Connemara Ponies at Cliften Sales
Irish Connemara ponies have been selling at the Clifden Sales in the heart of Connemara, Co Galway in Ireland for many years. They hold 4 sales every year in February, May, August and October over 3 days starting on the Friday and running through to the Sunday.
The Connemara pony has grown in popularity over the years, being one of the most versatile, breeds who are suitable for both children and adults and can excel in all disciplines be it eventing, pony club, Working Hunter Pony (WHP) and even dressage. They are renowned for their docile, willing temperament and being excellent, consistent jumpers.
Bidding Ringside or Through the App
This year, due to the pandemic, the October Connemara Pony Sales were postponed until December. Also, due to the pandemic, this was the first time Marteye.ie, an online app which enables live bidding and live streaming of the auction, was used to enable those unable to physically attend the sale to bid on their favourite Connemara ponies for sale.
Having downloaded the App I have to say it operated very well with many ponies being sold to online bidders. It did not lag which is crucial in such a fast selling environment like an auction. The speed at which they managed to get through all the ponies was very fast paced which makes for a good viewing experience and if you wanted to bid you had to act quickly and be decisive and know what limit you are prepared to bid to.
The auctioneer with his lovely, deep Irish accent and banter was very entertaining to listen to, often using phrases like “come on now, you didn’t surely expect to buy him with just the one bid now, to be sure!” encouraging more bids to reach the best price possible for the ponies. He was also very clear in stating the HWSD status for each pony and any other notable health or veterinary issues such as Sweet Itch, Splints or indeed whether the mare was carrying a foal. To find out more about Hoof Wall Separation Disease in Connemara Ponies (HWSD) see here.
Record Prices Reached for Connemara Ponies
Over 450 Connemara ponies were registered for the sale with the catalogue being available on the Connemaraponysales.ie website here. The vast majority of the ponies were youngsters, but some were broken to riding and there were a few ponies which were unregistered also put through the sale but these did not make much money. Those with the best breeding, NN for HWSD and that had been well handled, with good conformation fetched the best prices irrespective of whether they were broken or unbroken.
Dun Connemara geldings were the most popular and sought after of the breed with Lot 42, an unbroken 4yr old Dun over height Connemara gelding called Golden Trumpet, standing at 15hh on Friday reaching a fantastic 8000 Euro, sired by Caherlistrane Bay. You can see his auction stream here.
The catalogue enables purchasers to do their research on the breeding, age and HWSD status of the ponies before the auctions and on the marteye.ie app the catalogue also showed images of the ponies and in some cases video. Many of the sellers also promoted their ponies through the Connemara Pony Community Facebook group to entice further bidders to the sale and give a more detailed description and write up on their ponies.
Transporters are at the auction ready to send purchased ponies to their respective new homes in the UK, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and other countries which are enthusiasts for the breed. It is all facilitated in a professional, welfare prioritised manner. There are even companies like Equine Viewer Ireland who will view, inspect, ride, video and report back on the horse / horses you’re interested in.
The next Connemara Pony Auction at Cliften will be in February 2021. It may be that with the UK leaving Europe the transport regulations and quarantine requirements will reduce the number of buyers seeking Connemaras from Ireland to come to the UK and further afield but personally I doubt it. I think these versatile ponies will always be sought after as they have so much to offer.
You can read more about the Connemara Pony here and see current Connemara ponies advertised for sale and loan on our website.