2009 News

2009 AGM and Inspection Tour

Canadian Connemara Pony Society AGM 2009
Sunday, September 13, 8.30 – 11am
High Cactus Ranch B&B, De Winton
Calgary, Alberta

This year our AGM is being held near Calgary, Alberta in conjunction with the Spruce Meadows Masters where Team Connemara will be competing in the Battle of the Breeds. Calgary is also the first stop in the countrywide tour of Tom MacLochlainn and his wife Maire. Tom is a long-time Connemara breeder, inspector, judge and the past-president of the Connemara Pony Breeders’ Society and has generously offered to come from Ireland to head our 2009 inspection tour. He is also giving seminars and clinics at least once in all regions and at any of the inspection sites on the tour where members request. On Saturday evening there will be a social hour or so at the Connemara booth at Spruce Meadows

Team Connemara is taking part in the Battle of the Breeds again this year from Thursday to Saturday morning and we will also have a breed booth and ponies demonstrating in the breeds ring all week. Afterwards there will be time to attend the evening events at Spruce Meadows or browse all the many booths.

Anyone needing the latest information on events or directions to the AGM at De Winton, and the inspection site at Strathmore should go to the Connemara booth in the Breeds for the World area at Spruce Meadows. Team Connemara has a booth this year and there will be someone there to give you help any time during Spruce Meadows.

We will hold the AGM on Sunday morning at 8.30 at the High Cactus Ranch B&B, coffee and muffins available. We will be inspecting at Drogheda Farm in the afternoon, followed by Tom’s seminar on the history of the Connemara breed and breed type and a hands-on discussion of the ponies at Drogheda Farm, Strathmore. All members are encouraged to attend the inspections and seminar at Drogheda Farm. If anyone has topics to be included for discussion on the AGM agenda or needs further information about the inspection tour, please contact Heather Sherratt, 613 278 2520 or elphin@superaje.com.

For more information on location of AGM or accommodation in Alberta, contact Bridgit Wingate, 780 963 3074 or wingate@connect.ab.ca

Saturday September 12
Meet the Battle of the Breeds Team – 5-6pm – social meeting at the Connemara booth at Spruce Meadows.
Attend evening jumping or browse the booths.

Sunday September 13
AGM – 8.30-11am at B&B, High Cactus Ranch, De Winton
Inspection – Drogheda Farm, Strathmore, AB –12 noon - 4pm
Seminar by Tom MacLochlainn – 4.30pm – Drogheda Farm

Monday September 14
Inspection – Rill Connemaras, Sundre, AB -1pm – 3pm

Tuesday September 15
Inspection – Devon Ridge Farm, Spruce Grove, AB – 9am – 1pm
Seminar by Tom – 2pm- 5pm

Saturday September 19
Afternoon seminar by Tom at M&M Farm, Langley, BC
Barbeque at 5pm

Sunday September 20
Inspection – Maplebrook Farm, Duncan, BC - 1pm-3pm
Seminar by Tom – 3pm

Tuesday September 22
Inspection – Caraway Farm, Elgin, PQ – 10.30am –1pm
Seminar by Tom in afternoon

Wednesday September 23
Inspection – Mary Flynn’s Lissadel Farm, Renfrew, Ont. – 1pm – 3pm

Thursday September 24
Inspection – Elphin Mountain Farm, Ont. – 9am – 12 noon
Seminar with Tom – 1pm-4pm

Friday September 25
Inspection: Century Hill Farm, Beaverton, Ont. 11 am – 1pm

Tom MacLochlainn Seminars – 2009

Tom MacLochlainn is a long-time Connemara breeder, judge, inspector and pastpresident of the Connemara Pony Breeders’ Society. He has agreed to give us talks and discussions on the history of the Connemara breed in Ireland, the founding lines, and the development of the modern pony. This is followed by a question-and-answer period before we move on to a discussion of breed type and conformation with hands-on critiques of ponies. We have scheduled the following sites in each region for this seminar, and there will also be the opportunity for discussion of ponies following every inspection, with the pony owners’ agreement. We would encourage as many members as possible to take the opportunity to learn more about the breed from one of the most knowledgeable breeders and judges in Ireland. You do not need to be a Connemara breeder or even own a Connemara to benefit from these seminars. Encourage all your horse friends to join us to learn more about our ponies.

