THERE appears to be universal approval of the decision to run qualifiers for the flat Connemara classes at next month’s Dublin Horse Show with the fourth and final round being facilitated by the Young Eventhorse Series team at Rincoola last Saturday. However, there is also agreement among many that it would be better if ponies were stripped at the qualifiers as they will be at the RDS.

Jane Darragh, who was also on duty at the Kildare and North Leinster Area IPS show at Tattersalls the following day, judged the three classes on Saturday and selected two mares and a gelding as her winners. There is no qualification process in place as yet for the stallion class at Dublin.

The gelding was Helen Burns’s Glasson Shadow who, following his victory in the class for older ponies and riders aged 10 to 16, also appeared at the Co Meath show on Sunday when he had a busy day, winning three times, finishing second twice and picking up a reserve championship, all under Freya Alken, his partner here.

Glasson Shadow, who finished sixth in his performance qualifier on Saturday, was bred in Co Westmeath by Felim Finnegan. He is a six-year-old by Silver Shadow out of the Matchmakers Lad mare Gorrynagowna Lady.

A trip down from Larne paid off for Emmalee Turley who won the class for older ponies, with riders aged 17 and upwards on board, with her own Belsa Beag. This seven-year-old mare by Teach Mor King was bred by Joseph Costello out of the Bunowen Bobby mare Glencarrig Lady Belinda.

Rathcoona Ruth triumphs

Reserve at Scarteen on their second start, Emer McNamara and Rathcoona Ruth ensured their participation in the four- and five-year-old championship at Dublin with victory in Saturday’s qualifier.

The five-year-old grey mare, who is owned by the rider’s father Joe, of Clifden Connemara Pony Stud, is by Drumbad Fletcher Moss and was bred by the late James Quirke of Claregalway out of the Kilmore Diamond mare, Rathcoona Baby. The McNamaras purchased their winner as a three-year-old from Castlebar’s John Flannery.

“Monica, as we refer to her, was broken early last year but then, due to Covid, we turned her out again until Balmoral in September when she finished fifth in the four- and five-year-old ridden class,” revealed Emer who, for the past 20 years has worked for the Connemara Pony Breeders Society. “She has been lightly campaigned this year but did win at the Ballyconneely Performance Show in early June.”

As has been the case throughout the series, the first five in each of the three classes qualified by right for Dublin with the sixth-placed pony being nominated as a reserve.

All ridden Connemara Pony classes at the upcoming Dublin Horse Show, which are being sponsored by Berney Bros Saddlery, will be judged in Ring 2 on Thursday, August 18th.