ELPHIN MOUNTAIN CONNEMARAS
Oak Hills Gold Friday had a long and interesting history.
Her dam *Rose of Rosabhil won the class for brood mares at
Clifden show as a seven-year-old and her foal Roisin Aura also won her class.
Shortly after *Rose of Rosabhil was exported to the USA where she became a
successful brood mare and her mare family is one of the larger in North America.
In the autumn of 2011 she was awarded the American Connemara Pony Society
At age two Friday was sent from Al Mavis' Oak Hills Farm
with shipment of other Oak Hills fillies to Florida, and for all intents and
purposes she disappeared off the map. No one knows what happened to Friday
for the next 10 years, but she had been broken Western and had a yearling
TB cross filly still nursing on her when found by Donna Duckworth of Balmullo
Farm. Friday was sold to Catherine Mack in Virginia, where she was ridden
and eventually competed in a 25 mile endurance ride. Friday was then bred
to Balius Branigan and foaled the filly Aluinn
dé Haoine the next spring. When Dee was 2
weeks old, she and her mother made the trip north to Marilyn de Wispelaere's
Snug Pines Farm, in Rochester New York.
Friday, age 15 at Snug Pines Farm, NY.
Friday was then bred to Aladdin's Owen and had SP Mils Breaban in 1988 and SP Brian in 1989. Brian went on to sire a purebred filly, Elizabeth O'Brian (now in BC) out of Wintervale Promise, before he was gelded. He is now ridden and driven by the Winklers of Journey's End Farm.
We purchased Friday from Marilyn in the fall of 1990 and she once again made a trip north with a daughter, this time it was Millie. We rode Friday a bit that fall, even jumping her around a small course, and with a little calculation realised she hadn't been jumped in at least 5 years, if ever, but she seemed to know what to do! An old back injury which made carrying a rider painful for her soon reappeared, so we stopped riding her, deciding that at age 17 she could retire to being a full-time brood mare!
Friday after arriving at Elphin Mountain Farm, 1990
The more we got to know Friday, the more we learned what a truly amazing mare she was: strong and proud, yet kind and gentle too, with a mischievous sense of humour, both with other horses and humans. She was good pals with our stallion, sharing his hay across the stall wall, she looked after our scatterbrained TB mare and was nanny to a blind sporthorse mare who faithfully followed Friday everywhere.
In the fall of 1997 when we hosted ACPS inspections we decided not to present Friday for inspection, as at age 24 she was no longer foaling; little did we know this was to be her last autumn with us. Throughout the latter years of her life Friday suffered from denerative joint disease in the vertebrae of her neck - as far as we know it was connected to some accident in her mysterious past. It caused severe muscle spasms, but with careful management we kept it under control and she was a comfortable old mare. However the problem rapidly deteriorated in Novemeber 1997 and we decided to put her down to end the pain. We always thought we would be able to keep Friday to a ripe old age, but her retirement was cut short. We buried Friday behind the barn, and she is still missed by all of us.