An elite sale of Connemara ponies in Ireland is planned for March next year, with the auction launching the Connemara Pony Breeders Society’s annual festival.
Two selection days, February 23 and March 2, are being organised by the Connemara Pony Elite Sales Group (CPESG) at the Athlone Equestrian Centre. Performance specialists Ian Fearon, Tom Slattery, and Jack Doyle will assess the ponies and those qualifying for selection will advance to the Exhibition Sale.
The CPESG hopes to qualify about 60 ponies for the Exhibition Sale on March 28, 2014 as part of the 2014 Connemara Pony Spring Festival.
Ponies in three height categories may compete in either of four disciples of Riding, Show Jumping, Working Hunter, and Eventing.
All ponies will have photographs and videos taken on their selection day by Tadhg Ryan, of Scarteen, Limerick, which will be used for cataloguing for the Exhibition Sale. These images and videos will be made available to all competitors, for their own promotional use, regardless of selection outcome.
The sale will be opened by Horse Sport Ireland chairman Pat Wall and Marian Harkin (MEP) at Duffy’s Equestrian Centre, Claregalway.
Those ponies that have been selected for sale will be showcased on-site at Duffy’s. This will be followed by a video auction that evening, run by Connemara Pony Sales Co. on behalf of the CPESG, in the Ardilaun Hotel, Galway City.
The Connemara Pony Elite Sales Group is a voluntary group of Connemara Pony enthusiasts, working alongside existing organisations such as the Connemara Pony Breeders Society CPBS, seeking to elevate the profile of the breed, and increase the market for these ponies.
– Show Jumping Ponies – catering for ponies of 128cm, 138cm, 148cm and over in height.
– Working Hunter Ponies – catering for ponies of 138cm to 153cm in height.
– Cross Country / Eventing Ponies – catering for ponies of 148cm in height.
– Flat Ridden Ponies – catering for 4yo and over ponies.
Riders may select from the following course styles:
– a Jump / Cross style (a mixture of show jumps and natural-type fences),
– a Show Jumping style,
– a Cross Country style.
– Riding ring.
Ponies will be divided broadly into three age groups for fair and balanced competition:
– 3yo Future Performance ponies, loose jumping fences up to 1m in height.
– 4yo Performance ponies jumping over fences from 70cm to 90cm in height.
– 5yo and over Performance ponies jumping over fences from 90cm in height.
– 4yo and over Riding ponies.
The Working Hunter pony will be asked to jump fences and perform simple school exercises.