Moseley, VA: Kim Harrison reports that this Fall, two Connemaras
competed at two TREC events, and each came home a champion! On October
19th, in Hoffman, NC, Blueridge Stonewall Jackson (Montully's Son x
Connemara's Emerald Star) ridden by Anne Buteau of Shipman, VA was the
level 3 champion at the USNETO TREC competition in the NC state games.
On October 26, Glenmeadow Golden Wish (Kinzighausen Golden Mortimer x
Ledgewood Greystone Desiree) ridden by Kim Harrison came home the
champion at the Virginia TREC championship held in Powhatan, Va.
TREC is a sport popular in Europe that consists of 3 phases. POR, the
orienteering portion, bonds the horse and rider through long hours and
kilometers in the woods, navigating with map and compass. COP, or
control of pace, the second phase, requires a bit of dressage training
to perform a slow, collected canter and a long, free walk. Finally,
the PTV tests the pony's bravery, obedience, handiness and patience as
the pair negotiates a timed obstacle course,including jumps, water,
bridges, gates, and mounting, usually over 2-3 kilometers. Connemaras
can do it all! Get more information from www.trec-usa.org
Stonewall Jackson on PTV course, cantering low branches obstacle.
Wish doing fast walk in Control of Paces phase.
Stonewall Jackson on PTV course, working the gate.
Geneseo, NY: It is with a very heavy heart that we report that the
great stallion, Hideaway’s Erin Go-Bragh (Hideaway’s Erin Smithereen X
Hideaway’s Centerfold), has died at age 30. Go-Bragh was a fabulous
eventing stallion, the first of many ‘ponies’ that inspired their
riders to ride at the highest levels of eventing. He was also a star
of his own movie and was made into a Bryer horse. He was ridden by
Carol Koslowski. The following is what she wrote for Eventing Nation.
The photo of Carol with Erin Go-Bragh by Brant Gamma is also from
Erin Go-Bragh and Carol Koslowski
“Every rider should be so lucky to have a truly special horse in their
lifetime. It means different things to different people. In my case, I
had the good luck to be given the ride on Erin Go Bragh, a Connemara
stallion bred and raised by the Harris family at their Hideaway Farm
in Geneseo, N.Y.
My journey with Go Bragh began late in 1987 when his regular rider,
Marion Kenney (now Thorne), became pregnant with her first child, and
I was asked to ride him. Many people are familiar with his steady rise
up the levels of dressage through Third Level and eventing, where he
successfully competed at the Advanced level.
Each move up the grades was an unexpected bonus from a horse with a
remarkable work ethic. It was an exhilarating time for me. His
charisma made heads turn, the judges adored him and he was game for
just about anything I could ask of him. It was a 12-year partnership
that read like a good book with thrills and spills, injuries and
disappointments, and more fun and adventures than I could have hoped
for. Go Bragh ended his career as the most successful stallion in
American eventing at the time.
He toured at Equine Affaire and Equitana, starred in his own video,
graced the covers of magazines and calendars and had the ultimate
compliment of being cast as a Breyer horse model. At Breyerfest that
year, thousands attended, with most standing in line over the course
of three days to meet “The Little Horse That Could” and get his
autograph. I traced the outline of his front foot on whatever was
presented for his “signature.” This was stuff I never could have
imagined as a horse-crazy kid.
Fast forward about 15 years. It has always been a treat to visit my
old friend and know that he lived like a king in his retirement. My
good friends Beth and Stirlin Harris took great pride in caring for
their champion, and his longevity certainly reflected their
attentiveness. Beth expressed concerns late this past summer that,
despite special feed and the lushest of grass, Go Bragh was not
holding his weight well. He was starting to show the effects of his
age, a robust 30 years. It was time to consider saying goodbye.
And so it was, on the finest of October evenings, that I found myself
visiting my boy one last time. It seemed to be yet another scene out
of his movie, “The Little Horse That Could.” A beautiful afternoon
turned toward a spectacular sunset. Go Bragh met me at his gate, and I
noted with a pang of sorrow his sharp hip bones and the ribs starting
to show under the beginnings of another well-knit winter coat.
He made me smile when he tossed a saucy greeting at the lovely mare in
the paddock we passed as I led him to the barn for a few moments of
grooming. I was lost in thought when Beth emerged to say hello. When I
saw her, I lost the tenuous hold I had on my composure and burst into
tears. As she described the extra attention that he’d been given of
late and his lack of response to more feed, I could only blubber.
“It’s time. It’s time,” was all I could manage.
Knowing I wanted a little time alone with him, Beth gave me a hug and
left us. I set about currying and brushing and combing, tracing the
familiar ground that I’d known so well for so long. Even as an old
man, he was still handsome, and the curves of his hip and shoulder
were testimony to the power he’d produced from that diminutive body.
The interaction began to take on an almost dreamlike quality as I
murmured to my friend what a good, good boy he was.
As I led him back to his pasture, I suddenly knew what it was I needed
before leaving him. We walked past his gate and down the gentle slope
into the jumping competition arena at Hideaway Farm. The thick grass
was as green as I’ve ever seen it, and I led Go Bragh across the field
to one of the jumps. I knew we were alone; there are hedges
surrounding the field. We had the place to ourselves. I climbed up on
one of the jumps and as he stood close by, I slid onto his back.
And I felt the years melt away. It was a perfect fit, an absolute
rightness. I felt his warmth through my blue jeans. We stood in the
field as the sun blazed on the horizon, and I swear he perked up a
bit, the look of eagles in his eyes when he turned to gaze at the
distance with his short fuzzy ears pricked. For a moment, I just sat
there and cried. Not because Go Bragh was leaving, but because I was
so grateful he had chosen me for the fantastic adventure that his life
had been. It was the feeling one gets when given a gift so unexpected
and special that you are moved to tears.”
