THE 17th Midlands Connemara Pony Breeders Show returned to Mullingar Equestrian Centre to the delight of all, after a two-year absence. Competitors travelled from all corners of Ireland to compete at the wonderful facilities in Mullingar.

Cathy Snow and Martin Coyne from Letterfrack were awarded the prestigious Galway Crystal All Ireland broodmare championship with Kilpatrick Snowdrop (Moorland Snowy River – Kilpatrick Holly), a mare bred by Joan J Dolan. This is Cathy and Martin’s second time to win the coveted All Ireland Broodmare Championship.

The young stock classes were judged by Danny Molloy from Moate. David O’Connor from Wexford opened the show winning the yearling colts with Slievebloom Dancer (Slievebloom Shane - Slievebloom Alice). The yearling filly went to Paddy Kearns’s Brocklodge Ruby by Glencarrig Knight out of Loughmore Suzy. Eamon Spain’s Twinstar JJ Dun Sam (Coolcum JJ - Twinstar Doublecream Sue) took the two-year-old colt class.

This was followed by Niamh and Bryan O’Halloran’s Cabra Jane (Hillside Joker - Gurteen Breeze) winning the two-year-old filly class. The best three-year-old filly went to Jackie Hockleys Carnakilly Golden Girl (Magherafadda Lad - Castleside Killiney), a fitting winner of the Ruth Rogers Perpetual Cup.

Cathy Snow with Kilpatrick Snowdrop, winner of the Galway Crystal All Ireland Broodmare Championship at the Midlands Breeders Connemara Pony Show at Mullingar Equestrian Centre

Gearoid Larkins Bantrach Michael took red in the three-year-old colt class and went on to take Junior champion and lift the Michael McMenamon perpetual trophy, with Niamh and Bryan O’Halloran’s filly taking reserve.

Marty Keaney from Roundstone took the colt foal class with Murvey Simon (Anair Cashel – Murvey Rita). Colin Doyle’s Clonmore Blaithin (Bunowen Paddy - Seaview Pepper) took both the filly class and champion foal.

The four- to six-year-old stallion class brought success to Damien Gill’s Clonmore Geallog Bán (Coolin America - Cregduff Rosie) who later took overall reserve Champion. JP Rogan’s Inishowen (Letterdyfe Rira – Hillside Lady) took the seven-year-old and upwards stallion class along with the ridden stallion class. The large entries in ‘any other colour’ produced an amazing spectacle in the grass ring with Philp Morgan’s stallion Mirah de Goariva (Westside Mirah – Bellview Heather) taking the honours.

The four to eight-year- old mare class produced the Supreme Champion Glencoaghan Rachels Girl (I Love You Melody, dam - Glencoaghan Star). This mare, owned by Robert Nee from Recess, had already experienced championship success in Mullingar when she won the junior championship in 2019. The nine-year-old and over mare class went to PJ Watsons Rosscon Hazy Misty (Kingstown Fionn – Rosscon Cover Girl).

Judge Danny Molloy with Jenny Lindsey and Carnakilly Golden Girl being presented the Ruth Rogers Perpetual Cup by show secretary Irene O'Sullivan at the Midlands Connemara Pony Breeders Show at Mullingar Equestrian Centre

The performances classes provided a superb display in both the working hunter and flat ridden rings. The Novice ridden went to Aoife O’Connor’s Hillside Rebel (Monaghanstown Prince – Hillside Rose), ridden by Sadbh O’Connor. Ridden mare went to Thomasina O’Reilly with Roscon Camille (Boden Park Finard- Rosscon Covergirl) who also went on to claim the ridden championship.

The open ridden over 16 went to Addrigoole Andre, owned and ridden by Grace Maxwell Murphy. The under 16 ridden followed with Dannys Pride, owned by Melaine Marnane and ridden expertly by Emily Marnane taking top position, this combination then went on to win reserve ridden champion.

The Galway crystal working hunter championship went to the prolific winner, Blackwood Fernando ridden by Alicia Devlin Byrne. Jackie Hockly’s Fanad Romeo took reserve and later in the day went on to win the Sarah Miller future performance pony. Sophie Countess von Maltzan’s Bettyspark Shadow, ridden by Nancy Fleming, won the Concrete Booth Cup for best rider 18 and under and reserve spot in the Sarah Miller performance pony.

The two part-bred classes were well supported with local rider Patricia Woods taking the part-bred working hunter with Crissaun Just Joey and Creganna Milady, ridden by Lara Field, taking the flat ridden part-bred class.

It was lovely to see the spectacle of Connemara ponies return to Mullingar and the group look forward to next year’s show on July 29th, 2023.

The Galway Crystal Working Hunter Champion , Blackwood Fernando ridden by Alicia Devlin Byrne with judge Debbie Tams at the Midlands Connemara Pony Breeders Show at Mullingar Equestrian