Let us know what's happening with you and your FFC-bred or related Connemaras and we'd gladly post your news here as well!

Lorna's students attend their first horse show (4H) with Smokey's Design and Foothills River Queen (10-Apr)

Lazer Lavendar (by Balmullo's Beacon) and Laura Szeremi (TX)

Black Dog's Fiona (by *Gun Smoke) and Carol Green (TX) at Feather Creek Lazer

Beacon's Seraphim Sheamus (by Balmullo's Beacon) has a new owner, Randy Rease, Rivendell Connemaras (G)

Carley Whetstone (AL) on her Connemara cross, Murphy (by Balmullo's Beacon), finished 4th on their dressage score at the 2010-04-15 - Florida International CCI2*/CCI1* 3-Day (FL)

Spring is here and I have lots of plans! I'm so glad to be out of the cold; now if I could just get some time at home to play with my ponies. My biggest plan is taking 3 mares to the ACPS Inspections in June. I say this is a big plan because all of my ponies have become rather spoiled pasture potatoes. "Work! What's THAT?!" Well, they are now on a program with the help of Melissa Roberts and Tollie Banker. Hopefully by the time the show/inspections come around, they will be able to do more than look cute, and load for treats. I am also planning to bring Balmullo's Catfish to the show. He graduated kindergarten and has gone on to elementary school with Melissa. He should be ready for Junior-High by fall. He is such a good boy. 10-Mar

I want to recognize these ponies that won ACPS Achievement Awards in 2009:
Balmullo's Cassiopia (Balmullo's Beacon x Blue Hills Morning Star) with Janet Hibel, earned a Silver Medallion in dressage
Tuckaseegee's Dundee (Foothills Waterman x Kid Sister) with Kathy Nebel, earned a Silver Medallion in dressage. Also received the USDF Training Level Vintage Cup
Foothills Foggy Morning (*Gun Smoke x Balmullo's Rhiannon) with Darian Hall, earned a Certificate in dressage
Foothills Waterman (Concord River Roaringwater Bay x Misty Meadows Miss Bonnie) with Dana Norquist, earned a Gold Medallion in eventing
Black Dog's Fiona (*Gun Smoke x Pestyside) with Carol Green, earned a Gold Medallion in eventing

Here is a note I received from Kim Leitch on her Connemara cross, Piedmont Harmony (a.k.a. "Grits") by Balmullo's Beacon:
"I couldn't resist sending you the attached picture of Grits. I took her to an Extreme Cowboy Race Course to school. She was the star! She had to lead my friends' horses through the obstacles, even though she had never seen them. She loved the mud! Kim"





I am very pleased to welcome a new Christmas pony to FFC: Dreamcatcher's Fyrestorme. She is a 5 yr old Connemara by *Gun Smoke, out of Big Bear's MacCushula. So far, she has proven to be a very sensible, quiet mare and has integrated easily into the herd. I haven't had time to work her undersaddle yet, but am looking forward to the opportunity over the Christmas holidays. Hopefully we'll get some dry, and not too cold, weather.






A couple weeks ago I has the pleasure of visiting my good friend, Donna Duckworth, at Balmullo Farm in FL. As I always hope, we took in a lovely ride in the Temple of the Universe. I rode Donna's 3 yr old Connemara, Balmullo's Isabelle (below), who was such a fun ride! Donna rode, Roary, the Balmullo Farm Statesman. (Dec 09)

I also had the pleasure of visiting Jane Burns, and riding her "Foothill"s pony, Gus (below).

Lisa and I took in some nice rides over Thanksgiving; her on Ruby and me on Foothills Hopefilly. Top photo - Chickamauga Battlefield; bottom photos - FFC in Athens, TN.

Ruby has now gone to be with Lisa at Blue Ridge Dream Farm in Montvale, VA. Ruby and Lisa are like peas in a pod; they are perfect for each other!

