a top performance pony, Lot 02 Derrygimbla Atlantic Storm, Bernie Quinn’s 13 yr old Gelding, by Coral Dun X Ballymoe Tazmania (Westside Mirah) – with recent RDS and Clifden Performance rosettes to his credit. He went to Co. Antrim’s Gillian Creighton.
His owner achieved the first top price of €9,000, a sum which Renvyle man Liam Diamond later equalled when he purchased Lot 03. This was P. McDonagh’s 9yr old stallion Kildromin King by Lissatava Bobby X Mannin Lady (Boden Park Finnard), with a strong performance record.
Next best price was achieved for N. McGarry’s 5yr old dun mare Lot 20 Lady Mirah by Westside Mirah out of Classiebawn Lass, a top class show-jumping pony, when the gavel fell at €7,500.
Things slowed down a bit then but Deirdre Scotts 7 yr old stallion Lot 12 Ben Ban Playboy by Glencarrig Lexus X Festy Lady by Ashfield Festy, fetched €5,300. It is said to be going to a good home with a Danish family.This impeccably schooled pony has competed successfully with rider Aaron Quinn throughout the 2013 season
.Enniskillen Equitation College students had bred and produced their entry: this was the 4 yr old gelding Lot 31 Cafre Manhattan by Gwennic de Goariva X Silver Belle – breeding going back to Smokey Duncan and Hazy Dawn.There was a lot of interest in this pony which was bid to €5,200. and went home with Belgian buyer Martin de Smet, who purchased 3 other ponies.
Lot 37 Ballylee Misty Boy by Coral Misty X Glenoran Peggy (Corrib Prince) was a loose-jumping 3yr old Colt owned by D.Commins which received a lot of attention from viewers. We await his price with interest. Keith Murray’s 3yr. old Loose- jumping colt Lot 42 Falmore Barney by Tulira Roebuck X Shanna Lady made 5,000 Euro. Other ponies obtained satisfactory prices also and some of these can be found in the Gallery below, yet still no photo of Falmore Barney. A half-brother to Falmore Rocky (see below) , both these ponies trace back to Ashfield Bobby Sparrow. Most of the ponies in the Gallery made prices between 2,000 and 5,000 Euro. I want to thank Tadhg Ryan for allowing me to use his photos from Bit-Media/