THE Irish Pony Society’s rescheduled hunter pony show went ahead last Saturday at Spruce Lodge where, despite clashes with other fixtures, there were reasonably good entries.

One of the highlights was the presentation of the Tiggy Hancock award to the performance jumping champion and this went to south Co Wicklow’s Sarah Keane riding her mother Avril Hobson’s home-bred Connemara gelding, Lon Mac Líomhtha.

This 13-year-old Silver Shadow grey progressed to the championship as winner of the 1m class, while Emma Jane Leggett filled the reserve slot on the 80cms winner, her mother Cathy’s 10-year-old Newton Moll’s Pride gelding, Doonreaghan Oak, another grey Connemara.

Proceedings opened with the novice working hunters and here judges Mairead Ryan and Mary Moore awarded the championship to the 153cms winner, the six-year-old Connemara gelding Glasson Shadow (by Silver Shadow) who was ridden for Helen Burns by Freya Alken. In reserve was yet another Connemara gelding, Ciara Durham’s nine-year-old Banks Timber grey Agharanny Knight, winner of the 143cms class under Charlotte Goor.

Castlecomer’s Aoibhinn Ruane took the open working hunter title on her mother Helena Hennessy Ruane’s 143cms winner, the Connemara mare Clonad Rose, with Rosie Coad being beckoned into the reserve slot on the 153cms winner Blackhall Summer. Clonad Rose, a 10-year-old bay by Gwennic de Goariva, also stood ahead of Blackhall Summer in the overall working hunter championship.

Competitors felt that Johnnie Kyle’s tracks were fair but did ask some questions, providing an opportunity to get in some practice before HOYS next month.

A busy Jessica Murphy won the Intermediate championship on her mother Melissa O’Connor Murphy’s 10-year-old French-bred gelding Darcy de Chanteloube. The Inch rider also topped Rachel Hamilton Bennett’s final line-up in the 153cms show hunter pony class on Runnon Fancy That who stood reserve supreme to the 133cms winner, Goldengrove Sunrise, winner also of the starter stakes championship. This 14-year-old Holyoake Czar gelding was ridden for Ballyfoyle’s Áine Brennan by her daughter Aoife.

Braveheart champion

Many of the Connemaras mentioned met one another with varying results throughout the day but the ridden breed champion was the Murphy-partnered Rocklawn Braveheart, Gavin Curley’s 12-year-old stallion by Newtown Pedro.

The Mountain & Moorland champion was Kathy Geoghegan’s Welsh gelding Pantycoed Mercutio who won three classes in that section under three different riders. In the show’s overall mini championship, this Dirion Ffloyd six-year-old stood reserve to Sean Redmond and Aine Geoghegan’s Welsh gelding Holthall Gladiator, a five-year-old roan by Islyn Bond who had won the show hunter lead rein class under Fionn Redmond.

Just to show she is as competent out of the saddle as in it, Jessica Murphy led Aine Geoghegan’s four-year-old Glencarrig Knight gelding, Glencarrig Bracken, to victory in the in-hand championship.

The committee is very grateful to all those who helped to make this show a success, the judges on the day, some of whom donated their fees to help defray costs or to support the Tiggy Hancock Trust, the anonymous sponsors who helped meet the expenses involved and the stewards and course builders.