Europe - Ireland

Photo supplied by Connemara Pony Breeders Society of Australia - South Australia

The Connemara is Ireland's only native breed and was named after Ireland's wild, rocky western coastline. Ponies have existed there for many centuries. It is believed that they were crossed with Spanish and Barb horses during the 6th century BC when the Celts invaded Europe. Trade brought more Spanish blood into the country. During the 19th century landowners imported Arabian stallions but their influence on the Connemara is unclear. To improve the breed Welsh, Thoroughbred, Hackney and Clydesdale blood was introduced.
With the support of the Department of Agriculture the Connemara Pony Breeder's Society was formed in Galway in 1923. It aimed to improve the breed from within seeking out quality mares and stallions as foundation stock. A superb, fixed type pony developed that is sensible and courageous and excels at almost any sport.

Head: beautiful, refined, short head; slightly dished profile; broad forehead; well-defined jaw; big, dark eyes; small ears
Neck: long, arched, gives good length to rein
Shoulders: well sloped
Body: deep, compact body; strong hindquarters
Legs: fairly short legs; good, strong limbs; short cannons; a lot of bone below the knee
Feet: strong, sound
Tail: high set
Color: predominantly grey, also brown, dun, black; occasionally chestnut and roan
Height: not exceeding 14.4hh
Temperament: spirited, sensible, kind, gentle, willing
Qualities: strength, stamina, great agility, free action, excellent balance, jumping power, courageous, sure footed, economical to feed

The Connemara is the best performance pony in the world. It excels in show jumping, dressage, driving and three day eventing. Connemaras crossed with Thoroughbreds make top class performance horses. They are also great riding ponies for children and adults.

Photo supplied by Glenormiston Connemara Pony Stud - QLD