09/08/12 – Minister Deenihan opens Connemara Pony Show
Jimmy Deenihan TD., Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht today (Thursday 9th August, 2012) officially opened the 89th Connemara Pony Show, at the Showgrounds, Clifden, Galway.
The Connemara Pony show is one of the longest running events on the Irish equestrian calendar. The first Connemara Pony Show was held at Roundstone on 15th August 1924. The second annual show was held at Recess, with the 3rd to 23rd Shows being held in Carna. In 1947 the 24th annual pony show was held in Clifden and from that year onwards the Annual Show has always been held at Clifden.
Speaking at the opening Minister Deenihan said:
“Special praise must go to the Connemara Pony Breeders Society for ensuring that this wonderful event has had such a long and successful lifespan. The Society was originally established in 1923 for the purpose of taking steps that would lead to the preservation and improvement of the Connemara Pony.
“It is extremely encouraging to see that the Connemara Pony Breeders Society place a great deal of importance on how raising awareness and appreciation of the Connemara Pony impacts positively on not only the heritage of the local area, but indeed Irish heritage overall. Indeed, I note that the Government through the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine has approved grants totalling in excess of €96,000 this year.
“It is important that we recognise that the conservation, preservation and management of our national heritage has economic, as well as cultural and aesthetic benefits. What is most impressive is that these shows bring together the largest collection of Connemara ponies seen anywhere in the world and is used as a market window for breeders from both Ireland and overseas. The fact that this event has grown and developed into what it is today is not only a true sign of the imagination and vision of its founders, but also a testament to its loyal and growing audience.”
This year the society has 17 daughter societies worldwide all of which will be represented at the Connemara Pony Show including USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand.