Colour: grey, black, bay, brown, dun, occasional roan and chestnut
exposed western seaboard of Ireland, with its mountainous bogs and
moorland north of Galway Bay, is the home of the Connemara Pony.
It is an environment that has encouraged the characteristic qualities
of hardiness, agility and intelligent attributable to this popular
breed. Subsisting on the rough mountain herbage, the ponies were
once indispensable in the struggle for survival of the local farming
population, carrying out all the duties of the farm horse.
In the days of Spanish commercial trade with Ireland, it is thought
that imported Spanish Barb and Andalusian horses exerted a beneficial
influence on the breed, and as late as the mid-19th century Arab
blood was being judiciously introduced. In 1891, further influence
was exerted by the importation of Welsh Stallions.
The Connemara Breeders Society was founded in 1923. Since then,
many Connemara Ponies have been exported and breed societies have
been formed in many countries, including England and America. Its
jumping ability is renowned and, when used as a Cross, the breed
has produced some notable Stars, such as the show jumper Dundrum,
dressage horse Little Model and, more recently, the eventer The
Done Thing. Despite its 'riding' conformation, the Connemara tan
equally well provide a keen and agile, yet calm, driving Pony, up
to FE1 competition level.