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Carna Dun; Little Heaven’s most enduring Legacy

February 22, 2022

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Carna Dun; Little Heaven’s most enduring Legacy

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One cannot discuss the influence of the Connemara Pony Stallion Carna Dun adequately without first mentioning his Thoroughbred sire Little Heaven. It was a remarkable achievement by Little Heaven that in just 4 short years at stud, he would produce two Olympians in Little Model and Stroller as well as siring legendary international showjumper Dundrum.

Little Model competed in Dressage with Mrs. VDS. Williams at Rome Olympics, where they finished 11th. On nine different occasions, they were British Dressage Champions and finished third at Aachen European Dressage Championships in 1961.

Many still regard Dundrum as showjumper of the century, high praise for a horse that stood at just 15 hands. “Good things come in small packages,” but small horses are often overlooked and disregarded in the world of equestrian sport. However, Tommy Wade recognized the ability and potential in Dundrum and took the world of international showjumping by storm.

Stroller competed at the 1968 Mexico City Summer Olympics in the team and individual showjumping events. In individual jumping, Stroller won an Olympic silver medal. That day, Stroller jumped the biggest show jumping course ever built and beat all but one to take the silver. In 1970, Stroller won the Hamburg Derby with a clear round–the fiftieth ever recorded on course and the first time by a female equestrian.

Strollers Achievement’s:

  • Individual Silver medal at the 1968 Olympic Games (Mexico)
  • Winner of the Women’s Show Jumping World Championships 1965 (Hickstead)
  • Won 1967 Hickstead Derby
  • Won 1970 Hamburg Derby (as only clear round)
  • Winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Cup 1965 and 1971
  • 2nd place, Women’s World Championships 1970 (Copenhagen)
  • Only pony to compete at International level among horses and win consistently in Europe
  • BHS (British Horse Society) Hall of Fame Laureate

Their sire, Little Heaven, stood only 15h, was dark bay and considered by many to be light of bone. Little Heaven’s damsire was Portlaw, who produced several good racehorses, including Pall Mall, Sing Sing, and the Irish Sport Horse stallion Chou Chin Chou, an excellent producer of show horses and jumpers in the 80s.

Even more noteworthy is that Little Heaven’s grandsire was Blandford, who sired the stallions Umidwar, Blenheim, Bahram, Brantome, and Windsor Lad. Blandford was also grandsire to Big Game, who gave rise to the famous Welton event horses. Additionally, Blandford can be found in the pedigrees of Persian Gulf, Wild Risk & Fra Diavolo. An exceptional Thoroughbred jumping dynasty.

Connemara breeding experts agree that Little Heaven’s most enduring legacy was not through his fabulous Connemara Crosses but instead from his son, the Connemara Pony Stallion Carna Dun. Carna Dun’s influence on the breed can be measured by how difficult it is to find a high-performance Connemara without him in their breeding. Of course, some from this line show more horse than pony, but they consistently breed on and possess an excellent temperament. Moreover, they produce excellent jumpers from generation to generation, suggesting the proof is in the progeny.

Carna Dun is among the most influential stallions in the Connemara Pony Breeders studbook. A son of Little Heaven out of the Connemara Pony mare Double Dun. Famous for the quality of his daughters, among them we find Dun Sparrow, Callowfeenish Dolly II, Arctic Moon, and Checkout Girl. Carna Dun also sired excellent sons, including Camlin Cicada, Doon Paddy, Finney Master, and the hugely talented Little Joe. All three Stallions left a considerable legacy.

Carna Dun was bred in Carna by John Mylotte, with whom he won the 2yo colt class (Clifden), and as a Society stallion, he won his class in ’52 with keeper John de Courcey. We can thank Carna Dun for stallions such as Finney Master, Westside Mirah, Castleside JJ, and Robin Hood are just a few of his talented descendants. Having Carna Dun in a Connemara’s back breeding almost guarantees success; this Connemara Thoroughbred Stallions influence was immense.

Learn More about the History and Origin of the Connemara Pony Stud Book with our Visual Guide

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