Sunday, September 13
4.30pm – Drogheda Farm, Strathmore

Monday, September 14,
3.30 pm - Rill’s Connemaras, Sundre

Tuesday, September 15
2pm- 5pm - Devon Ridge Farm, Spruce Grove

British Columbia
Saturday, September 19
3 pm M&M Farm, Langley
Barbeque at 5pm

Sunday, September 20
3 pm - Maplebrook Farm, Duncan, Vancouver Island

Tuesday, September 22
2-4pm – Caraway Farm, Elgin, PQ

Thursday, September 24
1pm-4pm – Elphin Mountain Farm, McDonald’s Corners

For more details, contact me or your regional chair:
Heather Sherratt, 613 278 2520, elphin@superaje.com
Susan MacDougall, 604 856 8989, susanmac@uniserve.com
Penny Huggons, 403 638 9152, huggons@telus.net
Rick Doner, 705 426 4451, rpdoner@sympatico.ca

2009 AGM

2009 Inspection Schedule

Tom Maclochlainn Seminars

AGM and Inspection Tour 2009

Our fourth AGM was held on September 13, in Calgary, Alberta this year, in conjunction with the Battle of the Breeds at Spruce Meadows and our inspection tour with Tom MacLochlainn, past president of the CPBS, judge and inspector.

Tom and his wife Maire arrived in Calgary in time to watch Team Connemara compete in the Battle of the Breeds, coming in fifth this year with some very good results. After visiting one of the original breeders in the west who had owned ponies that Tom’s father had exported to North America, we got down to the business of the AGM and inspections. The full minutes of the meeting are available on the website and in the newsletter but the highlight was the presentation of a new Broodmare Award from Tom and Doris Jacobi who had combined to honour the mare Ciotog, a foundation mare for Doris. Ciotog was exported to the States by Tom and later moved up to Alberta where she had tremendous influence on the breed, especially in Western Canada. We set up a committee to draw up the procedures for the award and hope we can start taking applications in 2010.

The inspection tour moved from Strathmore, to Sundre and then to Devon Ridge Farm where over three days we inspected nine ponies. Tom and Maire then traveled by Greyhound bus over the Rockies to continue inspections in BC. Margot hosted them on a very successful whale watching trip before taking the ferry to Vancouver Island to inspect three more ponies.

From there it was a flight to Montreal, and inspections at Caraway Farm, Lissadel Farm near Renfrew, Elphin Mountain Farm and finally Century Hill Farm. In four days traveling we inspected a further 15 ponies. In total we inspected 27 ponies and now have three newly approved stallions and the first two premium mares approved under our Canadian program. In Ontario, Gloria LaCroix joined the inspection team as I had to stand down for the inspection at my farm. Gloria stepped into the breach at the last minute as an expired passport prevented the original ACPS inspector from joining us. After a scramble to arrange flights and transportation, I think Gloria enjoyed her first trip to Canada and working with Tom again. In Ontario we visited a maple syrup museum and decided that pie, in all its variations, must be the national dish of Canada.

It was an exhausting but very enjoyable and educational two weeks and we would like to extend our thanks to Tom and Maire for their endless energy and enthusiasm for what must have been a very tiring trip at times. Tom gave his illustrated talk on the history of the breed, type and conformation at least five times, with minor variations every time. We have a copy of the photos he used and Rick Doner taped, or the latest equivalent of taping, the majority of the talk which will be available for regional meetings if members are interested.

