Connemara Merit Scheme takes off the ground

Last year, the Connemara Pony Breeders’ Society introduced a merit award scheme for Connemara ridden and performance ponies registered with the Society and generally not competing in mainstream competitions. It is hoped that this scheme will develop and improve in the coming years and encourage higher entries at shows throughout the country. For the moment a limited number of shows and classes as detailed below are part of the pilot scheme, and the first four places in the Connemara Ridden and Connemara Working Hunter Performance classes at these specified shows will qualify for merits; 3yo Connemara Loose Jumping and 4yo Connemara Mare Performance class first four places will qualify for merits only in the finals. There must be a minimum of four ponies actually competing in any class for merits to be awarded.

The shows and classes chosen by the CBPS for the merit scheme in 2019 are as follows:
Connemara Ridden and Working Hunter Performance Classes
May 16, Balmoral Show, Lisburn, Championship Show (also High Performance Qualifier)
June 6, Ballinalee Show, Co. Longford (also Green Hunter Qualifier)
June 15 and 16, Cork Show
June 29, Charleville Show, Co. Cork (merits only for High Performance Qualifier)
July 6, North East Connemara Pony Breeder’s Show, Slane, Co. Meath (also Green Hunter and High Performance Qualifiers)
July 28, Midlands Connemara Pony Show, Mullingar (also Green Hunter and High Performance Qualifiers)
August 7-11, Dublin Horse Show Championship Show
August 11, Moycullen, Co. Galway (also High Performance and Green Hunter qualifiers)
August 14-16, Connemara Pony Show, Clifden, Co. Galway Championship Show (also finals of High Performance, Green Hunter, 3yo Loose Jumping and 4yo Connemara Mare Performance)

Connemara 3yo Loose Jumping and Connemara 4 yo Mare Performance classes
July 7, Creagh and July 28, Midlands are qualifiers for Connemara 3yo Loose Jumping and Connemara 4yo Mare Performance. Merits will only be awarded at the Finals in Clifden (August 14) of both these classes.

Eligibility to accrue merits is as follows:
Ponies must be registered with the Connemara Pony Breeder’s Society (CPBS);
Owners must be members of the CPBS before merits can be awarded – no back-dating of merits;
Merits are applicable only at the shows specified above.
Other categories and shows will be added to the system if the scheme is successful. No merits will be awarded if less than four ponies compete in a class: 1st 4 merits, 2nd 3merits, 3rd 2 merits, 4th 1 merit. Double merits will be awarded in all relevant classes at the three specified championship shows.

The best of luck and good fun to all our members and competitors for the coming season.