Congratulations to Pat Cunningham on her purchase of Foothills Bobby Socks. He arrived at Pat's farm around 11/9/09. Pat had this to say about his arrival:

Hi Vanessa, I just wanted to let you know that Bobby is doing fine and I like him a lot. I'm definitely glad I bought him. His temperament is everything I was hoping for - very sweet, calm, and cooperative. I've been trying to spend a lot of time with him this week, having little lessons so I can see what he knows already and we can get to know each other. It was good he came when he did because we've had a week of good weather and next week I'm having arthroscopy on my knee so I'll be in the slow lane for a bit. He is a very good learner just like you said. I'm keeping everything soft and low key so he will learn to trust me and I've been very impressed at how light and responsive he is. He's going to be lovely to ride. I was also impressed at how good he was with his feet when I trimmed them. Anyway, he's starting to follow me around and lip at my coat, so I think he's warming up to me! Mike has been playing with him, so that's working out well too. He has a lot of growing up to do, but I don't have any doubt that he's going to be worth waiting for. Thanks again. Pat

Elaine M. and Foothills MayBee

Bea did a nice job yesterday despite soggy footing & rain. I was really pleased with our dressage warm-up but when I took her by herself up the hill to the dressage arena and she went down the center line facing the judges box, flowers etc, she 'lost it' a bit and it was difficult to communicate with her for some of the test. Despite that, she got a score of 37.9 and we took third in our division. It was just elementary level, so expectations were not too high. When we started XC, Bea was not so sure what was happening but she didn't stop or cause me problems and by the end she was clearly enjoying herself. I took much of the course at a trot until the last few jumps just to keep it low key and because of the wet conditions. I think she is the sort of horse that could get so wound up as to stop enjoying her work, so pushing her too much probably is a really bad idea. I think she,
overall, has a good time as she stays keen and has a good work ethic. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and she surpassed my expectations. Eventing will slow down here now and I'll look for some small local indoor dressage shows for her until eventing starts up again late in March. We're still working on stifle strengthening. I have moved Bea about a mile from home to a friend's barn where we can use the footed arena for the winter. That will be a big help. My friend, Colleen, has two Connemara cross mares and the three 'girls' go out together very well. I'm still taking care of her much of the time as Colleen and I share the chores. So...you can be proud of Bea --- I am! cheers, Elaine (Nov 09)
P.S. I've attached a photo from at the event....don't have any 'action' photos....so, you can see that Bea is looking good albeit shaggy. This is before we competed....we were not so clean when we finished!

Carole Moss has a new driving pony! Meet Onslow (pictured below). Nope, he's not a Connemara. He's a Fjord. (Nov 09)

Below: Onslow's first morning at King's Point. You guessed it! Those aren't Connemara's either:-O

Yes, we are the proud owners of Beacon's Kaleigh, a sweet pony that we bought this past spring for my daughter. Kaleigh is a true delight and I'm finding I'm falling in love with her more and more each day. Kelly, my daughter who is 9, absolutely loves Kaleigh. These days they spend a lot of time together under the persimmon tree just hanging out together while Kelly knocks down persimmons for Kaleigh. What a pair! Kelly is not showing Kaleigh yet but probably will in about a year or so. I'm not pushing. Thank you so much for contacting us. This is such a wonderful breed. A breed that I'm definitely sticking with! Cindy (Oct 09)

Just wanted to give you an update on Daddy's Money AKA Precious (by Balmullo's Beacon)


She is doing so well! She impresses me every time she is worked... She is doing awesome! We started her over fences about three weeks ago and she loves it! Last weekend we took her to TTC's Schooling Hunter show, I was amazed at her wonderful mind and sweet willing attitude. She neighed once when she came off the trailer then stood for hours, just happily eating her hay! I entered her in 2 classes, beginning hunter 18" and schooling hunter 2'. She placed 5th in 18" and 1st in 2' and the classes were full with 10-15 riders each.

Tender Mercy Farm Sales

Give Bubba a kiss and tell him that he should be proud of his wonderful baby!
Talk to you later,




...here are a couple from the hunter pace on Sunday. Faith was great and Clare and I had a really nice ride. We were our own team and were a little slow but had fun. This has been the first summer that Clare has been old enough for us to do a lot of riding together and it's really been fun for me. Clare and Faith might go out with the hunt club on their pony club guest day in a couple of weeks (in the second field - the slow group!).

