Performance mare class added to Connemara show programme
The Connemara Pony Breeders' Society has welcomed the funding of €5,000 from Horse Sport Ireland towards running a Performance Mare Championship during the two-day show in August.
The inaugural class is being introduced to give owners an incentive to produce their mares for a performance competition and encourage the promotion of them as performance animals.
The competition aims to promote and provide an outlet for four-year-old mares likely to make high-class show jumpers or eventers and to identify performance mares at a young age that may be suitable for the broodmare herd.
Fifteen four-year-old mares will qualify for a final to take place on Wednesday, August 19 during the Annual Connemara Pony Festival.
The mares will be assessed on their jumping ability, conformation and temperament.
A large international audience travel to Clifden for the festival and it is anticipated that this competition will increase the export value of these mares.
This is a unique competition as it focuses on the ease of handling the pony as well as the pony's jumping ability and is the first competition of its kind for Connemara ponies.
Following the competition a special slot will be allocated at the Connemara Pony Sales on Saturday, August 22 for mares that competed at the final with the goal of increasing export value.