The Connemara pony, though almost unknown outside of Ireland, and probably not as well known in that country as its great merits deserve, there is no better pony, says "Bruni" in the "Australasian," in Britain than the pony raised in the wilds of Connemara.
Not many writers on the horse have mentioned this wonderfully good little equine, but the few who have acquaintance with this pony speak in the highest terms of his energy, staying power, strength, and action. Strange to say, that enthusiastic lover of the horse, the late Captain Hayes, makes very little mention of these Connemara ponies
, though he acknowledges their great powers of endurance and strength.
A correspondent, who has not given me his name, has sent me an extensive newspaper cutting (the name of which is absent), containing a long description of the Connemara pony by a writer signing himself Cygnus. He says that "I arrived at Recess at half-past 6 in the evening, to find the carriages ordered for my conveyance to Leenane, distant 16 English miles, vanished.
"For myself and two others, none of us featherweights, a car was eventually secured, which carried us and the driver to our destination in less than two hours. Of the action of our Connemara pony mare I could see a great deal over a long stretch of more or less level road first, and over steep gradients later.
"It was emphatically the best action conceivable... The powerful hindquarters which the pony used in the easiest and most skillful manner thrust her forward wonderfully, and there seemed to be next to no rise and fall of her back as she forged along... Many more Connemara ponies I saw like unto her, with the same tireless stride, the same easy action, the same gentle manners."
"Of the origin of these ponies nothing is known for certain. There are two distinct types among them - one of a heavy or Clydesdale sort, the other the Clifden type. Of this type, Professor Ewart says, 'There are nowhere else, as far as I know, in the British Islands, ponies with so much stamina, as those I included in the Clifden section."
"What stamps the Connemara pony as of the very highest class is the following anecdote, which was told me by Mr. J. W. Power, of Horsham — The officers of a Lancer Regiment, while in India got together a splendid lot of Eastern-bred polo ponies - the best they could obtain.
"They were invincible in India, and after they returned to Britain they carried all before them, till they came to County Carlow where they met a local team, captained by Mr. John Watson who, I understand, is a nephew of the late Mr. George Watson, and mounted on Connemara ponies. Mr. Watson's team "wiped out" the Lancers, who never had a chance."
The Lancers took their beating in good part, and quietly got rid of their famous Eastern ponies, and replaced them with ponies bred in Connemara. It was not thought a better proof of excellence could be given than this of the Connemara pony.