Clare Cunningham on Foothills Faithfilly (by Balmullo's Beacon)

Clare with her mom, Pat, on left

Marion on Conor, (TB cross, by *Gun Smoke) with the Woodford hounds 10/13/09

Carole and I went to the National Drive again this year, at the KY Horse Park. After settling the horses in on Thursday and setting up camp, we went back to the barn to hitch and tack up for a short ride/drive, while there was a little break in the weather. It turned out to be a lot longer than we planned, when one of the mini's bucked, bolted and dumped her driver, getting caught in the trees and breaking the cart. Thanks goodness for Carole's 'spares box'!

Friday was a wash; rained practically all day. We took that opportunity to find a tack repair shop for all the broken halters I brought along, and of course we did some shopping.

Saturday, the rains had stopped, but it was still cloudy and very cold. Carole did the driving parade and I took TeaGo for a nice long hack around the park and cross-country course; he is so good about all the different driving rigs, mules, drafts, minis and teams. Later that day, Carole and I went out on cross-country with Cooper and Carole let me drive. I took super Cooper through the water, in which he almost had to swim. It was quite deep from all the rains the previous couple days. I had to put my feet on the top rail of the cart to keep them from getting soaked. I also got to drive my first cones course (though slowly, as the arena was a bit busy) and it was tremendous fun. Later on we went for a drive with Sue Curtis and her pair of Clydesdale-Dales geldings. Sue let us each have a turn at driving. After all my fun with Cooper and Sue's pair, my interest in driving is growing.

Sunday was the Mimosa drive, which was delightful! The weather was perfect, the scenery lovely and the horses wonderful. Regretfully, we had to pack up and head back home for work on Monday.

Palm Beach Gardens, FL: Janet Hibel has written to say that Balmullo’s Cassiopeia (Balmullo’s Beacon X Blue Hill’s Morning Star) qualified for the USDF Region 3 Championships at the Wellington Classic Fall Challenge Dressage with a 64% in Training Level Test 4. She also got marks of 65% and 62% in Training Level Test 3 and her second-day Training Level Test 4 respectively. They also were part of the winning team for the Team Championship. Janet says,”Got lots of training ahead to compete in the Regionals!!”ACPS Weekly Pony News 9/27/09

Foothills Foggy Morning passed inspection at the West Coast Connemara Show! She also brought home a pile of ribbons in hunters, trail, line and
dressage. She placed 3rd and 4th in the Open USEF, USDF dressage with 65 and 66 scores. She has brought home several red and blue ribbons in local
jumper and dressage shows. She has a "you ask, I deliver" attitude. Darion (9/09)

Tollie Banker and Keogh (by *Gun Smoke) showed at Windrush Farms in Lenoir City, TN, in July. They received a dressage score of 65% for a 2nd place and a 63% for a third.

Then they got a 1st and a 5th and the second Windrush show. I think we're done for the fall but we'll definitely pick it back up in the spring. He is doing so well.

I sold Lazer Lavender last year & when the new owner decided to sell her this spring I bought her back!
We're eventing now, and she is already jumping training level. She's been to 3 shows and has been all clear at all of them.

Here's a video from this last weekend of her schooling XC. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYldYAXJWP0 There were cows on the XC course! and she schooled a prelim water option, a full coffin, and weldons walls with no problems. She is a super talented very forward thinking pony!

Lavender is turning into a super star eventer like her sire!! I'm very glad you've decided to offer frozen semen for him, I'd love to breed her mother to him again!! (Laura S 9/09)

Smokey's Design (by *Gun Smoke) placed first in a hunter-jumper show in July. He is an exceptional half-bred who has a promising career who is proving his ability in competitions.

Alice Verbrick and Bally Britta (photo below) completely dominated the tadpole division at Jumping Branch CT on August 22 winning 1st place and scoring a 25 on dressage and a clean round.

