International Connemara Performance Hunter


  • When:
  • Where:

Three teams of four riders and ponies will be invited to take part. Ponies must be Registered Connemaras and aged between 5 - 15 years old inclusive.


To demonstrate the distinctive traits of the Connemara Pony; rideability, scope, versatility and suitability for child or adult rider.


A team of four riders and four ponies will be invited to participate from the following nations:

  • Ireland
  • Great Britain
  • France

Combinations to compete on the Irish team will be selected from the Connemara Performance Hunter Championship. The top four pony and rider combinations from Class 71, the 8 – 15 year old category, will be invited to compete on the Irish team. As only one senior rider per team is permitted, the highest placed senior rider will fill this place. If a rider in the top four placings of Class 71 is unable to accept the invitation or is ineligible due to the age stipulations, the invitation will go to the next highest placed and eligible combination from Class 71. If no senior rider qualifies as per the rules above, the place may be filled by a junior rider.


  • All ponies must be registered pure bred Connemaras with the Connemara Pony Breeders Society or a daughter studbook and present a valid passport.
  • Microchips will be examined and must corroborate with the passport bar code.
  • To be ridden by riders who have attained their 13th birthday by 1 January 2019. Three riders per team must be under 21 on the 1st of January 2019. There will be no upper age restriction for the fourth rider.
  • All competition criteria (tack, whip & fence size) apply equally to the practice / warm-up arena.
  • No item of tack excluded from competition is allowed in the practice arena.
  • Ponies must be presented without plaits in competition.


  • Riders must wear jackets to identify their Nation of origin.
  • Riders must dress according to the Dress Code.
  • A body protector must be worn by all riders (see Rule 12, pg 20).
  • Only snaffle bridles (see Rule 30, pg 21) with any one of the following nosebands: cavesson, drop, flash or grackle are permitted.  This applies to all phases of the competition.
  • Martingales are not permitted.
  • Only saddle contoured numnahs are permitted.  No saddle cloths or visible logos are permitted.
  • Whips are permitted but may not exceed 75cms.
  • Only blunt metal spurs or ones with rubber rowels ≤ 2½cms (1") facing downwards are permitted
  • Ponies will compete without leg boots or bandages.  Overreach boots are permitted.
  • If for any reason, a rider goes through the Start with incorrect tack, the judge will have no option but to eliminate that competitor.

Competition Format

The class will run over three phases:

  • Ridden Flat Work Phase (80 points)
  • Jumping Phase (190 points)
  • Conformation Phase (30 points)

This class will run as per a specific drawn order available from the Equestrian Office. 

Ridden Flat Work Phase

Details of the Flat Work Phase can be found here.

Jumping Phase

The Flat Work is immediately followed by the Jumping Phase. The course will be derby in style with a number of cross country style fences. The jumping round must conclude with a halt and salute.

16 jumping efforts ≤ 100cm in height @ 350mpm


  • For each fence down – 4 penalties
  • 1st refusal – 5 penalties
  • 2nd refusal at the same fence – 8 penalties
  • 2nd refusal on course – 10 penalties
  • 3rd refusal on course - Elimination
  • Fall of horse or rider – Elimination
  • For every 4 second interval over the optimum time – 1 penalty

Conformation Phase

The Jumping Phase will be followed by a Conformation Assessment. Once the competitor has completed the Jumping Phase, he/she will proceed to strip the pony and present in-hand to the conformation judge. The judge will give each pony a mark for conformation and movement. All three phases will run consecutively.


Each pony will be judged according to the following marking system:

Marking System
Jumping Phase 190 points
16 fences @ 10 points each 160
Rhythm & Fluency 10
Technique 10
Balance & Harmony of rider with pony
Flat Work Phase 80 points
Conformation Phase 30 points
TOTAL 300 points

Fluency along with jumping technique and the balance and harmony of the rider will be taken into consideration when judging the Jumping Phase.

The overall team total will be the combined total of the three highest scoring ponies on the team and will decide the winning team. In the event of a tie, the team with the highest combined jumping mark from the three best ponies on the team will be the winner. If there is still a tie, the team with the highest combined flat work mark will be the winner.

Awards & Prizes

  • 1st €1,600
  • 2nd €1,000
  • 3rd €500

A special breeders’ prize of €200 will be awarded to the breeders of the four ponies on the winning team.

Cups & Trophies

Cup No. 173 – Perpetual Challenge Trophy presented to the winning team in the International Connemara Performance Hunter.


The winning team will be required to participate in the Parade of Champions on Sunday 11 August.  Further details available here.