SMASHING trade was again recorded at Clifden from domestic and international buyers over three days of sales which saw just under 500 Connemara ponies go through the busy mart ring from 632 entries and a clearance rate of 71%.

Ten lots changed hands for five-figure sums, ranging from €10,000 to €14,500, while a further 10 lots fetched between €7,800 and €9,000.

Vendor Seamus O’Connor had an excellent sale, selling the two highest price lots of the competitive sale. His sale-topper was Lot 52, the eyecatching 10-year-old bay gelding Lookout Joker’s Lorenzo (Mirahs Oyster Bandit) who fetched €14,500 from regular Sligo buyer Tiernan Gray last Friday.

Gray also snapped up O’Connor’s Avril Girl (Lot 38), a 10-year-old Shadows Dun mare out of Loughmelvin Avril for €14,000, the second highest price lot of the sale.

Andrew Collins secured Grace O’Donnell’s dun gelding, Leo The Lion (Lot 123) for €13,000, by Carracanada River out of Cloontuskert Dun Bhean.

Ballinasloe’s Kieran Egan parted with €12,000 for Aidan Lee’s six-year-old grey mare Boley Star (Lot 71), a mare by Dunally Lad out of William Pepsi, while American Barbara Swites paid the same amount for Tanya Doyle’s five-year-old grey gelding Oscar’s Pride (Lot 161), a Glencarrig Oscar gelding out of Foxhall Tina.

SDV Horses proved dominant throughout, buying up no less than 23 lots, while Gray accounted for 18 lots in total. Laois-based Gerty Tynan proved very active with 15 purchases while the Hannah Taylor/Patrick O’Gorman combination, based between Tipperary and England, also swooped to buy 15. Bryan Dagg (9) and Peter O’Connor (6) were also active throughout while some 67 ponies also found new homes through the online platform.

As expected the UK market remained the main overseas market with 76 Connemara ponies sold to British buyers while Belgium accounted for the next largest cohort at 20, followed by French buyers who purchased a total of 13 ponies. German buyers snapped up nine. Meanwhile, Dutch and Danish buyers snapped up three ponies apiece while two found new homes in Scotland and a total of three ponies were purchased by buyers in Dubai, USA and Norway.

The Connemara National Parks' Lot 556, 'Henry' fetched €5,300 with all proceeds going to the Connemara Therapeutic Riding charity \ Rynes Walker


Connemara National Park’s ‘Henry’ (Lot 556), sold well as a fundraiser for the charity Connemara Therapeutic Ponies, fetching €5,300 from Fiachra Mac Ni Airchinnigh, on the commission-free sale.

Presentation and turnout of Connemara ponies forward for public auction has improved significantly in recent sale renewals and once more proved a factor with ponies generally turned out to a high standard.

Ann de Courcey of Connemara Pony Sales commented: “We were delighted with how the weekend went, it was a big sales and a very busy weekend. Overall, we are very happy with how the trade held up, there is still a big demand for ponies with work done, and the clearance rate held well. The trade is perhaps a bit softer now for youngstock and ponies with less done. But every pony got a bid over the weekend.

“There continues to be a lot of international interest and we are seeing new people coming all the time, plus 67 ponies were sold online, including as far afield as America. It was our first time sending a pony to Dubai; that customer was here in person.”

The next sale takes place from October 28th to 31st.