Bruiser surprised everybody by becoming a (potential) father at just 14 months old! Balmullo's Miss Emma (Aladdin X Oak Hills Miss Independence), retired from breeding after she developed COPD, had been living with the babies since they were, well, babies, and I didn't worry about her as every time Bruiser approached her she would kick him. But when summer came and I never saw her in heat I had her checked and low and behold, she is to be a mother again. So she is having a bit of a difficult summer but, hopefully, she will be 100% by the Spring when baby Bru is due. The summer in Florida can be very hard on the ponies. Bruiser is, luckily, (or he would have been a gelding long ago) a big-boned, big moving, beautiful bay boy and will make a wonderful breeding stallion. (Donna D 9/09)

Balmullo's Dixie Chick (*Gun Smoke X Elphin Chickadee) started her training with Luke McLaughlin and was a star. At just over two years old she walks, trots and canters with never a foot wrong. (Donna D 9/09)

From the ACPS Region IV Newsletter (9/09)

I thought you might like to see some recent photos of Faith (Foothills Faithfilly, by Balmullo's Beacon). These are from regional pony club D camp last week, where Clare got her D2 rating. Clare and Faith are learning how to jump - although it is mostly Clare who is learning. I'm pretty sure Faith was born knowing how to jump. She is a great pony for Clare to learn with - sensitive enough that she can really learn how to use the aids but very kind and patient. All of the kids at our pony club love to pet her because she's so sweet. We had regional camp for 3 days last week and then our local club camp that just finished, so Faith is ready for a week off! My proudest moment was on the first day of local camp during the grid lesson. Of course the grid starts out easy and gets harder... it ended up with a 2' oxer at the end of 3 elements, which was bigger than either one of them had ever jumped before, but the instructor didn't know that. I was cringing and bracing for the worst but Faith popped through it like she had done it a hundred times. She got 2 carrots after that!

I read about the Region 4 show. I'm glad you are having fun with Bubba and getting out with him. There is going to be a Midwest Breeders show at the end of August about 2 hours south of here. We're going to go and take Faith (Clare insists) and Mike Mulligan who is 2 now and rapidly filling out. He looks like he'll be 14.1 and a perfect type for hunters. Really lovely conformation and movement and very athletic. I'll try to get some photos at the show. Pat (August 09)

Palm Beach Gardens, FL: Janet Hibel reports that Balmullo's Cassiopeia (Balmullo’s Beacon X Blue Hill’s Morning Star [by Blue Hill’s Boy]) went to her first USDF rated show this weekend in Tampa, Florida. Janet says, “Her scores were 66% in Training Level Test 3 for first place, and 69.6% in Training Level Test 4 for a second place, with her first Qualifying Score for the USDF Regional Championships. I received my first "9" in a rated show!” Janet says she just needs one more qualifying score to make it to Regionals. She noted some of the comments from the judges such as "lovely horse" and "this horse is worth millions." Janet added that conditions for the show were rain, thunder and lightning but “Cassie” kept her cool. (8/09)


Sophy (
Foothills Smokey Bay) is doing incredibly well, I started her in July and we are happily trotting all over the place! She has been a dream to start, in fact I didn't get on her for a couple of weeks and just threw the saddle on one nite and picked up where we left off, no big deal for her:)

I'm hoping to take her to a little local show in Sept for a walk/trot class. I took her to this same show in June for an in hand class (which she placed 3rd in) just to get her off the farm and used to being tied up to trailer for day in strange place. She handled everything well, I'm so pleased with her! I've attached a pic of us in the ring the other nite, camera (or Andy) was focusing very well but you can get an idea of what she looks like now. I personally think she's just beautiful but then I'm a little biased:) I can really see Gunsmoke in her.

I'm going to go ahead and breed Sophy next year, if I can bear to not have her to ride. I'm hoping to start trail riding her this fall, there is a county trail group I want to get involved in. I have a friend with a small teaching program in SC that I'm toying with the idea of sending Sophy to her to use in the summer and get some show miles on her. (Beury S 9/09)


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