Friday, September 14, 2012

ACPS Article

 Here is the piece that was featured about me (sadly Maaaaa-rian was not asked to be involved in this!) Since moving here, and being tracked down by the American Connemara Society, I have felt nothing but welcome, especially since I travelled here and thought based on my job that I wasn't going to see a Connemara pony until I got back home. Since part-taking in this article I have travelled to a Region 1 Connemara show in Vermont and it was one of the best weekends to date. I have never felt so welcome and I was extremly humbled by how many people wanted to talk to me, ask me questions and even pose for pictures with them!! I feel like I made life long friends through the ACPS and in Region 1 in particular.

Here is the link to the ACPS website I encourage you all to have a look at see what Connemara pony life is like on this side!!  is the American Connemara website for those who want to have a look and here is the link for my write up!

For those who can't get the link to open here it is!
Shauna Finneran of Galway, Ireland, has been riding since the age of 3 under the watchful eyes of her family.  Coming from a long line of pony breeders gave Shauna the early resources she needed to climb the ranks from Pony Club to International competitive scene. Shauna’s life has always been filled with the presence of Connemara ponies, a love which she got from her late grandfather Sean Hardiman, a well known horseman. In 2004, at the age of 14, she won her first class at the world famous Clifden Pony Show.  At the age of 16, she became the first rider to win a working hunter jumping class on the four year old mare Venus in first year it was offered at the Clifden show.  That same year Shauna and her unforgettable Connemara gelding Milford Sirocco (Milford Siskin x Milvern Wren) claimed the Ridden Championship (pictured above and left).  This title, among many other wins, ensured Milford Sirocco’s induction into the Connemara Pony Hall of Fame. 

The versatile partnership excelled at everything they attempted, and under the careful eye of dressage trainer Vida Tansey, the pair represented Ireland as an under 21 pair in multiple dressage completions. In Milford Sirocco’s later years, he became a member of the Connemara Quadrille and travelled across Ireland giving demos.  He was ridden by both Shauna and her aunt Marjorie, who has always been a supporting figure and influence to Shauna.
After establishing herself as an expert in the show ring, Shauna took this knowledge and completed numerous equine exams ranging from judging to teaching.  She divided her time between teaching young children with special needs and junior judging under lifelong mentor Pascal Crawford. Shauna continued to bring along horses and Connemara ponies that now themselves are show-ring experts and winners with their current owners. Shauna also had the opportunity to ride and contribute to the training of Connemara ponies belonging to uber successful Countess April Merveldt (Donode Forget Me Not) and Robert Fallon’s stallion (pictured right) Cashel Bay Prince. 
In the summer of 2009, Shauna travelled to dressage expert Pam Goodrich to train for 6 weeks. She took what she learnt from the dressage superstar and applied her new knowledge to the youngsters, horses and ponies she had at home in Ireland.
In late 2009 Shauna’s aunt Marjorie bought a grey mare, Prospect Suzy. After being broken and competed successfully, Shauna and Prospect Suzy won classes across the country and claimed their first major win in Clifden Pony Show in the summer of 2010. (Pictured right and below)

In 2011, while finishing her last year in college, Shauna and the beautiful grey mare Prospect Suzy began competing once again. During the winter, Shauna participated in dressage shows with Prospect Suzy.  She found incorporating the dressage techniques she learned in America made both Suzie and her previous gelding Sirrocco more responsive and gave them an edge in the show ring.  

After the winter season of training, the pair began the summer show season by winning multiple classes and championships across Ireland. 
Shauna was rewarded for her hard work with Prospect Suzy when they won the Clifden Ridden Championship in 2011.  She is the only rider to have earned two Ridden Championships under the age of 22.  (Pictured right)  

In December of 2011, after graduating from college, Shauna moved to America to ride and train with Pam Goodrich, splitting her time training in Florida in the winter and New Hampshire for the rest of the year. She is looking forward to applying what she has already learned when she returns to Ireland in August for a brief stay to ride Prospect Suzy’s 4 year old gelding Dandini in Clifden Pony Show.

Will resume with the latest from the month of September at the end of the month!