THE CONNEMARA PONY – A GLOBAL HORSE AND PONY BREED
The Connemara Pony is Ireland’s sole native pony and is named after its home region, a remote mountainous area of Western Ireland known as Connemara. Although they have lived as a wild pony for centuries (The author Thelwell describes the breed as follows: “The ANCIENT CONNEMARA was hanging about Galway Bay LONG BEFORE the SONGWRITERS got there!”)
The Connemara Ponies exhibit a type of beauty and athleticism not seen in other mountain ponies. Their versatility makes this breed ideal for labour and equestrian competition.
For many centuries, the Connemara pony was the mainstay of life in the far west of Ireland. They were the means by which the land was tilled; the produce delivered to the local communities and the social life of this very remote area was maintained. The result of these varied tasks developed the amazing versatile pony we have today.
The Connemara Pony Breeder’s Society was founded in Ireland in 1923 with the object of conserving and developing these native ponies. Inspections were started to select the best ponies from the existing population for entry into the first volume of the Studbook which was published in 1926. This work continues today with all stock being inspected before acceptance into the CPBS Studbook.
The Connemara Pony Show (or Festival) was established in the West of Ireland in the town of Clifden Co. Galway enabling the breeders to compete against one another as well as display their stock to the world with their supporting Sales. The show remains an important annual event; locally, nationally and internationally. The 2022 Connemara Pony Festival is to be held 8-12 August 2022 to coincide with the world-famous Royal Dublin Horse Show.
Over the years the Connemara Pony has been exported from Ireland to 16 Countries including but not limited to Countries in Europe, America, Canada, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Each Country maintains a “Daughter” Society Studbook and Breeders’ Society which strives to develop, promote and conserve the Connemara pony as a distinctive breed internationally.
Because of its even temperament, athleticism, strong bone (Thoroughbred and Arabian influence) and good looks (distinctive colour and markings), the Connemara pony (height of pure-bred 1.48cm and under) has become extremely popular for both children (pure-bred ponies) and adults (part-bred horses) alike as they excel in many equestrian Disciplines (Carriage driving, Endurance, Working Hunter Pony, Dressage, Show Jumping (80cm upwards) and Eventing (up to 5* level) around the world.
Source: ICCPS Website: www.connemarapony.org/site