ELPHIN MOUNTAIN CONNEMARAS
*Abbeyleix Bluebird

Dam of Maplehurst Michael MacDaire

Bluebird won the 2011 Canadian Connemara Pony Society Lus na bPog/Sean MacLochlainn Foundation Broodmare Award. Read about it here. Photos here.

Although we could not make it to the ACPS AGM to receive the 2000 Broodmare Award, we are grateful to Ginny Winkler for accepting on our behalf. Thanks also goes out to those who helped us prepare the nomination: Louise Jolicoeur and Barry Hull, Bluebird's last owners; Anne Frey and Marynell Isles in the US; Jenny Hagenblad in Sweden and other Connemara breeders in Germany, Denmark and Sweden. The following excerpts are from Bluebird's nomination for the Broodmare Award.


Bluebird with Mick at Maplehurst Farm in Quebec, Canada, 1989.


*Abbeyleix Bluebird, 1977 ~ 1990 (Coosheen Finn x Blue Moon )

I never met Bluebird. She died after a difficult foaling the spring before I bought my stallion, Maplehurst Michael MacDaire.

When I bought Mick, I knew I liked his dam from her pedigree and photographs, but I had no idea she had won at Clifden and the Royal Dublin before she left Ireland as a four year old. It was only gradually, years later, that I began to piece together the achievements of this remarkable little mare. I read in the English Chronicle of her son, Dale Haze, by Tully Blue, who won the championship at the Swedish breed show for three years in a row. This sparked my interest and I started to trace her progeny in Europe.

By chance, I was also researching an article for the magazine on Sudden Impact, the Australian-bred quarter Connemara Olympic eventer. Talking with Sue Clarke, Bluebird’s name came up again. Sue remembered seeing her in Ireland in 1980 and wanting to buy her. To my good fortune, Bluebird had already been sold on and came to the States, but Sue had seen her grandson in Denmark, Hazy Dawn, and was still interested in breeding to that line.

By this time, the Internet was in full swing and between e-mail and more research in the English Chronicle I began to get the full story of her impact in Europe. Through Dale Haze, she left grandsons, Moy Hazy Cove, in Ireland, and Hazy Dawn in Denmark. One day on the Connemara one-line, a photo came up showing a line of five stallions at a breed show in Germany: all grandsons and great-grandsons of Bluebird, wearing their ribbons and championship sashes. Most remarkable was the resemblance they all bore to her and each other through their forebear, Carna Bobby, Bluebird’s grandsire

When I wrote to Lib Petch after the death of her stallion, Coosheen Finn, I told her I had a stallion grandson of his. She well remembered Blue Moon coming to Finn, and Bluebird showing against her own mares at Clifden and Dublin. She sent me photos of four-year-old Bluebird at the Royal Dublin where she won the championship.

Unfortunately, when she crossed the Atlantic she did not seem to be used or valued as much as she was in Europe. She bred, I think, three foals to *Bobby Brown, including the stallion Bob White, since gelded, and had only one foal by Gilnocky Ard Righ MacDaire before her early death at thirteen.

When I asked her last owner, Louise Jolicoeur, for information to nominate Bluebird for this award, she still had difficulty talking about the little mare. Bluebird seemed to have that sort of effect on all who met her. If her son is anything to go by, I am not surprised as he is, in personality and temperament, one of the most remarkable ponies I have ever known.

I am delighted that Bluebird has been honoured with this award. I truly believe that our mares can have as much influence on the breed as the stallions and Bluebird has certainly made a tremendous contribution to the breed in Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and France through her sons and grandsons. I hope she will be able to do as much for Connemaras in North America.
~ Heather Sherratt


Bluebird at the Clifden show, Ireland 1980

Bluebird at Royal Dublin Horse Society Show, winner 3yo mare class

Bluebird's sire Coosheen Finn


In chronological order *Abbeyleix Bluebird’s foals (information as of 2000):

1981 - Dale Haze (Tully Grey), exported from Ireland to Sweden in 1986.
         -1994, 1995, 1996 Swedish National Show: Supreme Champion
         -1996 Pony of the Year All Breeds Show: Runner -Up
         -1997 Swedish National Show: Reserve Champion
         -1999 Awarded Swedish Elite Premium, 5th place Conformation Sire Overall
         -Sire of 2 licenced Swedish stallions Dale Mist & Backuddens Mountain Haze
         -Sire of Silver Storm (ex Windy Evening Star), standing in France

         -Sire of Hazy Dawn (ex Castle Park), standing in Denmark
                  -1989 Roskilde Festival, Denmark: Champion of Show
                  - Sire of many approved stallions standing in Europe, including:
                  
         1. Moy Hazy Cove, in Ireland
                                    -Sire of *Kingston Joe (ex Silver Fort), standing in USA
                                    -Sire of *Kingston Laddie, standing in USA
                                    -Sire of *Canal Clancy (ex Village Colleen), standing in Canada; and many others worldwide
                           2. Fredericksminde Hazy Chance
                                    -99 1st place Conformation Sire in rankings, Denmark, exported to Sweden
                           
3. Fredericksminde Hazy Marvel (ex O. Mandy), in Germany
                                    -91, 92 Danish National Show: Best in Show
                                    -93, 94 Connemara Inspection: Best in show
                                    -98 Southern German Show: Ch. Stallion & Best in Show
                                    -99 German National Show: Ch. in Hand & Best in Show
                                    -Sire of 61 registered ponies in Denmark
                                    -Sire of Norlunds Melody Maker, standing in Denmark
                                    -Sire of Norlunds Mr. Swing King, standing in Holland
                                    -Sire of Symphantil Hazy Becks, standing in Finland
                                    -Sire of Haahrs Antony and Haahrs Frederick, both in Denmark
                           4. Laerkens Callaghan, standing in Denmark
                                    -Sire of Maximillian of Ellebrud, Ravnholts Diablo, Ravnholts Garibaldi, all in Denmark

