My name is Robbie Fallon, and I have been involved with Connemara ponies all of my life. As a child, I worked our small family farm with my father and developed an interest in the Connemara pony. I used to go shopping with my mother to Clifden, and I saw photographs of the prize-winning ponies in windows around the town. Being fascinated with these beautiful ponies, I wanted to learn more about them. I used to spend a lot of my free time with a local breeder and exhibitor, traveling with him to shows and helping out with preparation, grooming and handling. I often recall holding a pony late into the evening while listening in on conversations, often hearing of the legendary Carna Bobby. With the help of my father and working odd jobs, I finally had enough money to purchase my first Connemara pony in 1968 for £80. She was a bay 13’3 hand pony called Spencer’s Dream, and to my delight, I had her inspected and passed that same year.
In 1971, I emigrated to the U.S.A., leaving Spencer’s Dream with my uncle who had a large farm in Athenry, East Galway. She was in foal at the time and had several foals during the 21 years she lived there. Daily, she worked the land plowing the fields and pulled a cart to bring milk to the creamery. My uncle owned other breeds of horses, but he said she was by far the best working pony, with the best temperament, he ever came across.
I purchased my own farm in Cashel, Connemara, in 1984, the same village in which I was reared. I returned from the U.S. in 1992 and built a home there. A burning desire to own and promote Connemara ponies never left me and eventually prompted me to buy another Connemara pony in 1993. Following significant research on her breeding, I bought Ballybaun Cashel as my foundation mare. A year later, I purchased Bealnamulla Kim. My third foundation mare was Coosheen Pheasant. Based on the back breeding of select stallions, I have bred these mares successfully. I am very proud of these three mares, and they have contributed significantly to building the Cashel Bay Connemara Pony Stud.
In 2006, the Cashel Bay Connemara Pony Stud relocated to a new and larger 100 acre farm near Athenry, equipped with new state-of-the-art stables. Reasons for relocating to Athenry included acquiring additional space to build better working and training facilities, its convenient proximity to airports and because the location is easily accessible to visitors and guests. The farm is ideally located for attending all area Connemara pony shows. Most importantly, my father grew up on this land.
I ultimately became a member of the Connemara Pony Breeders Society, (CPBS), serving two terms as a Council director. I am also a member of the Judges List and have judged in-hand classes in Ireland and elsewhere. I served on the committee responsible for the building of the Heritage Center and offices of the CPBS in Clifden, Connemara.
I am currently involved with Connemara ponies in the U.S., as well as in Ireland. In 2002, I exported two home-bred Connemara ponies to California—a two-year-old filly, Cashelbay Kim, and a two-year-old colt Cashelbay Bobby. In March, 2002, I was the Chairman of the American Connemara Pony Society’s Connemara pony entry in San Francisco’s 150th Anniversary St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This venue offered exceptional publicity for the Connemara pony breed, and out of 140 entries, the judges selected the well-presented Connemara ponies as winners of the coveted “Laser Plaque.”
Because of all my experiences, I share with you that my greatest joy has been, and continues to be, the friendships I’ve made while getting to know the people of Ireland and those I’ve met around the world. Together we all strive to promote, protect and perform these magnificent Connemara ponies.