Lexington, KY: All Connemara eyes will be on Lexington next weekend for the Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event. Sparrows’s Nio, a half Connemara by the legendary Grange FinnSparrow and ridden by Allie Blyksal- Sackson, will be competing at eventing’s highest level against 90 other riders including defending champion William Fox-Pitt and Zara Phillips, granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II of England. The field includes riders from nine countries including Australia, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, Sweden, The Netherlands and USA.
Allie started her eventing career riding another Grange Finn Sparrow halfbred, Marshal, who was tragically killed by a lightning strike 4 years ago. They had competed up to the Intermediate Level with great success. “He was an incredible cross country horse,” Allie says. “I really learned to gallop the big fences with him.” So she knew she wanted another like him. “I remember Courtney Sendak’s Will Ya Love Me and a few others who were also from that same Sparrow line. I knew they were freaky amazing jumpers, so I wanted to try to get another one from that line.” Enter Sparrow’s Nio. They began their recognized career in 2010 at the Novice level and rapidly progresses to the Intermediate/two-star level. They won the CCI** at Fair Hill in 2013 and are now on their way to Rolex!
Jimmie Wofford has this to say about the pair. "This horse and rider are newcomers to this level, but they are up to the task. Every year I award an imaginary trophy to the Rolex rookie who places the best. I call this trophy the “Whodat?” trophy, because when you read
their name in the list, you will say “Whodat?” After this weekend, everyone will know who Allie and “Nio” are."
Of course, we already know.
We also know that there is an impressive list of Connemara or half Connemara horses and ponies that compete in FEI events around the globe. The list includes the following with their FEI ranking in parentheses.
- Portersize Just a Jif (Crosskeys Rebel x Mizen Talent/Mizen Melody) ( 113)
- Feldale Mouse (Domo Cavallo Praize x Zoe/Final Straw) (263)
- Sparrows Nio (Grange Finn Sparrow x TB) (593)
- Canopy Grove Damini (Glenormiston Oliver)( 1254)
- Laburnam Ineer (Coosheen Stormboy x Starlit x Cloonisle Cashel) (1686)
- Winnie Wonka (Irish Parks Bellfast Bonfire x Windsong)( 2128)
- Kynynmont Indelible Irish (Gunsmoke x Kynynmont Arianna x Canal Larinston)( 2280)
- Bantry Bays Dublin (Bantry Bays Archie x Solar Link) (2631)
- Gloster Boy (Laerkens Cascade Dawn x Ridge Sally x Ardravinna Andy) ( 3054)
- Tallyho Mystic (Glenormiston Jasper x Snoopy)( 3059)
- Cremully Melody (I Love you Melody x Creemully Heather x Abbeyleix Owen)( 4121)
- Ganymeade (Ballywhim An Luan x Court Hawk X Oxford Court)( 4168)
- Providence Park Maxwell (Moxley Duncan x Run Wipersonality)( 4276)
- Zaboomafoo (*Gun Smoke x MacKee's Star)( 4313)
- Klockeen De Rhonan (Vizir Du Ruere x Moonlight Martra x Indra Rebel)( 4406)
- Sommerville Park Pollyanna (Glenormiston Freedom(4976)
- Hazel Rock Son (Turlira Robuck x Smokey Girl x Prince of Theives)( 5345)