Sad passing of one of the best known Connemara pony breeders in Donegal and the west of Ireland is recalled

Ardara man was hugely respected

Sad passing of one of the best known Connemara pony breeders in Donegal and the west of Ireland

The death has occurred of Conal Watters - one of the most experienced and best- known Connemara pony breeders in Donegal and the west of Ireland.

Conal (73) of Tullycleave died on July 19 after being seriously ill for some months and was buried on July 21 in the graveyard attached to the Church of the Holy Family in Ardara after a service in the church confined to his family because of Covid 19 restrictions.

More than 20 years ago Conal was one of the founder members  of  the first Riding Club in Donegal attached to the Association of Irish Riding Clubs.

Past and present members of the Tirconnell Donegal Riding Club, dressed in their red club jackets, formed a guard of honour as the cortage entered the church grounds.

Conal also helped found the first pony club  based in Ardara.

As well as breeding Connemara ponies he was very successful in showing events where he won many prizes in all the main Donegal shows.

He also won many rosettes riding his classic Connemara mare,Tara Lady,at showson both sides of the border and Riding Club and Show Jumping Ireland events in Dublin,The Midlands and down the west coast as far as Ennis in Co Clare.

For many years Conal organised the annual Ardara Showing Jumping event which attracted riders from many parts of the country and assisted at the annual Donegal show jumping event.

Ponies bred by Conal were in great demand not only in Ireland but by Connemara pony enthusiasts across Europe.

Conal is survived by his wife Lena,sons Conor and John and daughter Grainne and their families as well as his extended family and many friends.

He will be sadly missed by equestrian enthusiasts throughout Donegal and further afield.

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