The Connemara Pony is Ireland’s only native breed. It comes from and is named for an area on the west coast of Ireland bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and Galway Bay; a wilderness of bogs and rugged moorland. In the early days of the breed, about 5th century B.C., the Connemara resembled a Shetland pony. Later, Celtic raiders bred the horses to the Spanish Jennet and the Irish Hobby. Welsh Cob, Arabian, Thoroughbred and Irish Draught helped establish the modern Connemara. Traditionally, Irish Farmers valued the Connemara, and almost all of them owned only one mare. Today, the Connemara is the ultimate sport pony, and jumping is its forte. When the Connemara is crossed with the Thoroughbred, it creates a sturdy and speedy event horse.
The Connemara is a large pony, with heights ranging from 13 to 15 hands. Colors are grey, black, brown and dun, and occasionally, palomino, chestnut and roan. The Connemara has thick and hardy forelegs and strong hocks and thighs. The neck is very long and arched, and the sloping shoulders are perfect for jumping.
For more information:
The American Connemara Pony Society, www.acps.org