The second and last show of the season for Connemara Ponies in Finland took place on 31st July and 1st August. This was the 33rd annual National Pony Show, where besides Connemaras, ponies from six other breeds are shown in their own classes. Altogether the Vermo race track in Helsinki was taken over by well over 400 ponies.
Connemaras were this year shown for Mr Malcom Fry from Great Britain, who took care of judging both the Connemaras and New Forest Ponies. Mr Fry kept admiring the overall quality of Finnish Connemara Ponies, but regretted the meagre number of entries. Nevertheless, he was able to find quality ponies to award prizes to!
Saturday was reserved for young stock. Only two colts were shown, out of which yearling Symphatil O’Neill (Symphatil Hazy Becks – Irish Dream – Öxenholm Marble Jr, breeder & owner Susanna Rahikainen) was chosen as the best colt. He was beaten for the Junior Champion title by yearling filly Fieldhill Bene Bettina (Dale Mountain Mist – Eternal Amity – Symphatil Hazy Becks, breeder Sari Takala, owner Jenna Loimijoki), who became the Reserve Supreme Champion of the breed the following day.
A special mention goes to two year-old filly class winner Rockfield Arctic Glow (atlantic Ace – Rockfield Scaramé – Kåsta Scaramouche, breeder & owner Merja Nurmi), who was later the same day shown for a Finnish panel of judges for the “young pony assessment” and received a very high score of 41 points (over 40 is considered Class I and is rather difficult to achieve).
The highlight of the day on Saturday was the selection of the best young pony bred in Finland, among all the participating breeds. In this class, Connemara Fieldhill Bene Bettina ended up being the third best pony of the day.
Sunday’s classes were started by 4-9 year old mares, and the best overall Connemara Pony of the weekend was seen in this class. Six year-old Coneridge Kathleen (Innellan Kestrel – Kate – Killyreagh Kim, breeder Mari Talvio, owner Annika Hägglund) represents good old type and has plenty of bone, and she went on to first take the Champion Mare title and then to become the Supreme Champion. The Supreme Champion from the Connemara breed show in Tampere in July, Woolpacks Sweetie Pie (Janus – Bolle Cornette – Lukas, breeder Carina Jansson, Sweden, owner Hanna Koli) was this time placed 2nd in her class to Coneridge Kathleen (for the post on that show, see here).
Other mare class winners include Cluain Caoilfhionn (Symphatil Hazy Becks – Paradis Aniara – Kåsta Scaramouche, breeder & owner Jaana Malin), Fieldhill Belinda Blue (Innellan Kestrel – A.S. Melisse – Symphatil Hazy Becks, breeder Sari Takala, owner Milla-Maria Varsell), Rockfield Scaramé (Kåsta Scaramouche – Ametist – Kimble, breeder Merja Nurmi, owner Maj-Gret Nurmi) and Downhill Dewdrop (Kåsta Scaramouche – Aramara Audrey Grey – Millfields Ensign, breeder Sari Alhainen, owner Elisa Uusi-Heikkilä). Mr Fry was specially pleased with the high quality of the mares bred in Finland. “Fabulous ponies!” he repeated in between the classes!
A couple of geldings were shown as well, and the best gelding became 5-year-old Ohana Andromera (Rockfield McBurney – Aramara Eliza – Ardnasillagh O’Flaherty, breeder Hanna Koli, owner Maarit Lähteenmäki).
The best foal out of four shown was 3rd generation Finnish breeding, as the filly Rockfield Eternity (Calvin Klein – Rockfiled Scaramé – Kåsta Scaramouche) took home the champion foal title. At the end of the day she was placed in the same ring with the best foals of all the other breeds shown during the weekend, and was placed 2nd, only losing to a Welsh Sec. C filly. Unfortunately this was the only “podium position” of the day for the Connemaras in the all-breeds’ final rings, but we look forward to next year!