I steered him around the site of so many wonderful memories in his
halter and lead rope, a bareback ride in my sneakers. It couldn’t have
been more perfect. When we were done, I wrapped my arms around his
neck and inhaled deeply. Anyone who has ever loved horses knows that
this smell is the finest of any scent, and it was earthy and horsey
and all the good things I remembered.
I slid off him and led him back to his pasture and removed his halter.
I had a few baby carrots in my pocket, and I bit them into smaller
pieces for him. Go Bragh took them politely and asked me if that was
it. I told him yes and watched him turn away. As he slowly wandered
away, I softly called after him: “Thank you. Thank you so much.”
One last ride, one last gift. Go Bragh was peacefully laid to rest a
few days later. I’ve ridden horses with more talent but none with more
try or dignity. I’m so grateful to have had him in my life and to have
had the opportunity for a very special goodbye.”
Read more on our news page
Connemara Brochure 2013
Download the latest edition of the
American Connemara Magazine
From Deb Norman, ACPS Vice President:
As many of you may have heard, our president, Kathy Lucas has had some health issues and must step back from her duties as the President of the ACPS as she recovers. As the Vice-President I am stepping up for the next year and will endeavor to carry us forward as we continue the good work that was under way during Kathy's leadership. I ask for your help and support as we work together to do the best for our ponies and our organization in the next year. I will do my very best to make this a seamless transition and ask for your help, input and support as we carry on.
Our Annual General Meeting is slated for Estes Park, CO on September 5-8 and it will be wonderful.
I want to encourage everyone who can come to do so. We will be staying in the YMCA of the Rockies and there is something for everyone…. horseback riding, fishing, hiking as well as a Scottish/Irish Festival with music and dancing. It will be a wonderful family time with Connemara people from all over the country.
And last, but certainly not least, I want to thank you, Kathy Lucas for the wonderful job you have done for us during your Presidency. Our thoughts and prayers are with you for a speedy and complete recovery. You have galvanized our organization and reminded us to have fun.
In that tradition, I want to encourage everyone to keep our lines of communication open. Please feel free to contact me by phone or email if you know of loose ends that need to be addressed for our AGM or if you have questions or concerns. We are always looking for new faces, voices and skills for our many committees that enable us to accomplish our goals. Together we can continue to grow the ACPS into an organization that we enjoy and that we are proud of.
Read more ...
Farm of the Month 6-13: DryBrook Farm
2012 Filly, DryBrook Erin Lass (Bailey’s Irish Dream x Lasrachai’s Blue Oak Dunlaith).
Farm: DryBrook Farm, owned by Pat and Steve Shields
Location: Harwinton, CT
What we breed and train for: DryBrook is a family farm located in Litchfield County, Connecticut. Our love of Connemara’s began with our halfbred, Irish Park’s Royal Tara; that was eleven years ago. We breed, raise and train both purebred Connemara ponies and Hanoverian crosses. Most important to us is to breed sport horses with good minds that can fully enjoyed by amateurs and more serious competitors. We are breeding for versatility, which is one of the key trademarks of the Connemara. Our ponies excel in jumping and exhibit lovely ground covering movement.
Our Stallion: Bailey’s Irish Dream, (Balius Torlough x Beacon’s Siobhan by Balmullo’s Beacon) is our resident approved standing stallion, who is available to limited outside mares. Dreamer exemplifies a wonderful, kind work ethic and does basically whatever we ask of him with pleasant attitude. He qualified for both the 2011 & 2012 New England Dressage Finals, jumps and last summer began to drive. With only sixty days of driving under his girth, he participated as one of the driving ponies at Equine Affaire.
Number of Resident and Notable Ponies: Seventeen ponies and horses currently call DryBrook home. We have three approved purebred brood mares, each with respected pedigree, each exhibit ground covering stide and uphill movement. One of our cherished brood mares is Lascrachi’s Blue Oak Dunlaith, who is by Lasrachai, the only U.S. standing son of Thunderbolt. Three additional RPSI/Hanoverian mares by famous Grand Prix Dressage sires or Olympic jumping Sires grace our pastures and are ridden by my daughters for eventing, dressage and hunters. The rest of our herd are homebred purebreds and Connemara crosses.
We were very proud this year that our four year old. DryBrooks Tara’s Legacy was Region 1 Halfbred Champion in hand, took her junior rider to high points dressage and was reserve champion for overall show points , while her full brother, DryBrooks Bailey’s Cream took reserve champion hunter.
Currently, we have three very fancy, trained ponies that are dressage or eventing prospects and young stock for available for sale.
We'd like you to know: We take pride in our ponies and horses. We breed quality, kind ponies that are handled daily, and taught right from birth to accept human handling and to respect our space. Our babies are raised to be solid citizens, in the hope that they become someone’s truly loved and cherish life partner.
Bailey’s Irish Dream “Dreamer” just jumping for joy
Bailey’s Irish Dream “Dreamer” at 2012 Equine Affaire
Previous Farms of the Month:
1-13 Hollymead Farm
1-8-12 Fade to Grey Farm
1-22-12 Big Bear Farm
2-5-12 Paradox Connemaras
3-4-12 Rivendell Farm
3-18-12 Cashel Bay Connemara Pony Stud
7-1-12 Prarie Connemara Farm
Farm of the Month: If you are interested please send the following information about your farm to firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to include one or two photos!!
What you breed (or train) for:
How many resident ponies you have:
Names of one or two notable residents:
One thing you would like people to know about your farm:
Farms will be featured strictly on a first come/ first served basis.