The Connemara Pony’s temperament, it’s strong bones and general toughness make it a natural choice for hunting, show jumping and cross-country events.
The breed has produced some of the most famous show jumpers in history:
- In 1935, Nugget a twenty year old standing 15hh, cleared a 7 foot 2 inch obstacle at the International Horse Show in London.
- Dundrum, another 15hh Connemara Pony, won five major events at the Dublin Horse Show. The first horse ever to have won so many.
- Stroller, a 14.2hh Connemara cross-bred, competed in the 1968 Olympics for the British team, and won the Individual Silver Medal
- Lendon Gray, the renowned dressage rider, consistently competed her Connemara/Thoroughbred crosses, Seldom Seen and Last Seen, with great success in top-level international dressage competitions.
Two genuine Connemara Pony legends are European Champion Ballyowen Maybelle Molly and Sillogue Darkie a European Team Silver & Bronze Medallist:
Other famous Connemara Ponies include:
Marcus Aurelius, who won Gold Medals for eventing in the 1975 and 1976 Pan American games. Custusha’s Cashel Rock, who earned awards in hunter, showjumping, dressage and eventing classes, and the charismatic stallion Erin Go Bragh, who thrilled audiences in eventing competitions.
Connemara Ponies are equally successful in almost all other popular equestrian disciplines including dressage, combined driving and endurance.
They make exceptional Pony Club mounts, are a wonderful addition to therapeutic riding programs and, of course, make perfect trail riders and happy hackers.
However, while the pure-bred Connemara pony is always growing in popularity, the demand for a slightly larger version has resulted in the Connemara being crossed with other breeds, most commonly the Thoroughbred, to produce a larger more athletic horse.
Both pure-bred and cross-bred Connemaras are eligible for registration with the American Connemara Pony Society (ACPS).