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Saturday 10 December 2016

Cul Bán wins top pony award

Published 09/12/2015 | 02:30

Cul Bán Mistress - winner of the Connemara Pony Performance Award for 2015
Cul Bán Mistress - winner of the Connemara Pony Performance Award for 2015

Top Connemara show jumping pony Cul Bán Mistress will be the toast of this weekend's Connemara Pony Breeders' Society Christmas Show and Conference where owner Clive Swindell will receive the 2015 Connemara Pony Performance Award for the mare's achievements this year.

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Still only a seven-year-old, the daughter of Silver Shadow was again partnered this year by Mikey Pender and together they racked up three back-to-back wins in Fontainebleau, France.

They also won a leg of the Pony Premier League, Millstreet Grand Prix, National Championship, and a host of other wins in Europe before concluding the season on the winning team at the Pony Owners' Show back in Millstreet.

While the partnership of the pony and rider is set to end this year as Mikey moves into horses, owner Clive is already looking ahead to the mare's future as a broodmare and has successfully completed two embryo transfers.

By Silver Shadow, the mare carries superb bloodlines as her dam Cloneenagh Lass is by Dunloughan Lad, himself a former show jumper and tracing back to Abbeyleix Fionn and Ashfield Sparrow.

Stud

Silver Shadow spent most of his early years competing on the national circuit in Ireland before he was sold to Italy in 2009 and later to Sweden in 2012. In 2014 Silver Shadow returned to Ireland to commence a career at stud.

The presentation to Clive Swindell is part of a busy weekend at Creagh Equestrian Centre outside Ballinasloe which kicks off with showing classes for foals at 11am on Saturday.

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In the afternoon the CPBS will host its first ever show jumping competition which boasts a total prize fund of €1,000. There will be classes for 70cms-80cms, a 90cms and a metre class.

The Connemara pony conference is the highlight of Sunday's programme and this will take place in Hayden's Hotel, Ballinasloe from 12 noon.

Dr Alan Fahey is among the guest speakers and he will present the findings of his study on in-breeding in the Connemara pony population.

Paul Flynn from Weatherbys will present the results of a test being carried out on hoof wall separation disease, while Dr Jack Murphy will discuss inspections and classification and well-known pony producer Áine O'Callaghan will give a talk on Performance Connemara ponies - past, present and future. Admission is free.

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