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The Connemara Pony in Sweden


by Jenny Hagenblad


  The first Connemaras to be imported for breeding purposes came to Sweden in 1964 when the Weckner family imported Roundstone Chief CPS 151 and the mares Autumn Sunset CPS 2193, Easter Blues CPS 2247 and Atlantic Blue CPS 2408. In 1963 Roundstone Chief won his class at Clifden Show, and he fulfilled the expectation in his new home country. Together with all three of the Weckners' mares he left stallion sons (Golden Rover, Blue Chief and Nice-n'-Easy) and many of his offspring have done well in the ridden arena. Of his sons Blue Chief has been Champion at the breed show and Nice-n'-Easy has received the Elite premium.

  At about the same time, but ignorant of the Weckners, Mrs Karin Johansson brought the stallion Slieve Dara CPS 146 and the mares Keehaune Belle CPS 2310 and Autumn Holiday CPS 2200 to Sweden. Slieve Dara had a successful life, leaving over 200 progeny after fourteen years at stud, as well as being Champion at the first breed show in 1971. Many of his daughters have done well as brood mares or in the show ring and seven of his sons have been approved stallions. The two full brothers Brantshammar Korak and Brantshammar Bell Dara out of Keehaune Belle have been breed show Champions as well, and Korak has been awarded the Elite premium. One of Slieve Dara's notable daughters is Brantshammar Julie, herself the mother of three successful stallion sons (Rolls Royce, Juno Rory and Janus).

  In 1965 Countess Andrea Oxenstierna imported her first ponies, 27 in all, including her foundation mare Jealous Lady CPS 2301. The following year another ten mares followed and the stallion Lambay Inver CPS 162. During his long fruitful life, Lambay Inver had sired over 230 foals when he was put down in 1996, at 33 years of age. Six of his sons have been passed on for stallion duties, among which are the Elite stallion Värnbergs Neptunus.

  On the 31 of July 1965 the, at that time, nine Connemara owners founded the Swedish Connemara Society (SCS). With the early interest from several Swedish authorities on the horse the Connemara spread rapidly to other breeders. Low prices of transport and the lack of ponies in Sweden ensured many ponies were imported to Sweden in the early years, mainly from Ireland, but also from England and in later years Denmark as well.

  Today there are 89 stallions and some 1000 mares in the Swedish studbook. The register, where all pure bred Connemaras regardless of sex colour or height are in- cluded, numbers well beyond 4000 ponies. Since the breed was introduced in Sweden Connemaras have been competing in all kinds of equestrian fields. Numerous pure bred Connemaras have been Swedish champions in dressage, show jumping, eventing and in driving. Connemaras have also represented Sweden internationally on a num- ber of occasions. What can be a better example of the Swedish Connemara than Värnbergs Neptunus: a successful stallion which in 1981 returned to the country of his ancestors to win a gold medal at the European pony championships.




For more information visit the
Swedish Connemara Pony Web Site
Internet Connemara Pony Gallery,  Issue 6,  1.7.2000 Home