Connemara Pony World 2011 will be taking place at Boswell Equestrian, Co. Wicklow on Saturday the 4th June. Now in its second year, this well supported event will see some of the best Connemara ponies in action.
This years show is set to double in size with over 25 classes on offer including Ireland’s first Olympia Mountain and Moorland Ridden Qualifier and a new High Jump class kindly sponsored by Deloitte.
Meet the Judges
This years line up of judges is a selection of the best judges across the UK and Ireland. The ridden classes are being judged by Sarah Challinor, Paula Cullen and Denise Norton.
Sarah is well known in the UK having won the Horse of the Year Show on several occasions on different Mountain and Moorland ponies that she produced herself. The 13 in-hand classes will be judged by the much respected Philip Scott and the UK Mountain and Moorland panel judge Mrs Nicola Shuttleworth. Finally the 3 year old loose jumping qualifier for the Clifden final has Frank Burke examining the ponies that will be presented to him.
Meet the Committee
The committee is a mixture of equestrian enthusiasts from different backgrounds – some into ponies, some not. The show was founded by Lucinda Kelly, an all round equestrian competitor who’s had Connemaras since she was 15 and has won the Dublin Horse Show and had many placings and Championships over the years.
Denise Norton, proprietor of Edenmist Stud, has been involved in hunting, racing, eventing, showing and show jumping all her life and through her years competing different breeds and types of horses and ponies, she has found nothing to compare to the Connemara pony. Denise tells us “they are athletic and intelligent and with correct schooling and training they excel and are second to none”
Committee member PJ Watson has definitely a bit of a contrast in his work with the Homeless Charity Focus Ireland and the family run business Rosscon Farm in Athlone. PJ regularly rides and competes having recently had the honour of judging the Workers at the British Connemara Breed Show .He is also is an agent for Brightwells Bloodstock UK and has served for two years on the CPBS marketing committee along with fellow committee member Denise Norton.
Lucinda has roped her boyfriend Captain Brian Curran Cournane into the mix with his friend Dermot Murphy. This team will look after the development of the performance classes including the building of the High Jump wall, loose jumping track and working hunter courses. Brian competes on the Irish team in 3 day eventing and is aiming for the Europeans in Germany this year and the Olympics next year in London.
Last to the mix is Avril Kelly, breeder of the Dunran ponies. Residing in Ashford, Avril will look after all local activity including accommodation and catering on the day. Avril will work closely with Boswell to ensure everything runs smoothly.
What else can we expect?
This year’s show is set to double in size from last years inaugural one. The Olympia qualifier will certainly attract some of the best ponies from around the country as will the loose jumping qualifier for the Finals at Clifden.
Also new to the show schedule, The Horseware® Ireland Search for a Star Class has been introduced to showcase some of the most talented upcoming performance ponies. In a brand new format, ponies will have to demonstrate their ability both on the flat and over fences. Combinations will be required to jump a full course of jumps, and following this element, ponies will be ridden by their judges to assess their movement and behaviour in walk, trot and canter.
The classes will be divided into two sections, the first of which is open to four- year- old registered ponies, with no restriction on rider’s age.The jumping height in this class will not exceed 80cm. Ponies placed in the first five places will also qualify for the Irish Connemara Green Hunter Final at Clifden show, the first of two chances to do so, the other being at Corrandulla show later in the month.
The Search for a Star, five-year- olds division is open to five-year- old registered ponies, again with no restriction on rider’s age. This category will follow the same format as the four-year-old division with ponies being required to jump 90cms.
The Search for a Star Championship is open to first and second placed ponies from both classes. The Champion and Reserve Champion will then qualify for the Supreme Ridden Championship.
The show committee are encouraging UK ponies to come over and compete to see how they fair against the Irish ponies. There is stabling available on site and evening entertainment has been arranged for the Saturday night down the road with free finger food and music.
Make a Day of it
This is a great chance for horsey and non-horsey folk to have a look at our native ponies in action. There is no entrance fee on the day and the venue is 5 minutes off the N11. It’s a lovely day out for folk looking to do something different on the June Bank Holiday Saturday. The show would not be a success without the kind support from this years key sponsors: Deloitte, Horsefirst, Native Pony Magazine, Gain, Horseware, Equinet, Ireland’s Horse and Pony, Brightwells, Dodds Pharmacy, Jean McClancy, Mackey Ireland, Noel Noonan, Nupafeed, Oldmill Stud, The Connemara Pony Company, Thornbrook Stud, TRI Ireland and www.scartsergeant.com.