Connemara Pony Spring Festival
The Connemara Pony Spring festival will take place from Thursday 27th March to Sunday 30th March. Traditionally the festival has focused on Connemara stallions and this year is no different. Colt inspections will take place on Thursday 27th March in Mullingar Equestrian Centre from 9am and at the Showgrounds, Clifden on Saturday 29th March. The annual stallion parade will be held at the Showgrounds, Clifden on Sunday 30th March.
For the first time, an elite Connemara Pony Performance sale will form part of the festival. Connemara ponies that have undergone a rigorous selection process will be offered for sale at the elite performance sale on Friday 28th March. Ponies can be viewed performing at Duffy’s Equestrian Centre, Claregalway, Co. Galway from 9am followed by an auction in the Ardilaun Hotel that evening starting at 7pm.
Colt inspections will commence at 9am on Saturday at the Showgrounds, Clifden. Dressage trainer and judge, Vida Tansey will give a dressage master class to under 18s on Saturday at 3pm. The class is designed for riders looking to improve their basic flat work to help progress their Connemara ponies for general riding, show ridden classes, dressage, show-jumping and cross country. On Saturday evening at 8.30pm, well known Connemara pony breeder and judge, Henry O’Toole, will deliver the Bartley O’Sullivan lecture in the Station House Theatre.
The stallion parade is sure to attract a large number of stallions and will commence at 12 noon on Sunday. Stallions will have an opportunity to be shown in-hand or under saddle at Ireland’s largest stallion parade. This year we are delighted to welcome the International show jumping stallion Silver Shadow back to Ireland and he will be on display at the parade. Successful stallions from the inspections will also be paraded. A Western riding demonstration will take place at 1pm. At 2pm dressage rider Alana Cazabon Sullivan will give a musical dressage demonstration on her Connemara pony.
To celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday 30th March the Connemara Pony Breeders’ Society in association with the Clifden Station House Hotel are organising a family day out. It’s been nearly 80 years since the last train was spotted pulling out of the Station House but on Sunday 30th March we will all hear the Choo-Choo again. The novelty Clifden Express will be departing the Showgrounds from 12 noon making regular trips to the Station House for all the children having a day out. We will also have a face painter and from 1.30pm sean nós dancers, at The Showgrounds.
Following all this you are sure to be hungry and The Clifden Station House Hotel Restaurant is offering a Mother’s Day Special Four Course Table d’hote Menu for €19.95 and the Signal Bar is offering a Main Course with a pint or glass of wine for €14.50.