Yesterday marked the beginning of Saint Patrick’s Day in Zoo World, and with that brought the first of many new animals. You’ll find that many of them have exotic-sounding names reflecting their rich Irish history. The first of these is the Connemara Pony (A.K.A. the Connemara ag Leim) – read on to learn more about this showy show pony!
A Brief Look at the Connemara
Image credit: Boocal
The Connemara Pony is famous around the world for being hardy and sure-footed, stemming from its origins on the rocky shores of the Connemara region in Western Ireland. The harsh weather of the region gave rise to the pony’s resilience, which is reflected today in their jack-of-all-trades abilities. They’re Ireland’s only native horse breed, and their hardiness and kind temperament makes them both wonderful pets and talented show breeds.
Legend has it
Although the Connemara Pony didn’t become an official breed until 1923, its history dates back to the Renaissance. Tales go that after Sir Francis Drake defeated the Spanish Armada in 1582, the defeated ships beached in Ireland – releasing hundreds of Spanish Andalusian horses. They then bred with the native Irish stock, giving the already-sturdy ponies even more versatile qualities.
Connemaras in the Show World
Image credit: Just chaos
As a show horse, Connemara Ponies compete in jumping, dressage, eventing and even endurance riding, and they are considered great mounts for both children and adults.
Every year, the Connemara Pony Breeders Society holds the Connemara Pony Festival and Show, a multi-day affair in Clifden, Galway that draws horse fans from around the world.
Quick Connemara Facts
Adding these Irish horses to your zoo? Here are the Zoo Facts you’ll learn for the Daily Quiz:
- The Connemara Pony is known to form very strong bonds with their owners.
- The Connemara Pony can recognize the voice or face of a person for years even if they have been separated from that person.
- The Connemara Pony was first used by local farmers and laborers to haul large baskets of rocks from the fields, and seaweed from the shore.
- The Connemara ag Leim is named after the area in Ireland from which it originated.
- The Connemara ag Leim does not fully mature until they are at least 5 years old.
- The Connemara ag Leim can be found in Canada, the U.S. and in most of Europe.
Join us in welcoming the Connemara Pony to Zoo World. A new Irish animal unlocks on March 11th at Noon PST, so be sure to log in and help one!