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Minister of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney TD Opens the Connemara Pony Festival 2014

Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, today officially opened the annual Connemara Pony Festival in Clifden, Co. Galway.

Speaking at the event, Minister Coveney said “the Connemara Pony Festival is an important annual event in the Irish equestrian calendar involving over six hundred ponies competing. The festival has grown into a week-long celebration of the Connemara Pony and is a major tourist attraction with 8,000 visitors attending, bringing significant economic spin-off to the area”.

The Minister added “the Connemara Pony is a national treasure, part of Ireland’s heritage and is a great source of pride to all involved. The breed is renowned for its hardiness, docility and versatility; individual ponies have also excelled at top levels in FEI disciplines”.

Commenting on recent legislation that he introduced in April this year, the Minister said  “the Transfer of Ownership Regulations require new owners to register a change of ownership  with the Passport Issuing Body or studbook who record the information and transmit it to my Department’s central equine database”.

The Minister acknowledged that members of the Connemara Pony Breeders Society have been recording pedigree when registering their foals since the Studbook’s inception.  The Minister added “Pedigree data is essential for any breeding programmeand I would strongly encourage all sport horse breeders to record pedigree when registering their foals”.

The Minister concluded by thanking the organising committee, show chairman and secretary and the team of volunteers who have put in many hours of hard work in preparing for the event. He said that he hoped the equestrian events and other associated festivities being carried out during the Festival make it a memorable week for everyone who attends.

 View Press Release as a PDF:  DAFMPR 119/2014 (pdf 633Kb) 

Date Released: 21 August 2014