Connemaras: For all Disciplines – For all the Family
From Ireland to Canada
I have always been a bit of a "trend bucker" and off the beaten path sort, so when I decided to take the plunge into the world of breeding Connemaras, I also wanted to eventually follow my own interest of colour genetics and marketability. My interest lays outside of the predominant grey colour that one sees most often in our breed and resides mainly in the realm of buckskins and other dilute forms. Since we all love the buckskin colour, I thought that it would be a lovely idea to find a double dilute colt that carried no grey gene. Of course, in many parts of the world as well as North America, the double dilutes are frowned upon and occasionally are ineligible for full registration status. This is where I must thank whole heartedly those who also love the cream ponies here in Canada as they were the ones who forged the path of acceptance in our Canadian chapter. MANY, MANY thanks!!!
It was 6 years ago I started looking for a double dilute colt who carried no grey, who was well bred, had fantastic conformation and was an excellent mover. Somehow I thought it would not take as long as it did! Finally last summer I ended up placing an ad on the Irish equivalent to Kijiji stating what I was looking for. During that time I also found an ad for a colt that sounded interesting. There were three colts at that time that I looked at, all ended up carrying one or two copies of grey, so fell outside of what I was looking for. As well, a few had sweet itch issues in their breeding or just did not have the conformation I required.
The colt I found was in the middle of nowhere on the far west coast of Ireland, living in a field all alone and owned by a non horse person. He was given the colt as a foal because he was a BEC and unwanted. The gentleman thought he might make a nice pony for his son. Well, I am sure we all know how that kind of situation would have turned out, and sure enough that is why the ad was placed on Donedeal. An unhandled colt with no passport and unfinished registration! Despite this I went ahead got some pictured and asked to have a grey test done. It took about 3 -4 months of waiting and several lost samples from Weatherbys, but eventually I got a message via Facebook that the colt was in fact grey free and did I want to buy him?
Enter the negotiation!! While I knew full well what his asking price was on Donedeal, I offered double what he was asking to try to be fair (that being said, I likely don't have to enlighten you all what the BEC colt is worth in Ireland lol!!!). Seems he had an entirely different agenda and proceeded to ask for at LEAST the importation price. We went back and forth for about a week and a half before I realized that this fellow was fully intent on trying to scam me. Sadly, I decided to write the colt off and wait another year to see what the next years foal crop would bring.
About 3 weeks after writing the colt off, I received a private message through a message board I frequent. The lady had seen an ad of mine from about 2 years ago looking for a colt. She informed me she knew of two colts, one 22 months old and tested grey free and a 9 month old not yet tested. The 22 month old I assumed was the colt I had hopes for and I let her know that I knew of that fellow but was absolutely not interested in dealing with the owner. She totally understood as he had tried to get big $$ out of her as well when she inquired about him. At that point she offered to make the deal for me and I could buy him anonymously with no direct dealings with his scabby owner. After chatting with the hubby, we decided what the heck and I took the plunge and said YES. Go ahead and try to buy him for me. Well, the deal was struck and a week and a half later my totally untouched colt was wrangled by about 4-5 men into the back of a lorry and shipped across the entirety of Ireland to a yard just south of Dublin.
My lad (now named Finn) had not seen another horse since he was weaned, so his first order of the day was to get socialized asap with the two other 2 year olds that were at the farm. After a bit of an "OH MY GOD" day for poor Finn, he settled in and had a bit of a crash course in manners and social etiquette in a small herd. Now was the rush to get his passport done and find a shipper before his 2nd birthday at the end of April! It was touch and go for a bit, but I ended up hiring Dutta Transport and I cannot thank them enough for their hard work and fantastic communication in getting his paperwork done on time! It was literally down to the wire and it was the day before he left that his passport got completed by their European partner! Off he went on a trip to Holland and subsequently his flight to New York.
While he is certainly all BOY, when I picked him up at the Newburgh facility, I was reassured that they have dealt with FAR worse stallions and my fellow was "not bad at all considering he was untouched out of a field!!". Apparently I also hold the record for the ugliest trailer ever to pick up an imported horse. I painted my Rice trailer white and pink as per the instructions of my 4 year old. Glad it made more than one fellow laugh at the quarantine facility when I pulled up! Finn was a gentleman the whole ride back to Canada and is now currently living with my other lad Tibyl, a 2 year old colt Blue Ridge Patrick Henry and a 2 year old Irish Draught/Connemaras gelding MLC Irish Rapture. As he had quite the month of excitement before shipping to Canada, he did lose a fair bit of weight and it will likely be at least fall before I can get him out to a couple shows. But his game temperament has shone through and he has been wonderful since arriving.
Anyways, it was a journey of about 6 years and as it stands, Finn (FIONTAR MAC TIRE) is the only perlino Connemara stallion currently in North America who will be eligible to have his offspring registered as full Connemaras. His sire is Maumturk Oliver (Newtown Oliver by Ormond Oliver) with Rossaveal Lady (by Frederiksminde Hazy Match) . He also has Inellan Kestrel, Tantallon Bobby and MacDara in there for good measure. I do have high hopes for this lad in the future for both a performance stallion as well as a nice addition to the Connemara breeding pool since he offers great bloodlines, top notch conformation and is a fantastic mover. Not to mention the guarantee of perlinos, buckskins, palominos, smoky browns and smoky blacks!
Welcome to Canada Finn!!
Muskoka Lakes Connemaras
Connemaras Participating in the St. Patricks Day Parade in Montreal, Quebec
Our lovely Irish ponies being terrific ambassadors of the breed on St. Patricks Day !
The grey pony is the stallion Caraway Brio owned by Violaine Fortin & ridden by Violaine's student Frederique Duplain-Laferriere.
The bay is Caraway Merle ridden by Violaine's daughter Jeanne Poirier.
Violaine reported that it was a wonderful day & that the ponies were great.
Objectives of the Society
The Society will encourage, develop and regulate the Connemara pony in Canada by:
registering and keeping a studbook for Connemara ponies;
maintaining true Connemara pony type through education and inspections;
promoting and improving the breed and communications among owners and breeders;
encouraging the use of the ponies through a performance awards program.