Tom seemed to think we are on the right track with our inspection program and have some very nice ponies right across the country. He emphasized that as a new society we have the opportunity to set a high standard for inspections, especially for our premium mares and stallions. A premium mare, he said, must not only be very correct and typey, but must be the sort of mare you would want as a foundation mare. He appreciated the problems we have with such a huge country, so sparsely populated with ponies, but encouraged us, even at extra expense, to continue moving inspectors across the country so that we can avoid the tendency that has arisen in some countries of standards varying across regions.

We worked with several trainee inspectors and Susan MacDougall has now been approved as a full inspector. Working with Tom was educational for all of us and for our breeders and owners as well as all our owners agreed to have their ponies discussed after inspection.

This tour was a huge undertaking for such a small society but was well worth the work we all had to put in it and the expense of traveling across such distances. Many thanks to all who helped, who provided facilities for the inspections, fed us all and found us accommodation and transportation. Without such a cooperative effort right across the country this tour could never have happened. We were also blessed with incredibly good weather for all but one or two days and I hope we showed Tom and Maire some of the sights of Canada in all the glory of our fall colours.

Heather Sherratt

Battle of the Breeds 2009
by Bridget Wingate – Team Captain

This year the team consisted of (left to right): Celtic Fyre (Ailsa Atilla - BC); Bantry Bay Dillon (Megan Davies - Ab); Bien Mallin Rory O’Sullivan (Melonie White – B.C); and K.F. Felicity (Phil Knox - Idaho).

The first day started off very well with Megan and Dillon doing a wonderful compulsory skills ridden test, and Phil with an excellent score in the driven section. This placed us first in the class. The jumping was immediately afterwards, and neither Megan or Dillon had a chance for a rest or any lunch! Celtic Fyre and Ailsa were in exceptionally good form, and had a faultless round – including the 100 point jeopardy jump. Megan and Dillon had a good round, but were unfortunately enough to catch the pole on the jeopardy jump. This placed us 6th in the class.

We woke on Friday morning still in first place overall at the start of the obstacle driving. Phil Knox and “Flicka” had an excellent round, but had an error in the 3 second compulsory halt. Melonie and Rory also had a very good round with an error on the same obstacle. Our two competitors were the only ones to successfully complete a difficult maneuver where a wheel had to be driven between two raised poles (pity the score on that one wasn’t higher). We ended up 6th in the class.

The barrel racing is always late in the afternoon in the sand ring, with a big crowd. Our ponies were comparatively fast, but didn’t make the final cut against the Q.H and Paints. We were 7th which put us at 3rd equal overnight. There was a very early start to the trail class on Saturday. This is not our best event, but Rory and Celtic Fyre gave it their best. We ended up with a 7th, which put us 5th overall. But for a few unfortunate little faults, we would have been higher in the final standings – better luck next year!

I would particularly like to thank all the team members. Phil and Chris Knox drove 17 hours to be there and were invaluable both on the team and with strategy. Melonie White brought a whole crew of volunteers and supporters from B.C. who were wonderful on our booth. The whole team worked extremely well together and we had FUN!

Having a booth for the first time was a learning experience, and proved excellent promotion for the breed. We had many volunteers for the booth, and would particularly like to mention xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx who put in many hours. We handed out 850 bright green bracelets which said “I love Commenaras” and had our web-site address. We also handed out our new brochure and the Breeders List. Our ponies in the adjoining stall behaved impeccably, and seemed to enjoy all the attention.

We had an additional three young owners ride their ponies in the daily demonstrations namely – Robyn Feluch on Bien Mallin’s Chinook Wind, Alexandra Horne on Avenns Erinn Bay and Cynthia Malouin on Brock on Broadway. They were joined by Bantry Bay Dillon ridden by either Megan Davies or Carra xxx. They soon worked up an excellent drill (which included jumps) to the accompaniment of Irish music. Much to the delight of the crowd, Broc bowed at the end of the performance!