                           5. Fredericksminde Mandy Boy
                           6.
Fredericksminde Mighty
                           7. Fredericksminde Hazy Match (ex O. Mandy), in Germany
                                    -98 German National Show: Ch. Stallion; premium awarded
                                    -99 German National Show: Reserve Ch. Pony
                                    -99 Northern German Show: Ch. Stallion, Reserve Ch. Pony

                           8. Laerkens Cascade Dawn, from Denmark, exported back to Ireland
                                    -Sire of Svanekaergards Lucky Guy, standing in Denmark

                                    -Sire of Gentle Cascade, standing in UK
                           9. Fredericksminde Hazy Move-On (ex O. Movie Star), in Germany
                                    -99 Hamberg German Show: Champion Stallion
                           10. Frederiksminde Hazy Merlin, standing Ireland
                           11. Frederiksmund Hazy Camelot, standing in Denmark
                           12. Skousboue Morning Rock, standing in Germany

1985 - Blue Bird's Merrie Chase (*Bobby Brown) mare.
         -Won Virginia Hunter Pairs Series 2001
         -Pony Clubbed and hunted with Middleburg-Orange County Pony Club Beagle Pack
         -Dam of: Circe's Foil (f) (Grange Finn Sparrow)
                       Merrie Chase's Hummingbird (f) (Grange Finn Sparrow)
                                      -Dam of Celtic Chase (f) (*Ard Celtic Art)
                       Merrie Chase's St. Patrick (g) (Greystone Ian McVei)

1986 - Bob White (*Bobby Brown) stallion, later gelded.
         -Sire of mare Barleycorn (ex Blue Hills Egan), dam of several purebred geldings
         -
Sire of Landgate Singing Bird (ex Linfields Kylemore)
                  -Dam of successful American stallion Landgate Bluebeard (*Rocky)
                  -Dam of geldings Landgate Lord Geoffery (Aladdin's Denver) and L. Song of Sixpence (*Hayselden Perseus)
                  -Dam of mares Landgate Nimbus and Landgate Wildwing both by Annilaun Oscar

1988 - Charlie Brown (*Bobby Brown), gelding.
         -School pony at Louise Jolicuer’s riding school in Coaticook Quebec, Canada.

1989 - Maplehurst Michael MacDaire (Gilnocky Ard-Righ MacDaire) stallion.
         -1999 Region II Show - Champion Stallion, Champion In Hand
         -ACPS Gold Medallion in eventing, Silver in dressage
         -Successful eventer, jumper, dressage pony, foxhunter, ridden by a junior.
         -Sire of many purebred Connemara breeding stock and performance ponies, and halfbred performance ponies/horses.
         -Sire of
Elphin Cronan (ex S.P. Mils Breaban), standing in British Columbia, Can
         -Sire of
Elphin Lorcan (ex Aluinn de Haoine) standing in Calgary, Alberta, Can.

   
L & 2nd L: Bluebird's Swedish son, Dale Haze (by Tully Blue). R & 2nd R: His son Hazy Dawn in Denmark.


Bluebird's great grandsons and great-great grandsons, left to right:
                                      Skousboe Hero (Teglstrups Duke x Hvilebjergs Helene x Hazy Dawn)
                                      Frederiksminde Hazy Match (Hazy Dawn x O. Mandy)
                                      Frederiksminde Hazy Move-on (Hazy Dawn x O. Movie Star)
                                      Frederiksminde Hazy Marvel (Hazy Dawn x O. Mandy)
                                      Norlunds Mr. Swing King (Frederiksminde Hazy Marvel x Holens Samatha)

Quotes from some European Breeders:

"This year, [1999] Dale Haze [Tully Grey x *Abbeyleix Bluebird] was awarded his Elite premium, the highest achievement for a stallion, only given to the very best. Among his progeny in Sweden are Best in Show winners and diploma mares (an award for good three-year-old fillies), and also top national competition ponies. He is so far the father of two licensed stallions, Dale Mist and Backuddens Mountain Haze. Dale Haze might be known abroad as just the sire of Hazy Dawn, but he certainly has value in his own right and he is truly one of our best stallions."
Jenny Hagenblad, Sweden, Via email

"Hazy Dawn [Dale Haze x Castle Park] has had a tremendous impact on the Connemara ponies in Denmark and has improved our ponies significantly. Actually he has had so much influence that we now badly need new blood."
Helle Larson, Denmark, Via email

"The stallion Frederiksminde Hazy Marvel [Hazy Dawn x Oxenholm Mandy] has been sold to Germany. It was with great regret we parted with him as both he and his progeny have done so well. But because of the enormous effect Hazy Dawn has had on the Danish Connemara ponies we felt it was time to do so. We are sure the Germans will be very pleased with him."
Brigit Jorgensen
Danish Connemara Pony Breeders Society
1998 Connemara Chronicle, p. 221.

"The championship of the show [National Show, Germany] went to the Danish bred stallion Frederiksminde Hazy Marvel by Hazy Dawn x Oxenholm Mandy (by Marble), a very attractive 10 year old grey with lots of type, substance and movement. He is now with Konrad Weggel in Eckersdorf and his first foals in Germany born this year got a lot of premiums. Reserve championship stayed in the family by going to the full brother, Frederiksminde Hazy Match."
Beatrice Millender, Germany
2000 Connemara Chronicle, p. 220.

 
L: Bluebird's only filly Blue Bird's Merrie Chase (*Bobby Brown). R: Merrie's daughter Circe's Foil (*Grange Finn Sparrow).


Bluebird at the 1986 Mid-Atlantic Show with foal Bob White (*Bobby Brown)

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